Yewbarrow from Red Pike

Yewbarrow from Red Pike

Height: 2058 feet above sea level.

Volume: Book 7 (The Western Fells)

Date climbed: 2nd September 2011 (walk 43b)

Great Door, Yewbarrow.

The dramatic gash of Great Door.

Bagged as number: 136 of 330. [ << Red Pike (135)  (137) Holme Fell >> ]

Route of ascent and descent:  Approached up the south ridge from Overbeck Bridge, via Great Door. Descended via the safe route down from the summit depression, as described on page Yewbarrow 7. Worth finding – I suggest this is the only genuinely safe route off this fell. I then returned to Overbeck Bridge and walked all the way back to Gosforth.

Yewbarrow seen from the Screes

Yewbarrow as seen from the top of Wastwater Screes (pic taken on walk 73). This is why it’s hard to climb… OK?

What Mr Wainwright says(from page 2 of his chapter): “Many mountains have been described as having the shape of the inverted hull of a boat, but none of them more fittingly than Yewbarrow, which extends along the west side of Wasdale for two miles as a high and narrow ridge, the prow and the stern coming sharply down to valley level with many barnacled incrustations. These latter roughnesses make the long summit rather difficult of attainment from either end, while the steep sides also deter ascent, so that Yewbarrow is not often climbed although it is a centrepiece of magnificent fell country and commands thrilling views.”

Yewbarrow summit cairn.

Yewbarrow’s summit cairn. I know that in this kind of weather, this could be any random pile of stones, but just trust me.

What I say: Yewbarrow has a cute name and in Great Door it has one of the most dramatic spots I have reached in all my 431 miles of walking so far. That I will say for it.

I also had one of the toughest 90-minute periods of all those 431 miles in getting up to its summit and – just as difficult – off it again. As I have clearly described in the walk 43b page, this is not an ascent to be taken lightly. I also saw nothing of its views thanks to the foul conditions on the summit. Dramatic though it is, I will not be going up this again in a hurry, though I suppose, should I do so again, I would approach it with greater confidence. You’re still not getting me up or down Stirrup Crag, however.

One other distinction of note is that Yewbarrow is alphabetically last in the list of The Western Fells, and therefore, the last of all the 214 described by Wainwright, if you read each volume in numerical sequence (and ignore the later Outlying Fells).

View over to Yewbarrow

View over to Yewbarrow, from Middle Fell. Picture taken on walk 62.

[ << Woodland Fell      Yoke >> ]


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