Walk 194: my second, and definitely last, ascent of Yewbarrow

October 7, 2021

WALK 194: Yewbarrow (2058 feet above sea level, number 283) and Red Pike (2707′, no. 284). 6.5 miles, 3,300 feet of ascent.

Some of the 48 fells that, before today, remained to be bagged on my second round have ended up there for no particular reason. Some are there because of difficulties of access, and that’s true of the fells bagged today; Wasdale Head is not easy to get to even if one has a car (which I did use today).

Yewbarrow, seen on the way in.

But Yewbarrow was also one that I had kept putting off simply because it’s such a tough little bugger. Relative to its height, in fact, I would nominate this the most difficult Wainwright of all. There is just no easy way on or off it: no ridge by which one can sneak onto the summit cairn from behind, no unexpected chink in the armour of its crags and precipices. Scrambling is unavoidable.

But, it had to be done at some point. Yesterday, October 6th, was a bright, sunny and pleasant day, all the more welcome after a couple of weeks of rain, and I took myself all the way round to Wasdale to haul myself up it, via Great Door, a second time. This is, undoubtedly, a dramatic climb and one which engenders a healthy sense of achievement.

Great Door.

It is also a climb that I would assign to the category of ‘absolute arses’ or maybe ‘complete bastards’ — choose your own epithet. Either way, I am very sure that I am never going up it again. And that is not even to mention the descent via Stirrup Crag: but that’s another story, one you can read in full on the walk page. After all that, adding Red Pike (Wasdale) to the day seemed like an extra, for all that this second summit is nearly 650 feet higher than its neighbour, but that was certainly worth doing as well. See the walk 194 page for the full story and the usual crop of photographs.

As of today then, I have bagged 284 of the 330 Wainwrights on my second round, and so have 46 to go. The plan is to make the next visit to Cumbria at some point during the school half-term holidays, when the buses are a little more amenable, and rebag Helvellyn (which will be the only one of all my walks on this Lakeland project to simultaneously feature on my County Tops blog). Fingers crossed that the weather is as good as it was today.

2 Responses to “Walk 194: my second, and definitely last, ascent of Yewbarrow”

  1. The views looked great but this one, along with Steeple and Whiteside, are the probable road blocks to me ever finishing the lot. Well that and COVID and being in London most of the time.

    • Drew Whitworth said

      I am glad I will never have to do Yewbarrow again, this is true. But can’t you do Whiteside from Hopegill Head, and reach that from Coledale Hause? should be fairly straightforward that way…

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