Height: 1494 feet above sea level
Volume: Book 6 (The Northwestern Fells)
Date climbed: 23rd July 2009 (walk 3)
Route of ascent and descent: Approached along ridge from Outerside. Descended to Braithwaite.
What Mr. Wainwright says (on pages 2 and 8 of his chapter): “Barrow occupies an enviable position overlooking a scene as fair as any in the kingdom…. This is a splendid [summit] panorama, too good really for the small effort involved in earning it. There is a remarkable contrast between the smiling Vale of Keswick, where Derwentwater is excellently displayed, and the sombre ring of fells crowded nearby in the west.”
What I say: It would be a relatively small effort to climb to Barrow’s summit from Braithwaite, but I had just walked 8 miles or so to reach it and while it was not a highly strenuous walk (the Skiddaw walk done three days previously had been harder), it was still a considerable effort. Which made this excellent summit view all the more worth it. Both Derwentwater and Bassenthwaite Lake were extremely well seen, as well as Blencathra and, nearer, Grisedale Pike.
While I’m here, it did occur to me today that the selection of just what should and should not be in the list of 214 is pretty arbitrary. Some fells are clearly not divided from a parent fell but have a separate identity due to some distinctive feature (like Pavey Ark, which is really just a crag on the otherwise nondescript Thunacar Knott) or because they have the appearance of being separate when seen from the valley (like High Hartsop Dodd, which is just an excresence of Little Hart Crag). Those are fair enough I suppose. But there are some subsidiary heights which have all the qualifications of being a separate fell but just don’t get a chapter to themselves: AW doesn’t refer to them in CAPITAL LETTERS in summit views and maps and they just don’t make the count. I thought all that was true of Stile End, lying between Outerside and Barrow, which sure seemed like a separate hill to me – to the extent that I climbed to the top sure I was on Barrow itself, and then saw the view pictured above, and having to negotiate a clear change in direction of the ridge in order to get to the real target.
So my apologies to Stile End – I think you should be on the list, my friend, but Alf did not – so you’re not. But I guess people visiting there can do so in the knowledge they won’t be bothered by so many peak-baggers.