High Pike — and local fauna — from the east ridge of Bowscale Fell.

Height: 2157 feet above sea level.

Volume: Book 5 (The Northern Fells)

Date climbed: First round: 25th July 2012 (walk 59). Second round: 8th April 2015 (walk 94).

Bagged as numberFirst round: 184 of 330. [ << Carrock Fell (183)  (185) Knott >> ]

Second round: 15 of 330. [<< Carrock Fell (14)  (16) Dow Crag >> ]

High Pike summit
The trig point on the top of High Pike

Route of ascent and descentFirst visit:  Approached along the ridge from Carrock Fell and left along the ridge to Knott.

Second visit: Same approach, but this time descended to Fell Side — one of the easiest descents I’ve ever had of any fell.

What Mr Wainwright says (from page 2 of his chapter): “All natives of Caldbeck and district have a deep-rooted respect for High Pike: it is a natural background to their lives, its name is a household word. This, not because the fell dominates the neighbourhood by a commanding presence – it is too flat and sprawling to catch the eye – but simply because it happens to be there, just over the treetops, and has always been there, playing a part in the development of the community. In bygone days its rich mines provided a livelihood… producing such a prolific variety of minerals that it used to be said, with much truth, ‘Caldbeck Fells are worth all England else’.”

High Pike summit
High Pike summit, with Oliver the fellwalking dog (see also the pic on the walk 94 page) and his human companion using the seat.

What I say: On its first visit High Pike was all primed to suffer from  ‘middle fell syndrome’, being approached and left by ridges – in this case the same ridge – and thus giving me no opportunity to appreciate it from the bottom upwards, either on ascent or descent. Usually this results in a fell passing me by, particularly when they are – as High Pike clearly is – a big grassy mound, without any distinguishing physical features.

Criffell, from High Pike
Criffell, the southernmost Scottish mountain, from High Pike. Best shot I could get that encapsulated High Pike’s magnificent view.

But High Pike has a real ace up its sleeve – a stunning view, not of Lakeland but in the opposite direction. Right round from the Irish Sea (with the Isle of Man just about visible), the whole Solway Firth can be seen, with Criffell, the southernmost Scottish mountain, and then a long run of the Pennines, including Cross Fell and Great Dun Fell. And on the route I took, approaching the summit from behind (the ridge from Carrock Fell), the sight was concealed until literally the last seconds of the approach, giving it great impact.  Actually I thought the view one of the best I have seen in all this project, and definitely the best one of all those that look out from the Lake District instead of into it. Whiteside’s was good, but this was better. A real corker.

On the second visit it was too hazy to get the view, unfortunately, but I still enjoyed the summit, and the descent was really very easy.

High Pike
High Pike from Brae Fell.

Note: There is another High Pike, near Ambleside, which a long, long time ago (it seems) I climbed on the unnecessarily eventful walk 5, as fell 18 of this project. Coincidentally, it is almost exactly the same height as this one (at 2155 feet).

[ << High Pike (Ambleside)       High Raise (Central) >> ]

One Response to “High Pike (Caldbeck)”

  1. […] of the District. I bagged three Northern Fells for a second time (Souther Fell, Carrock Fell and High Pike) and then — the real point of the hike — nabbed the hard-to-reach Faulds Brow, the […]

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