First of the big walks on the Easter visit to the Lakes this year. My Wainwright map has far too many dots in the south western side, particularly around Eskdale and Wasdale. Time for a visit out that way. Now some would say that heading to Wasdale on an Easter Sunday is asking for trouble, car parks full, people everywhere, you’d be mad to go. Yet again on my visit to the Lakes I found no issue parking for a walk in an alleged busy holiday in one of the busiest spots (after last summer parking at Seathwaite). This time I parked up at 9am at Overbeck car park, so hardly super early (plus there was space further down the valley as Wasdale Heads’ two car parks). Personally these extra tourists visiting the Lakes appear to not be walkers, not that I’ve seen in the 3 times I’ve been in 9 months. More people wanting to see what the fuss is about, eat out, drink in the pubs, shop and see honeypot villages.
This walk starts hard from the car door, with the path straight up the nose of Yewbarrow, it looks a horrible route from the bottom but when you near you notice the path veering away from Bell Rib and through a gate taking the path between Bell Rib and Dropping Crag. I found the scramble very manageable and shorter than I thought it would be. Once above Dropping Crag you pick up an easier path (which takes you away from a second scramble or scree run), zigzagging up some grassy shelves to the ridge line. The walk to the summit is much further than you think with the odd tiny scramble on rocks but its all simple if you take your time. The descent path from the saddle was easy to find, meaning I missed Stirrup Crag, however in trying to maintain height and not drop too far below Dore Head I picked the hardest of these slanted descents over boulders and scree, it would have been easier to take the obvious straight descent to the main path below, from half way along the path towards Dore Head. From there its a tough climb up to Red Pike, but once you are there the hardest part is over. The route from Red Pike to Scoat Fell is lovely, and the narrow path to Steeple was not as hard as I expected. It made for a lovely lunch spot out of a strengthening wind. The path to Haycock was easy to follow also, however it was here that I decided that I’d bagged enough and Caw Fell would have to wait for a visit (probably from the Ennerdale side). What followed was one of the best descents I’ve had in all my Lakeland walks, the Nether Beck path down to Bowderdale was fantastic, out of the wind, the weather was warm and the beck followed my every steps, some lovely waterfalls and plunge pools near the bottom end would have been brilliant in the summer, but this time a feet soak instead finished the day off nicely. 5 Wainwrights pushes me up to 181 after this walk, starting to get closer to the end now.
Start – Overbeck car park
Route – Bell Rib – Yewbarrow – Dore Head – Red Pike – Scoat Fell – Steeple – Haycock – Nether Beck – Bowderdale – Overbeck car park
Distance – 10 miles Start time – 9am Time taken – 7hrs Highest Point – Scoat Fell 841metres
Weather – Sunny and breezy, very hazy in the distance views