High Gillerthwaite - Red Pike Ridge Traverse - High Gillerthwaite

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If you are staying at High Gillerthwaite Youth Hostel, this walk starts literally from your front door! As it is slightly lower than a traverse of Pillar and the Gables, there may still be the prospect of views when clouds mask the higher peaks.

A short walk along an easy track running past the hostel leads to a stile beside a cattle grid, from where a path leads up onto Red Pike. Once you reach the top, you have the satisfaction of knowing that most of the ascent now lies behind you. There are splendid views down into Crummock Water and Buttermere. As you turn clockwise, Green Gable, Great Gable and Pillar come into view.

The traverse of the ridge takes in High Stile, which is the high point of the walk, together with High Crag and Seat. At various points, Ennerdale Water can be seen, with the coastal plains beyond. The descent from High Crag down Gamlin End involves some scree, although there is a reasonable path in most places. Seat lies ahead of you, with Hay Stacks rising behind it. Hay Stacks has a special resonance to admirers of Wainwright.

After crossing Seat, there is a short descent to Scarth Gap, where a stone cairn marks the junction with the path up Scarth Gap Pass. It is not far to Black Sail Youth Hostel, although the walk can be extended if you have time. This is one of the most remote hostels in the Lake District and walkers should be aware that it is not permanently staffed. A small wind generator has been added in recent years.

The walk from Black Sail to High Gillerthwaite takes you through Ennerdale Forest, offering a contrast to the high fells. The path is good and it doesn't seem to take as long as you think to retrace your steps to the start.

England - North England - Cumbria - Lake District - North West


Great Views, Hills or Fells, Mountains

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