Wasdale Pike summit

The summit of Wasdale Pike

Summits: There are four summits in the chapter:  Wasdale Pike (1852’), Great Yarlside (1986’), Little Yarlside (1691’) and Whatshaw Common (1593’). The chapter appears on pages 248-253 of volume 8 in detail. There is also a kind of introduction to it on page Grey Crag 6 of volume 2; the latter three summits, at least, are depicted on one of the lines of ascent to Grey Crag.

Date bagged: First visit: 11th March 2014 (walk 80). Second visit: 19th September 2019 (walk 169).

Bagged as number: First round: 242-245 of the 330; summits visited in the order given above. [ << Caermote Hill (240-241)  (246-247) Howes >> ]

Wall heading up to Little Yalrside

The wall heading up from Wasdale Mouth to Little Yarlside.

Second visit: The four fells were visited on the same walk, but not successively. This will get a bit complicated therefore.

Whatshaw Common: 214 of 330. [ << Grisedale Pike (213)  (215-7) Crookdale Horseshoe >>]

Little Yarlside, then Great Yarlside: 218 and 219. [ << Crookdale Horseshoe (215-7)  (220) Great Saddle Crag  (Wet Sleddale Horseshoe) >>]

And Wasdale Pike: 221 [ << Great Saddle Crag (220)  (222) Sleddale Pike (Wet Sleddale Horseshoe) >> ]

Got all that? Good…

Route of ascent and descentFirst visit: Came up to Wasdale Pike from Wet Sleddale, a route described in the Wet Sleddale Horseshoe chapter (page 247). This is a pretty filthy climb however, wet and sludgy. Followed the ridge round to Great Yarlside, then down to the A6, basically following Wainwright’s route in reverse, before going down to the Shap Wells hotel.

Little Yarlside

Little Yarlside worries about its lack of prominence

Second visit: Started at the Shap Summit on the A6, at 1400′ above sea leval. After the various complexities of walk 169 I then descended into Wet Sleddale and finished the walk in Shap.

What Mr Wainwright says (from page 249 of volume 8): “Wasdale and Wasdale Head are magical names to all Lakeland fellwalkers — not many of whom, however, know that they are repeated within the National Park on the eastern fringe of the region. The names are the same, the scenery different. In the Wasdale of Shap Fells are no high mountains, but only rolling hills of gentle gradient; no cliffs of naked rock except for a granite quarry, not a scree-run in sight, no challenging tracks and no excitement. Here is featureless desolation, and solitude, and silence…. Easy walking country, but lonely.”

Whatshaw Common

Whatshaw Common, seen from the Crookdale fells (picture taken on walk 102).

What I say: This is definitely an area to visit only on fine, dry days. My visit to the Wasdale Horseshoe was notable for its exceptionally good weather, a truly glorious spring day. The second, in September, was pretty good as well. The Shap Fells are all very lonely and remote, but they do have their own kind of quiet beauty; you won’t see anything of the rest of the Lake District but Great Yarlside has a reasonable vista of the Howgills and distant Pennines. However, none of the four summits in this chapter are particularly prominent. There is some grotty ground hereabouts but if just doing these four summits and no others, each can be reached on reasonable paths (if you start at the road summit). .

At 1986’ Great Yarlside is the second highest of all the Outlying Fells, only Walna Scar being higher. Whatshaw Common, while offering nothing in particular on the ground, may be the easternmost Wainwright: it seems to be a tie with High House Bank in the Crookdale Horseshoe chapter. From the Shap summit the total feet of ascent of Whatshaw Common is only 196 feet, making this, in those terms, the second-easiest Wainwright of all; only Humphrey Head has less climbing from a possible starting point.

[ << Wansfell     Watch Hill >> ]

One Response to “The Wasdale Horseshoe”

  1. […] about it on the walk 80 and Wasdale Horseshoe pages, and enjoy the sunshine. If things go well and the weather pattern holds I will be doing […]

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