Western Lake District

Route: Pillar, Steeple and Scoat Fell

Area: Western Lake District

Date of walk: 19th November 2014

Walkers: Andrew

Distance: 12.8 miles

Weather: overcast with a few sunny breaks. Windy on tops

As this was to be a full day’s outing I set off at dawn, but two miles from the planned start at Bowness Knott my carefully laid plans hit a snag – there was a road closure. I apologise to the good folk of Croasdale if they had a rude awakening – literally – as my profanities echoed around the valley

Alternative routes would have added too much time so I decided to approach one of the work force and see if I could wheedle my way through. I exaggerated the distance I’d travelled by a factor of 20, which I suppose amounts to a downright lie, and was kindly given the green light on the understanding that I’d not return along the road until sunset – which was my intention anyway

So, greatly relieved, I parked at Bowness Knott and after that all went according to plan. It’s a long walk in of over 3 miles before the climbing starts. At first it was quite tedious, through serried ranks of conifers and then up a dull slope. But as I neared Steeple the scenery changed dramatically and for the next 3 or 4 hours I was in the midst of some thrilling mountain scenery – as good as it gets

From Steeple I did a quick out and back to Scoat Fell, then it was on to the main objective – Pillar. This involved some boulder clambering and a few very steep sections but eventually I reached the top. Thanks to the road closure there was only one other person about, a fellow walker who’d come via Wasdale. This was the only walker I saw during the whole 7 hour expedition

The weather improved a little at the summit of Pillar and after savouring the wonderful views I headed down the fell via White Pike, steep at first but gradually getting easier. The return to the start seemed to take an eternity but I eventually made it back just as the sun was setting. What a great day out it had been

Click on the icon below for the route map (subscribers to OS Maps can view detailed maps of the route, visualise it in aerial 3D, and download the GPX file. Non-subscribers will see a base map)

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