Hills: Carrock Fell and High Pike
Date: Saturday 2nd February 2019
Company: Just myself
Distance: 10.1km, Ascent: 540m
Time: 4Hrs

After pondering over the map for an hour yesterday evening in an attempt to find some unclimbed Sub2000ft Marilyns in Dumfries and Galloway, I concluded that I should head to the Lakes instead . I then checked the map for a previously unclimbed Trail100 hill, a list created by Trail Magazine alleged to be the best 100 hills in the UK (I don't agree with all on the list), and opted for an ascent of High Pike along with its neighbour Carrock Fell. On waking this morning I drove to Stone Ends to undertake a circuit of these fells.

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

From the roadside, the ascent via Rake Trod and Further Gill looked quite steep. As this path was no place for a slip I got my axe out and put on crampons from the outset and set off towards the base of Rake Trod.

Rake Trod from roadside:

The ascent via Rake Trod was straight-forward enough as the path is good. I was however glad that I had put on my crampons and had taken my axe which I used to provide some support during the ascent.

Commencing ascent of Rake Trod:

It didn't take long to progress up the hill thanks to the steep rake. Beyond the rake the gill was even steeper but again without difficulty. As the snow was mostly soft it is debatable whether I needed the crampons but it is easier to put them on when the terrain is easy rather than half way up a steep slope.

Looking back along Rake Trod:

Steep ascent up Further Gill:

On reaching the top of the gill I stopped to catch my breath then took off my crampons and put away my axe.

At the top of Further Gill:

The weather was not as good as forecast; I was hoping it would improve as the day progressed.

View East from top of Further Gill:

On the way to the summit I passed what looked like a shieling. I guess it wouldn't be called a shieling in the Lakes as hills are fells, lochans are tarns, gullies are gills, etc.


There was no sign of a path leading towards the summit but there was a number of footsteps in the snow from the day previous which I followed to the top. The steps saved me from having to break trail.

Looking towards Carrock Fell's West Top:

Summit of Carrock Fell from Carrock Fell's West Top:

On reaching the summit I was treated to no views whatsoever. It was bitterly cold so I stopped briefly to put on an extra layer.

Summit cairn and shelter:

No views from the summit:

After taking some pics I progressed towards High Pike, again following the footsteps in the snow.

Looking back to Carrock Fell during walk to High Pike:

On reaching the top of Miton Hill, which is about half-way between Carrock Fell and High Pike, I could see that the weather was starting to improve .

High Pike from Miton Hill:

Improving weather:

Despite the snow, I made the walk between Carrock Fell and High Pike in reasonable time.

Looking back to Carrock Fell:

High Pike:

By the time I reached the final pull up High Pike, the sky overhead was blue .

Looking back to Carrock Fell:

Final ascent of High Pike:

Thanks to whoever decided to locate a seat at the summit. It was great to sit down and soak in the views.

Approaching the summit of High Pike:

Looking west, the views towards Helvellyn were awesome.

Great views from the summit of High Pike:

Standing atop the summit cairn:

While taking a panoramic shot from atop the summit cairn, a fell runner ran past.

Panorama from the summit cairn:

After taking some pics from atop the cairn I visited the toposcope to see what landmarks I could see. In Scotland I know most of the hills by sight but I can't say the same for the Lake District.

Summit toposcope:

View from summit of High Pike:

View from summit of High Pike:

From the summit I made my way down the wide ridge towards Low Pike then West Fell. During the descent I passed a bowl-shaped section of ground with markers either side I guess to warn people of its presence. If it filled with drifting snow, the snow would be fairly deep.

Bowl passed in descent:

I passed numerous people in descent. Even in winter the Lakes is busy.

Looking back to High Pike:

It was nice to see Carrock Fell free of cloud as I made my way back.

Carrock Fell:

On reaching the road I walked along it for about a mile back to the starting point. Within minutes of entering the van it was kettle-on to warm up.

Post-walk drink:

While sitting in the van I noticed around a dozen fell ponies just outside. I went out with some carrots which they seemed to enjoy.

One of around a dozen fell ponies just walking along the road:

What a great half-day out .