Wasdale Head - Easter 2018
28 March - 04 April

Parallel Activities March  29 - 31 April  01 - 03 Summing Up Please Read Me

Parallel Activities

It is a positive feature of CLOG away breaks that there are generally a number of parallel activities. This accords with the tried and tested CLOG philosophy of "multi-activity away breaks". So, on our away break in Wasdale, there were quite a number of walks and "climbs" including, and in addition to, those which I have already described on the previous pages. Apart from previous experience in walking in the Lake District, weather conditions can also influence our choice of walks.

Scafell Pike was a must do for some of us who were new to this part of the Lakes.

Of course, in CLOG, the emphasis is on the enjoyment of the Great Outdoors, not on competition, nor on the feeling of being somehow virtuous in going out in downpours (much as we need to be prepared for these to happen on a walk)!

On our away break, it is likely that there were yet more parallel activities, but these are the ones of which I am aware. The index numbers below, refer - of course - to the relevant March and April dates, and the links, to walks detailed in these pages.


In the run up to Easter we had a variety of Lakeland weather. We coped very well with the changing conditions. Thursday (29 March) gave us a mixture of sunshine and clouds. Friday (30 March) started misty but ended up with quite good visibility. Saturday (31 March) gave us sunny intervals but with lots and lots of wind, gusting to over 40 mph on open ground and even more on the summits. All good practice for those who espouse the "Great Outdoors"!

  1. Black Sail Pass and Kirk Fell. Four of our early birds went up the Black Sail Pass to Kirk Fell, returning, I believe, via Kirkfell and Beckhead Tarns. Participants probably did this walk in the knowledge that they had been up Scafell Pike before.

    Scafell Pike. The ascent was dominated by good views across Wast Water and towards the "right hand ascent via Mickledore". The advice at base and from other walkers was to take the left-hand ascent via Hollow Stones. On the summit there were - as expected - good views all round, as far as Scotland. Apparently today the Isle of Man was lost in the mist. It was snowy, with the snow covering a layer of ice. A challenge! The descent was characterized by views of the icy Mickledore route, the west-facing views across Wast Water and the stony re-crossing of the Lingmell Gill.

  2. Illgill Fell Circular. Gavin led this 14 to 18 mile walk as a warm up for those who had arrived the night before. The first part took the high ground, namely Illgill Head (604 to 609 m). Leaving the ridge at Irton Fell, Gavin's group then dropped down into Miterdale, and subsequently returned to Wasdale Head via Tongue Moor. The party got back before candlelight and certainly had good exercise!

    Sty Head In the morning, the sky looked overcast, so I thought I might head up the valley of the Lingmell Beck towards Sty Head. I could always retrace steps if the low cloud persisted. Before the ascent I visited Wasdale Head's historic St Olaf's Church. Sty Head Tarn and a side-on view of the Scafell Pike massif are features of Sty Head itself. At Sty Head there were possibilities to go on to other places, even including the Borrowdale in the Eastern Lakes.

  3. Ennerdale Considering the strong winds on higher ground, two car-loads of our group made for the neighbouring valley of Ennerdale. Here they walked along the northern shore of Ennerdale Water and into Ennerdale Forest.

    The "Tongue" via Black Sail Pass. Tony led a group up Black Sail Pass. The path dropped down to near the Black Sail Hut, after which there was a 300 m rise to Sty Head Tarn. From here, the circle was completed by returning to Wasdale Head along the valley of the Lingmell Beck.

    Burnmoor Tarn Easter Saturday, was extremely windy, as forecast. It was definitely a day for staying low. Three of us (Sue, Tom, Eric) decided to explore the way from Wasdale Head to Burnmoor Tarn and reached about 287 m. There was vast open moorland with swampy ground, but we had a good work-out!

Here are some of us on our walk on Easter Saturday (31st March) to Burnmoor Tarn.
The forecast was for high winds - and these we experienced, together with the rain-soaked ground underfoot! All part of life's experiences in the Lake District! Still, the scenery was impressive - all this and more on our doorstep.


At Easter itself we also had a variety of Lakeland weather. Sunday (01 April) gave us a mixture of clouds and some sunshine. Monday (02 April), in the perceived manner of bank holidays, was very wet for most of the day, the rain easing off towards the end of the afternoon. Tuesday (03 April) started off with rain coming and going and with mist below about 500 metres; we had sunshine from midday onwards - so a good second half to the day.

  1. Scafell Pike. For those who arrived on Thursday and wanted to do the "must-do" scaling of England's highest mountain, this was their chance, (albeit, the Easter Sunday day trippers were also out in force). The weather was good, although there was a good presence of snow-covered ice on the summit. Jane and Sue were in the party and returned to Upper Wasdale directly. Ted, Tom and Tony decided to descend via the Corridor Route. Again - good exercise and a feeling of achievement.

    Great Gable. At Wasdale Head we were lucky that we were in reach of some of the best-known Lakeland peaks. A select number of our group went up Great Gable, famed for its curved "bald head" top. Today it was snow covered, which added an extra challenge.

    Black Sail Pass. At the top of Black Sail Pass the visibility was still good despite the clouds coming in. There were views to south into Wasdale, to the north into the eastern end of Ennerdale, to the west towards Pillar, to the east towards Great Gable and Kirk Fell and into the valley of the Tongue.

  2. Nether Wasdale This was similar to my walk on Tuesday, but - unfortunately - decidedly wetter.

    At Base. Considering the pouring rain, this was a reflective day at the hotel. However, towards the end of the afternoon the rain had eased off sufficiently for some photographic opportunities (pictures of snow-capped mountains) and a visit to Ritson's Force.

  3. Kirk Fell The day started with rain and low-level mist (down to at least 500 m). None-the-less, four of us attempted a circumnavigation of Kirk Fell. Unfortunately, the low-level clouds, mist and rain made the party think of the safety implications and the party returned to Wasdale Head prematurely. The afternoon sun made its appearance too late for this endeavour. Still, there is always another time!

    Nether Wasdale. This was a low-level walk to Nether Wasdale, five miles to the west and beyond the end of Wast Water. It followed the northern shore of Wast Water and ended, conveniently at the "Strand" and the "Screes" Inns in Nether Wasdale. For a further bit of history, I passed Wasdale Hall and visited the diminutive church in Nether Wasdale. The weather become sunny at midday and so there were nice mountain views on the return to Wasdale Head.

Even low-level walks can inspire. This is the view on returning from Nether Wasdale to Wasdale Head. Some of us experienced this scene on Easter Monday, others on Tuesday when the afternoon sun had appeared and this picture was taken.

Summing Up

So, as you can see, there was plenty to do! Whatever the weather, there was never a dull moment. We all had a good time! That's how we like CLOG away breaks!