Route: Haystacks

Area: Western Lake District

Date of walk: 22nd June 2022

Walkers: Andrew and Gilly

Distance: 5.6 miles

Ascent: 1,900 feet

Weather: Mixed sunshine and clouds

Haystacks was the favourite fell of Alfred Wainwright and it’s one of mine too – it’s a fascinating place and there’s always something new to see. We parked as usual in the car park at Gatesgarth Farm (note the parking fee is currently £4, cash only). We walked through the farm and crossed Peggy’s Bridge at the head of Buttermere. The climbing starts below a small triangular shaped copse, and from here we followed the easy path up to Scarth Gap

Beyond Scarth Gap the going gets much steeper and rockier, and there are are five or six scrambly sections up rock steps where hands are needed. There are no dangers though, and it’s an enjoyable clamber. A final steep section brought us to the summit area, which is full of interest. We wandered around here for a while. It’s a fascinating place full of bumps and hollows, with different views from each, though it was a shame that the clouds rolled in bringing indifferent light with them

A direct descent from the summit is impossible and it’s necessary to walk across some complicated knobbly terrain – Haystacks is a bad place to be if lost in mist. We soon arrived at the contradiction in terms which is Innominate Tarn and continued to follow the path in the direction of Dubs Quarry. Eventually we arrived at the first of the two possible descent paths to Warnscale Bottom, and chose this for the descent. The alternative path is a little further on and follows the far side of Warnscale Beck. Both paths meet up at valley level, and both provide an easy way down, with wonderful views ahead along Warnscale Bottom and Buttermere for most of the way

It was another wonderful visit to this special place 

Previous time here

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