Distance 23.5 km
Route 33 • A Buttermere Marathon
Distance: 16 miles Total ascent: 4400 feet Time: 8 to 10 hours
Great Borne (2019ft) High Crag (244ft)
Starling Dodd (2077ft) Hay Stacks (1959ft)
Red Pike (2478ft) Fleetwith Pike (2126ft) High Stile (2644ft)
Start from the pay-on-entry car park at Buttermere (GR 174170). Early risers may be rewarded with free places on the verge of the Newlands Hause road. Map: NW
1. Walk down the lane to Scale Bridge (Map 1) and follow the bumpy track above Crummock Water to Scale Beck. Climb past Scale Force by the pitched path. When the Red Pike track branches off left, head to the right up a side stream and continue WSW to the col half mile north-west of Starling Dodd. Join the ridge path and follow it to Scaw Well - a sluggish spring - whence turn right to ascend Great Borne.
2. Retracing your steps to the col, traverse Starling Dodd and Little Dodd and climb steeply to the summit of Red Pike.
3. Follow the ridge (move to Map 2), detouring northwards to take in High Stile. Continue over High Crag and drop down Gamlin End by the stepped path. After crossing the subsidiary top of Seat walk straight over the head of the Scarth Gap Pass and climb to the summit of Hay Stacks.
4. Take the track past Innominate Tarn (a great pity it's not yet Wainwright's) and Blackbeck Tarn. After Green Crag drop to the stepping-stones over Warnscale Beck and climb straight ahead up pathless slopes. At the top join the pleasant track coming in from Honister and head left to Fleetwith Pike.
5. Descend the mountain's fine north-west ridge to Gatesgarth (the terminus for Day 2 of the alternative route). Walk along the road for a short distance before following paths beside the lake and over the
Day 1: After descending Gamlin End take the short cut down to the Scarth Gap pass and return beside Buttermere. (12 miles, 3300 feet, 6 to 8 hours) This is still a longish walk and if absolutely necessary the route may be shortened further by returning straight to Buttermere from Red Pike by the Bleaberry Tarn path (see the sketch-map). High Stile and High Crag will save for another day.
Day 2: Park at Gatesgarth (fee payable), ascend the Scarth Gap Pass and pick up the main route. (5 miles, 2300 feet, 3 to 4 hours)
NY 17305 17211
30U 481900 6044017
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