Hills: Red Pike, High Stile, High Stile (Grey Crag), High Crag
Date: Friday 26th July 2019
Company: Just myself
Distance: 14.7km, Ascent: 1055m
Time: 5Hrs 35Mins

Yesterday evening, I drove to the North Lake District and early this morning drove on to Buttermere for an ascent of Haystacks. On arriving in Buttermere, I changed my plan and opted instead for a slightly longer day ascending Red Pike, High Stile and High Crag.

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

I parked in a small parking area next to St. James, Buttermere. Parking here is free of charge whereas in Buttermere village it costs £7 to park up sufficiently long to ascend these hills.

From the church, I descended to the village and then walked past the Fish Inn pub. I think what I like most about the Lake District is the great number of excellent pubs selling nice real ales at the start/end of the walks.

St. James, Buttermere:

The Fish Inn, Buttermere:

To get to Buttermere I had to take a slightly longer route to get over Buttermere Dubs as the bridge about 0.5km to the east is no longer there. I reached Buttermere at around 7am. It was already very warm but thankfully not as warm as the day previous which broke the record for the hottest day in the UK ever.


To get to Red Pike, the first hill of the day, I followed an amazing well-constructed path very steeply up through Burtness Wood. Walkers in the Lakes are spoilt with so many great paths.

Well-constructed path up through Burtness Wood:

On gaining height, the views back to Buttermere were increasingly good. It was however fairly cloudy so the views were not as good as expected.


The gruelling steep ascent eased off as Red Pike came into view behind its smaller neighbour, Dodd.

Red Pike and Dodd across Sourmilk Gill:

On reaching Bleaberry Tarn, I stopped for a short break to catch my breath and to have a drink. I gulped down half a litre. A short distance ahead I could see another walker who must have started walking even earlier than myself.

Red Pike from Bleaberry Tarn:

On reaching Buttermere earlier in the day, I thought this walk was my first in the area. However, during the ascent I recognised neighbouring MellBreak, a steep fell that I had ascended a number of years previous.

Crummock Water:

The final ascent of Red Pike is very eroded. Hopefully in due course they will extend the excellent pathwork as far as the summit.

Final ascent of Red Pike:

On reaching the summit of Red Pike, I stopped to take a few photos before continuing on. Soon thereafter I caught-up with the other walker and spoke briefly. We would meet again on High Stile.

At the summit of Red Pike:

The walk out to High Stile was straight-forward with some excellent views looking down to Bleaberry Tarn and Buttermere along the way.

Heading from Red Pike towards High Stile:

Looking down to Bleaberry Tarn and across to Grasmoor:

On reaching the High Stile Wainwright summit, which is one metre lower than the actual Marilyn/HuMP/Hewitt summit, I again stopped for a short break.

At the summit of High Stile (806m):

It is pretty-much a flat walk between the 806m and 807m summits.

High Stile (Grey Crag) summit from High Stile summit:

At the summit of High Stile (Grey Crag) (807m):

From the 807m summit, I doubled back a short distance to get onto the ridge leading out to the next Wainwright, High Crag.

Looking down to the east end of Buttermere:

Looking back to High Stile (Grey Crag):

During the walk out to High Crag, I walked and chatted with the other walker.

At the summit of High Crag:

The descent from High Crag was fairly steep but again was via well-constructed path. During the descent a couple of jets flew past. I was carrying my DSLR with large lens in the rucksack, as I wasn't keen on leaving it in the van, but by the time I got it out of the rucksack, out of its case, switched on and changed the settings away from previous-use low-light settings, the jets were probably in Scotland.

Looking back at descent from High Crag:

I decided not to ascend Haystacks, which was now only a short distance away, leaving it for another day for an ascent along with Fleetwith Pike. Fleetwith Pike looks a nice hill.

Fleetwith Pike:

On reaching Buttermere, I walked along its bank to get back to the starting point. I passed countless walkers during the return. It annoyed me somewhat that so many were rude/ignorant not saying "Hello" back in return on being greeted.

Walking along the bank of Buttermere:

On getting back to the van, I drove to Newlands Hause where I spent the afternoon lazing about looking at the waterfall. It was however far too busy with tourist bus after tourist bus. I then went to Keswick for tea but abandoned that plan due to lack of parking and a massive queue outside the chip shop. I then decided to abandon the Lakes heading to the Yorkshire Dales instead. I normally visit the Lakes in November/December when the hills are much quieter. I don't think I will be returning to the Lakes in summer.