Fleetwith Pike & Haystacks

Of the ascent at the start of this walk - up the ‘prow’ of Fleetwith Pike - Wainwright says ‘A beautiful climb. Do it!’. This turned out to be excellent advice, as it was nowhere near as energy-sapping as it looks, the views were unbeatable, and I saw not another soul all the way to the top. From there to Honister Crag, to locate the start of the Honister Mine ‘via ferrata’, then down to and across Dubs Quarry to the summit of Haystacks, via Blackbeck and Innominate Tarns. Descent was by Scarth Gap Pass.
Although a relatively short and low-level walk, it is hard to find anywhere else in Lakeland that equals the views this outing provides, especially in such good weather. All the way up Fleetwith Pike the scene to the north-west back down Buttermere and beyond is sublime, and to the south-west the dramatic crags of Haystacks and Pillar increasingly show themselves to best advantage. Then comes the wonderful ‘peek-a-boo’ in and out glimpses on the path from Dubs Quarrry to Haystacks of the views from Wanscale head down to Buttermere. This is followed by Blackbeck and Innominate Tarns, with their panoramas beyond to Great Gable and Pillar, and culminates in the unrivalled beauty of the views from Haystacks summit towards Pillar, down Ennerdale, up to High Crag, across Warnscale and down along Buttermere and Crummock Water. No wonder Wainwright loved this fell so much that he chose to stay here permanently!
PS More on the delights of Haystacks in a wonderful article by Tony Greenbank here.
PPS The summit of Haystacks consists of a a great variety of individual ‘bits and pieces’, (though the phrase does not do justice to their attraction) surrounded on all sides by rocky drops, especially to the north. Wainwright therefore says ‘The only advice that can be given to a novice lost on Haystacks in mist is that he should kneel down and pray for safe deliverance.’!
(Highest point (Fleetwith Pike): 2126 ft/ 648 m. Distance: 4.65 miles/ 7.48 km. Ascent: 2342 ft./ 741m.)

Photos per row