Above Ennerdale

An Ennerdale birthday hike

Friend Jon celebrated his 50th by hiring Ennerdale YHA for a sociable, outdoorsy weekend with mates from different times and places in his life. I was part of the Marsden contingent. Or rather, I was part of Marsden contingent One: Marsden Peak Bog Runners (I’m one of 2 exceptions who don’t run) / Friday night pub group. Marsden contingent Two being Jon’s mates in his ‘other’ running group, Marsden Racers. It was like Jets v Sharks in lycra, but with a weekend truce and lots of ale.

It was a great weekend, communal cooking, lots of beer, lots of chats and a big walk on Saturday.

I had previously walked on the south side ridge/s of Ennerdale up to Pillar and down to Black Sail Hostel for the night. So on Satyurday I joined the group that planned to leave the hostel and go up the north side of the valley and onto the Red PikeĀ  / High Stile / High Crag ridge for a c. 8-mile circular above the valley, with a return leg back down through the forest and onto the YHA Hostel.

We had some very gusty wind and hail a few times when up high, but pretty good visibility overall. I found the walk hard at the start with the uphill haul, and pretty slow going overall.

Despite walking the hound three times a day and having frequent,weekly moorland walks, I’m overweight, my Achilles has been aching again with tendinosis (which had till recently been grumble-free after some physio about 4 years back) and I (whisper it) was a bit hungover from the night before. That all meant that I nearly stopped at Red Pike but was glad I carried on with friend Jeff, who was walking around the same pace as me. We had a great walk albeit buffeted by high winds and hail at times.

Ennerdale really is a picturesque location and deserves the ‘Wild Ennerdale‘ tag that it has. Alas, my camera-trap that I placed near the hostel (probably too near) didn’t capture any dear or red squirrels. They are there in the valley though.

Here are some photos from the weekend.

Ennerdale YHA consulting the map
Andrew, Ali and James: deciding what the next day’s route might be. I like it when hostels have a big map on the wall, no substitute for your own map of an area but standing in front of one with others, tracing routes, is always fun.
Ennerdale YHA
Birthday Boy Jon giving us a late afternoon pep talk about possible plans for the next day, before the drinking properly commenced. (although it had started, as you can see).
Leaving Ennerdale YHA hostel
Setting off from the hostel, east and up the valley before heading left / north to start the climb to Red Pike.
Ennerdale valley footpath to Red Pike
Taking the path towards Red Pike. That’s the Red Pike on the north side of the valley (there’s one on the south side too, near Scoat Tarn).
Ennerdale valley looking down the footpath to rises to Red Pike with Ennerdale Water below
Ennerdale valley: looking down the footpath that rose behind me to Red Pike, with Ennerdale Water below. Jeff was my hike companion for the day.
Ennerdale High Stile viewpoint
I think this is Bleaberry Tarn, below High Stile (where I stood), and with Crummack Water in the distance.
Herdwick Sheep near High Stile
Herdwick Sheep near High Stile. The wind was really blowing at this stage with clag and hail. But it never really settled in and we had great views again a few minutes later.
heading back to Ennerdale YHA via Scart Gap Pass
Jeff (and I) heading back to Ennerdale YHA via Scart Gap Pass and down onto a forest track below


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