Wasdale Head has got to be one of the most beautiful parts of the Lake District. But my god, it’s a bugger to get to from Darlington!!
The final stretch of road into it is quite remote, but I guess that’s what makes it so appealing to visitors. The remoteness I mean.
I tend to start a lot of my walks from the Buttermere/Keswick area, so driving beyond there feels a bit disheartening when so many mountains are either side of the road!! Tis worth the wait though.
The view as you enter Wastwater..
Today’s plan was to climb Kirk fell and Great Gable from Wasdale Head, as a circular walk.
The route ended up looking like this..
It would appear I do love the lakes!!
I’ve often stood on the summit of Great Gable looking down on Kirk fell. It’s never caught my attention to climb it though.
After reading a magazine article a few weeks ago about the view of Wastwater being better from there than GG I had to see for myself.
From Wasdale Head there is two routes up Kirk Fell that are used more than any others. The direct route up Highnose head, this has a 50° aspect ratio (very steep), or there is the Black sail pass route which I opted for.
This involves a bit of scrambling up Kirk Fell crags(which is nice).
I set off from the car park beside the Wasdale Head Inn. It was here that I realised my first mistake…I’d brought no money for my post walk pint!!!
Never mind, I had 2 litres of water in my rucksack……no I wasn’t convinced either!!!
The pub I didn’t get to visit..
I headed into Mosedale valley to get around the back of Kirk fell. It’s a big amphitheatre with mountains all around you. The views to the left of Yewbarrow and Red Pike, and ahead to Pillar were amazing.
Yewbarrow and Dore head….
After a long slog through the valley I began to gain height over Black sail pass, and up on to the NW face of Kirk fell.
I stopped for a break at the crossroads where the paths break off to Pillar or Kirk fell. The views over Ennerdale were fantastic, I had to climb a bit higher for some photos.
Once I’d caught my breath again it was back down on to the main route, and the climb up the crags.
Quite tricky in places but for me I’m pleased I chose this route over the direct route ☺
Kirk fell technically has two summits…North and South, the highest being 802 metres.
At the top is a stone shelter. I stopped here for a coffee. I got talking to a couple who were on their first walk in 4 years. They’d been keen walkers until their children were born. This had been their first chance to get out since then…..Kids eh? ☺
The views from the summit….
After a 30 minute break it was onwards and downwards, then upwards to Great Gable.
It’s quite disheartening when doing multiple summits that you have to descend to ascend again. Nowhere more so than here. GG is a hulk of a mountain to climb, from any side, but from here it looks impossible!!
It’s a steep climb up on to GG from here, but again the views make it worthwhile.
Especially over to Wastwater.
It was around 5pm when I reached the summit of Great Gable. I’d been going 6 hours at this point. There was only a couple of people up there when I reached it. To my delight they soon left, leaving the summit of this magnificent mountain all to myself ☺
The view from the summit..
Time to head down now.
The descent can quite often be the hardest part of the day. You’re tired, and in my case, the knees begin to hurt a bit 😕
Lake District gardeners..
After a quick route down I headed to the end of Wastwater to take some pics of the view voted Britain’s best in 2009.
You can see why..
After a quick coffee at around 7pm it was time to head on a 3 hour drive home….
A long day but definitely worth the travel.
Another amazing day in the Lake District.
Until the next time…..
Scotty out. 👍