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Coranavirus diary





E-mail - karl@karlswalks.co.uk


Barrow to Catbells

30-31st March 2024

Route - 30th - Little Town - Stonycroft Gill - Barrow - Outerside - High Moss - Causey Pike - Scar Crags - Sail Col - Rigg Beck - Ard Crags - Knott Rigg - Newlands Hause - High Snockrigg - Goat Crag ( About 9.5 miles 3600ft ascent )

Route - 31st - Goat Crag - Buttermere Moss - Robinson - Littledale Edge - Hindscarth - Hindscarth Edge - Dale Head - Dalehead Tarn - High Spy - Maiden Moor - Hause Gate - Catbells - Hause Gate - Little Town ( About 8 miles 2600ft ascent )


Easter with a not too bad forecast would obviously not be the ideal time for a walk if you were seeking solitude on the fells but as I haven't been camping for a while and cabin fever was creeping in ( and I'm so busy at work a weekday visit is impossible ) I made an early start to make sure I could get parked up at the little car park at Chapel Bridge just outside of Little Town.


The weather forecast had said there might be a light shower at first and it was drizzling a little as I walked up the lane from Chapel Bridge and then on to the path which contours above the Newlands Pass road. The top of Skiddaw is covered for now but the sky looks brighter to the north.

The path follows the course of Stoneycroft Gill into the valley. Causey Pike is above to the left and Barrow my first fell for today is above to the right.

After crossing the stream and joining the mine track for a few hundred yards I take a thin path through the heather to Barrow Door.

On to Barrow now and the weather still looks a bit mixed over to the west where I'm headed. Outerside where I'm going next is the pointed heather clad fell ahead.


Binsey beyond Bassenthwaite lake is basking in the sun.


The view back over Stile End to Barrow.


By the time I've come down from Outerside, crossed High Moss and started on the slanting path to Causey Pike the weather has picked up and Skiddaw is virtually clear.

On reaching the ridge line between Causey Pike and Scar Crags the view to the south opens up. Here Robinson is getting a bit of sunshine as is High Snockrigg the little hill to the right which is where I'm hoping to camp..

Nice and bright now over Keswick, Skiddaw and Blencathra seen from Causey Pike.

And even nicer looking along to Scar Crags with Sail and Crag Fell beyond. Coledale Hause is to the right with Hopegill Head above.

The view back from Scar Crags.

After dropping down to Sail Col I follow the path down towards the valley of Rigg Beck.

And from the valley it's straight back up the side of Ard Crags.

And from Ard Crags it's slightly more of a level walk ( although there are a couple ups and downs ) to Knott Rigg. Now the fells above Buttermere are revealed.

Looking across to Adacomb Hole and Wandope from near Knott Rigg.

Moss Force waterfall seen across Newlands Hause.

After crossing a very busy Newlands Hause it's up again to Buttermere Moss. This is looking back to Knott Rigg and the Newlands Valley.

High Snockrigg is a lovely view point for Buttermere and Crummock Water. Here I'm looking down to Rannerdale Knotts with Melbreak aboveCrummock Water

The very wet Buttermere Moss meant there was plenty of frogspawn about.

I couldn't find anywhere I liked on the top of High Snockrigg so I had a walk along the Buttermere side of the hill until I found this lovely little outcrop just by Goat Crag. Fleetwith Pike, Haystacks and the high fells behind the tent.

And from the door a great view of Buttermere village, Crummock Water and the fells above.

As the afternoon drew on the light became really nice. Green and Great Gable and Kirkfell are the fells in the middle ground with Scafell Pike in the distance.

After tea I had a wander back up to the moss and saw that the air ( which was quite cool ) was very clear with Blencathra looking very sharp.

Knott Rigg and beyond that the full ridge from Causey Pike on the right to Crag Fell on the left.

I remember a few years ago I had a good sunset when camped in this area and it looks like I might be lucky again.


Zooming in on a sunlit Great Gable.


The end of a lovely day.

The following morning the High Stile ridge is lit from the opposite direction.

After breakfast it's onwards and upwards to Robinson.

And from Robinson it's down again.

And then up again to Hindscarth.

A view I can never pass without taking a photo, Buttermere and the High Stile Ridge from Hindscarth Edge.

And another famous viewpoint, Dale Head cairn with Newlands Valley below and the Maiden Moor ridge to the right.

Dropping steeply to Dale Head Tarn..

Grisedale Pike in the distance seen from the top of Newlands Beck.

Looking back from another shapely cairn this time on High Spy. If you squint you can just make out it's twin on Dale Head.

There's not a lot to the summit of Maiden Moor but it does have great views over to Hindscarth and Robinson in this case.

Only Catbells to climb now.

Looking into lower Borrowdale and Grange Fell from Huase Gate.

The wonderful Newlands valley from just off the summit of Catbells. Catbells on a fine Easter Sunday is not the place to be if you want a lonely wander but it was great to see and hear all the happy families enjoying the views.

I'm walking back down to Hause Gate now and can see further into Borrowdale past the wooded Castle Crag on the right and all the way to the distinctive dome of Pike O' Stickle in Langdale.

Walking down through the old mines back to Little Town and my car.


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