Buttermere sojourn

This was my third summer stay in Buttermere, once again at the Bridge Hotel, and another great sojourn it turned out to be!

Day 1:  South-eastern Buttermere crags.  Since I only arrived in the area around midday, for my first walk I decided to cut my losses somewhat (i.e., cheat!) by driving up to Newlands Hause and walking up from there to High Snockrigg summit, and thence, by skirting the extremities of Butteremere Moss, along the crag tops towards the south-east of Buttermere lake - basically, a traverse of the lower flanks of Robinson.  Then back down by the same route.  Some fine scenes would have been even better had the weather been less hazy. [Distance:  3.6 miles / 5.8 km.  Ascent:  1652 ft. / 503 m.  Highest point (High Snockrigg):  1852 ft. / 564 m.]

Day 2:  Grasmoor and Whiteless Pike.  Grasmoor from Crummock Water was an ambition I had long nurtured.  I settled on the Grasmoor Edge route (the mountain's north-west face), having been encouraged, despite its formidable appearance, by Mark Richards' ebullient description of its attractions.  Although quite steep and unremitting, the main part of the ascent - to Grasmoor End - is never really technical and always 'interesting'.  Even more interesting would have been better weather, for, as can be seen below, this part of the day was unfortunately rather gloomy and overcast.  However, once the summit was broached, the situation improved somewhat, especially during my inspection of the very fine Dove Crags area.  The route than led gently along to near Crag Hill (Eel Crag) and from there down across the delightful 'arĂȘte' of Whiteless Edge (Saddle Gate), up to Whiteless Pike summit, and then, finally, back down, on an ever-greener path of soft turf, to Buttermere village.  [Distance:  4.5miles / 7.2 km.  Ascent:  2950 ft. / 899 m.  Highest point (Grasmoor):  2795 ft. / 852 m.]

Day 3: Lanthwaite Wood to Buttermere village via Crummock Water north and west shores.  On the basis of a promise of a level walk involving not just one, but two pubs, I was joined for this part of my stay by my fellow Herdwickian wanderer, Jim Mercer!  We set out from Lanthwaite Common (also the start of the previous day's 'heroics' on Grasmoor), went through the adjacent woods, meandered along the banks of the Cocker to the north shore of Crummock Water, and thence through the fields to the nearby Kirkstile Inn.  From here we made leisurely (but steady!) progress along the whole of the western shore of Crummock Water, in the 'shadow' of Mellbreak, finally reaching and traversing the Buttermere isthmus to return to base (the Bridge Hotel), where  a welcome 'cuppa' was duly 'murdered'.  This was followed by 'a short ride in a fast machine', i.e., Jim's racing red Mini, back to Lanthwaite Common, and a parting of ways.  Another great day out, especially because of the 'lonely sea and the sky' effect which the Crummock Water shoreline always seems to me to so powerfully convey (even when such good human companionship is also enjoyed at the same time!).  [Distance:  6.6miles / 10.5 km.  Ascent:  415 ft. / 126 m.  Highest point:  538 ft. / 164 m.]

Day 4:  Scafell Pike.  Having had sufficient 'R & R' on Day 3, I decided it was a case of 'now or never' if I were to make an attempt on Scafell Pike, an ambition I had had in mind ever since I started to recover from heart bypass surgery in December last year.  I duly drove over Honister Pass to Seathwaite Farm to begin the ascent, going up initially from there to Styhead Pass and then further up on the long and arduous but exhilarating Corridor Route to the summit.  Descent was eastwards over the various 'sub-summits' of the Scafell massif until near Esk Hause, where a northerly turn took me back down to Seathwaite once again, via the long but very well-paved path beside Grains Gill   Although the weather was once again less than ideal for doing justice to the many splendid views that are possible throughout this walk, the main object of the exercise was duly achieved, of course, thereby bringing me no little personal satisfaction!  [Distance:  8.1miles / 13.1 km.  Ascent:  3201 ft. / 975 m.  Highest point (Scafell Pike):  3210 ft. / 977 m.]

Day 5:  Lord's Seat.  After leaving the hotel in the morning to wend my way homewards, I first drove to Whinlatter Forest Park (near Keswick) to scout out the possibilities for walks up the myriad of forest trails it contains, with the aim of eventually reaching Lord's Sea via Seat How.  This I duly did, and found the paths to be very well-made and the gradients always easy, but the weather, as the (lack of) photos below shows, had by now become too hazy to see anything much at all.  However, the possibilities in clearer weather look excellent, especially if one were to include a side-trip to nearby Barf (yes, I know!) as well, so definitely one to keep in mind for future reference.  [Distance:  4.8miles / 7.7 km.  Ascent:  1425 ft. / 434 m.  Highest point (Lord's Seat):  1811 ft. / 552 m.]

All in all, thus, despite the haziness of the weather, a wonderful series of walks in one of the most spectacular parts of Lakeland!

Photos per row