YHA hopping in The Lake District - YHA Black Sail to YHA Wasdale Hall

The YHA is a great institution and I guess most fell walkers have stayed at a hostel at some time in their lives. They were created "to help all, especially young people of limited means, to a greater knowledge, love and care of the countryside, particularly by providing hostels or other simple accommodation for them on their travels". Here's a collection of routes starting or finishing at a YHA in The Lakes. Along the way are 6 Wainwrights, 3 tarns and 1 pub.

Technical sheet
No. 2950508
A Ennerdale and Kinniside walk posted on 03/02/20 by El Sud. Update : 03/01/22
Calculated time Calculated time: 8h50[?]
Distance Distance : 19.37km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 1168m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 1385m
Highest point Highest point : 882m
Lowest point Lowest point : 55m
Moderate Difficulty : Moderate
Back to starting point Back to starting point : No
Walking Walking
Area Area : Lake District
Location Location : Ennerdale and Kinniside
Starting point Starting point : N 54.500406° / W 3.244697°
Ending point Ending point : N 54.428783° / W 3.319801°
Download : -

Description

(D) Leaving Black Sail Hut behind you, cross over the River Liza by the footbridge and take the path going up to Black Sail Pass to the right of Sail Beck, The path leaves the beck, climbing to the right and then bearing left uphill again. When you reach a crossing with the path (on your left) coming down from Kirk Fell, turn right, heading for a pile of stones in front of Looking Stead. The path bears left and then take a right fork at a small cairn to clamber up to Proud Knott (the High Level Traverse). Continue on for another half a mile to reach Robinson`s Cairn (John Wilson Robinson). Then it's into Pillar Cove following the Shamrock Traverse to Pillar Rock. Then there's a steep climb up to the summit of Pillar (Wainwright at 892m above sea level).

(1) Getting up to Pillar is no easy task but the views from here are spectacular (on a clear day). If it's windy, there is a pretty good shelter on top and it's a good place to eat something and drink some water. Then, refreshed and invigorated, it's time to move on, heading south-west to Windy Gap and on to Little Scoat Fell and Scoat Fell (Wainwright at 841m above sea level). From the cairn (on top of the wall!!) head north for 10 mins to reach the cairn on top of Steeple (Wainwright at 819m above sea level). Go back to the wall at Scoat Fell, with Scoat Tarn directly ahead, in the valley between Red Pike and Little Lad Crag, and Low Tarn further down towards Over Beck. Head south-west to Great Scoat Fell and along the Ennerdale Fence wall to reach Haycock (Wainwright at 797m above sea level).

(2) From Haycock, the route turns left, directly south, down the side of Gowder Crag and over High Pikehow. Carry on to Pots of Ashness and a short climb up to the summit of Seatallan (Wainwright at 692m above sea level). Head south again, then bear right over Nether Wasdale Common over Cat Bields and pass the Buck Stone. From here, bear left to reach the cairn at Glade How. Then follow the path along the crags to Buckbarrow (Wainwright at 423m above sea level). Head west down to Gill Beck coming out onto the road opposite the track that leads to Gill Farm and Tosh Tarn. Past the farm, head on down to the campsite at Nether Wasdale (ignore the tracks that run off left and right).

(3) Nether Wasdale has a number of watering holes, including The Strands & Screes Inn and Brewery. Don't linger too long as the day is probably coming to a close and the light might be fading. At the road, turn left and head for Cinderdale Bridge which crosses the River Irt. Once over the bridge turn almost immediately left to follow a track to Easthwaite Farm. Past the farm, take a left turn through a gate and over the fields to Lund Bridge. Here you have a choice (depending on the light) to either go straight through Low Wood or take the circular path to the right that follows the river round to the left and out into the lake. Wast Water stretches out before you and there are a couple of benches along the path that will give you the opportunity to sit and wonder at the beauty of the scene before you. You can also slip down to the water's edge to capture that magic moment with your camera. Follow the path along the edge of the lake and before too long you'll see, through the trees, YHA Wasdale Hall.(A)

Waypoints :
D : km 0 - alt. 294m - YHA Black Sail
1 : km 4.38 - alt. 882m - Pillar
2 : km 7.95 - alt. 788m - Haycock
3 : km 15.91 - alt. 60m - Nether Wasdale
A : km 19.37 - alt. 84m - YHA Wasdale Hall

Useful Information

If the weather is bad, take the simpler route to Pillar from Black Sail Pass. A good compass is always a must in the mountains and a whistle and flashlight are also recommended. The same can be said about the short detour to Steeple (an easy ridge route in clear weather). The route is fairly simple after Pillar but if you choose the High Level Route to Pillar Rock you'll need strong boots and a clear head as there is some scrambling to be done.

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

Other walks in the area

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Organisation / Walking Club / Mountain guide
YHA Hopping in the Lake District - YHA Ennerdale to YHA Wasdale Hall
distance 20km Vertical gain +1206m Vertical drop -1276m Durée 9h10 Difficult Difficult
Starting point Starting point in Ennerdale and Kinniside - Cumbria

The YHA is a great institution and I guess most fell walkers have stayed at a hostel at some time in their lives. They were created "to help all, especially young people of limited means, to a greater knowledge, love and care of the countryside, particularly by providing hostels or other simple accommodation for them on their travels". Here's a collection of routes starting and finishing at a YHA in The Lakes. Along the way there are 6 Wainwrights, 3 tarns, 1 lake and a pub.

Walker
distance 17.37km Vertical gain +1349m Vertical drop -1347m Durée 8h50 Difficult Difficult
Starting point Starting point in Wasdale - Cumbria

This Lake District walk is strenuous including seven summits in what can be a tiring day. Good navigational skills are essential when visibility is poor. The rewards for the hard work are numerous and you will enjoy many wonderful lakeland panaoramas completing the walk.

For more walks, use our search engine.

The GPS track and description are the property of the author.