High Stile Range

Route: The High Stile Range

Area: Western Lake District

Date of walk: 9th August 2018

Walkers: Andrew

Distance: 8.5 miles

Ascent: 2,800 feet

Weather: Sunny, with good visibility and a cool breeze on the tops

The High Stile Range is one of the classic lakeland walks, visiting the 3 high fells which tower over the western shore of Buttermere – Red Pike, High Stile and High Crag in order of appearance

It was a glorious morning as I parked in the National Trust car park outside Buttermere village and walked past the foot of the lake, leaving the lakeshore path to start the climb up to Red Pike. A rocky staircase took me much of the way but after reaching Bleaberry Tarn the going got tougher and the final pull to the summit of Red Pike was quite hard – very steep and loose underfoot. Just below the summit there’s a particularly steep section up a narrow gully where hands on rock were needed. Anyone emerging from this gully is likely to have their fingers stained red, not with blood, but from the syenite in the rock and subsoil on Red Pike (hence the name)

The views from Red Pike were fantastic and after admiring them for a while I started the walk along the ridge, visiting the highest point High Stile at 2,644 feet and then High Crag

Next came the very steep and knee-jarring descent down Gamlin End, which is seemingly never ending. This has been made easier lower down by the addition of a well pitched rock path. Just before Seat I took a path off to the left (which is easily missed), and this provides a shortcut down to Scarth Gap Pass, which in turn leads down to the shore of Buttermere. I followed the lakeshore path through Burtness Wood and back to the start of a fantastic walk – one of lakeland’s finest – which was seen at its best in today’s conditions

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