The weather, that is - I'm sure we had the only five consecutively rain-free days in the year - July 2000
Five dry days in Buttermere Walks with a Camera
Walks with a Camera © Geoff’s Pages 2011
Travelling from the south, we took the route through the heart of the Lakes, stopping in Grasmere around lunchtime. Sandwiches eaten, we booted up (so to speak..) and headed up the very attractive valley of Far Easedale.
On arriving at the head of the valley, we left the path to wend its way towards Borrowdale, and turned right onto the fascinating ridge which winds, via Calf Crag and Gibson Knott, to Helm Crag, with its unusual summit rocks. Time for a quick snap - then back down to Grasmere.
Day 1: Far Easedale and Helm Crag
The ridge - Helm Crag is the low summit in the centre Far Easedale - this is where it starts Helm Crag - "The Howitzer" Peaty pool with bog cotton, Calf Crag
Day 2: Whiteside, Hopegill Head and Grasmoor
After our first night in Buttermere, and our first visit to the excellent local hostelries, our first full-day outing. Our objective today was perhaps not the most typical from Buttermere. We walked "at ground level" via Buttermere Hause almost to the foot of Crummock Water, at Lanthwaite Green,
there taking a very steep path up the heather and bilberry- covered slopes of Whin Ben to Whiteside. A superb ridge walk then took us to Hopegill Head. After a quick inspection of Hobcarton Crags, we followed the high level route southwards via Coledale Hause towards Whiteless Pike and back to Buttermere. We took the detour, en route, to the rounded summit of Grasmoor, the day's highest altitude (2791ft), though not really its highlight, that honour being due to the ridge mentioned earlier.
Crummock Water, from the shore near the foot of Buttermere Hause The distant Scafell range seen from Whiteless Pike The path to Buttermere leads over Whiteless Pike; beyond lies Red Pike The ridge walk from Whiteside to Hopegill Head
Day 3: The Buttermere Round
Evening, Day 2 Well, we can't spend all evening in the pub, or we'd never manage the next day's walking - and the light really was superb.
Crummock Water lakeside Boats, Crummock Water
This classic route follows the ridge to the south-west of Buttermere, taking in the summits of Red Pike, High Stile (2644ft) and High Crag. We began with the scenic climb beside
Scale Force, followed by the slightly dull trudge across the heather to the ridge above Ling Comb. A leisurely stroll took us to the three summits, before taking the steep descent to the hause of Scarth Gap pass. Real men would then continue over Haystacks, but the day, now hot, was ticking by, and the ice-cream shop at Buttermere beckoned, so we descended to the lakeside path and returned to our starting point.
Buttermere village (almost) seen beyond the deep blue of Bleaberry Tarn Pillar, seen from Red Pike Tree, the path to Scale Force
Evening, Day 3 This time, the shores of Buttermere were the subject for an pleasant evening's stroll
Reedy shore, Buttermere Twisted tree by the shore, Buttermere
Day 4: Great Gable - up and around
We took the car to the top of Honister Pass, then walked up the old tramway incline to join Moses' Trod for a short way, before cutting off to the left to the summit of Green Gable. We continued via Windy gap to the stony slopes of Great Gable, arriving at the summit (2949ft) in nice time for lunch.
A visit to Westmorland Cairn is worthwhile - the view down into Wasdale is superb, augmented on this occasion by small patches of mist forming below us, then whisking past over our heads We now followed the Sty Head path almost to the pass, before turning sharp right and joining the south traverse path. Thus we skirted the crags and traversed the scree runs of Great Hell Gate and Little Hell Gate to return to the aforementioned Moses' Trod, which provides an excellent high level route back to the top of the incline.
Great Gable seen from the pools below Brandreth Looking up (Little?) Hell Gate towards the summit Westmorland Cairn and Wasdale
Day 5: Home again - via Nine Standards Rigg
Leaving Buttermere after breakfast, we headed east via Penrith and Kirkby Stephen, there taking the high road which heads towards Swaledale. At the summit of the road, a patchy path can be followed across limestone pavements, up onto the shoulder of high land which bears the "Nine Standards" - tall, ancient cairns which overlook the countryside to the north and
The Eden Valley Back to Walks with a Camera Contact Geoff
west. One story has it that they were built to deter marauding Scots, who would think they were an army of tall men..... ...and on our return to the car, there was still time for a late lunch at the quiet local in Nateby, before heading back towards the M6 and home. Five consecutive great days - and not a drop of rain - fantastic!
Nine Standards Rigg