Buttermere ridge

September 6, 2010 at 10:27 pm | Posted in Walking | Leave a comment

A birthday walk above Buttermere. The night before the weather forecaster had explicitly warned that this was a day to avoid the mountains, but though the wind was strong it was  still clear and it turned out to be a fine day for a walk.

I started from Buttermere with a walk around the lake then took the path up Scarth Gap. I cut off to follow the Nuttall route where a wall cuts across the path. Then according to the route I followed the remains of another wall parallel with the ridge but I missed ‘the easily identified path’ through the scree and ended up doing a fairly tricky and unnecessary scramble over scree and heather before meeting the path near the ridge. From there it was a straightforward walk up to the summit of High Crag with excellent views across the lake and across to Great Gable. The sky was clear but the wind was very strong and I made sure to keep well away from the cliff edges.

From High Crag the path is followed easily to the next peak, High Stile. After that came the most exposed section to the wind and at the summit of Red Pike I just about kept the camera still long enough for a couple of photos. Then in my haste to get away from the wind I took the wrong path of the summit, This was a short but steep and crumbling path to the ridge path below and I didn’t stop to check I was going the right way until I was already off the summit. I rechecked the map but really no choice but to retrace my steps to the summit of Red Pike. It was only a few hundred metres but there is something particularly dispiriting about having to do an unnecessary climb back uphill because of a silly mistake. Once that was done, the right route was clear – a crumbling and steep scree path that I slid down as much as I walked. When it levelled out, it was an easy walk to the summit of Dodd, a quick photograph in the strong wind, and then on down to Bleaberry Tarn, lying beneath the ridge. After that it was steep set of rock steps down to the shore of the Buttermere and a welcome pint in The Fish Inn.

So despite the forecast, it turned out to be a good walk with excellent views and a few lessons learnt about the consequences of making a hasty choice of the wrong path.


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