Barrow from the mine road

Barrow from the Stoneycroft Gill mine road. Blencathra behind.

Height: 1494 feet above sea level

Volume: Book 6 (The Northwestern Fells)

Date climbed: First visit: 23rd July 2009 (walk 3). Second visit: 7th April 2017 (walk 126).

Summit of Barrow

Walkers on the summit of Barrow. Causey Pike behind.

Bagged as number: First round: 12 out of 330. [ << Outerside (11)  (13) Castle Crag >> ]

Second round: 92 of 330. [ << Castle Crag (91)  (93) Outerside >> ]

Route of ascent and descent: First visit: Approached along ridge from Outerside. Descended to Braithwaite.

Second visit: Reversed this.

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.”

View from the summit of Barrow

View from the summit of Barrow, towards Braithwaite and Bassenthwaite Lake

What I say: I have done Barrow at both ends of a walk now, and whether one makes the relatively light effort to climb to the summit from Braithwaite, or walks much further to reach it, nevertheless the view from the summit is worth seeing. Both Derwentwater and Bassenthwaite Lake are  well seen, as well as Skiddaw, Blencathra and, nearer, Grisedale Pike.

On the ridge from Barrow to Outerside lies Stile End, and this is an opportunity to mention that the selection of just what should and should not be in the list of 214/330 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.

View on descent of Sail

Descending Sail. Barrow – Outerside ridge below, showing why Stile End has a case for being a separate fell.

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. Stile End sure seems like a separate hill to me – to the extent that the first time I reached it I climbed to the top sure I was on Barrow itself, only to see that hill clearly ahead. The picture here, looking down on the ridge from Sail, shows Stile End clearly separate and between the two. Yet there is in fact no separating stream between it and Outerside, whereas there is a clear one (Barrow Gill) between it and Barrow; so technically, Wainwright is correct, and Stile End is in fact just a subsidiary of Outerside.

[ << Barf    Base Brown >> ]


One Response to “Barrow”

  1. […] and a half hours of effort, setting out from and returning to Braithwaite, and five summits bagged: Barrow, Outerside, Sail, Scar Crags and Causey […]

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