Haycock, Scoat Fell & Steeple from Ennerdale
3D outline of route
Bowness Knott car park is all change - This was previously surrounded by trees; I didn't recognize the same car park that I was used to. It's certainly not as scenic, but there is a good reason why the trees are being felled.
Strolling down the lane towards the shores of Ennerdale Water.
As with the car park, it's all change here too - there was nothing but forest on the hillside on all my previous visits. It's looking very bare.
Nobody around this morning - All very quiet and still. Here's Crag Fell on the other side of the lake.
Stacks of logs all over the place show just how much felling has been done.
Apparently, it's due to Phytophthora Larch Disease Harvesting - During Summer and Autumn 2021 Phytophthora Ramorum was identified across 60 hectares of larch forest at the west end of the Ennerdale valley. To help control the spread of the disease and reduce the risk of a variant jumping into another tree or shrub species, Forestry England is required to fell or kill the infected trees.
The work is planned to continue until next Spring (2023). I would imagine that the landscape will be even more bare on the side of Great Borne and Starling Dodd by the time they call it a day.
Coming to the end of the stroll alongside Ennerdale Water as the River Liza pours into the Eastern end of the lake.
Crossing the River Liza.
Heading South towards todays climbs.
One last glance back (and zoom in) on the forestry workers busily chopping and stacking trees. I didn't see a single person on today's walk with the exception of a handful of contractors working on the slopes in the distance.
The junction before heading into the woods. I would return to this spot on my return leg but via a left path. I headed straight on here.
The first of the two footbridges, I crossed this one which crosses Silvercove Beck, but then turned right before the second one at Deep Gill.
Out onto the fellside with the 'One Tree', Stephen Donaldson readers will understand this reference - long shadows all around caused by the low sun in the sky.
A gradual ascent heading towards Haycock. Nothing too strenuous, but a long climb all the same.
Still climbing as Little Gowder Crag appears ahead.
Little Gowder Crag seems clear, as the path veers to the left of this craggy outcrop, whereas Haycock is now covered by low cloud.
Looking back down towards Ennerdale Water as I slowly lose visibility on Haycock.
No views, but here is the summit of Haycock as I stand on the southern side of the wall. For some reason, it always seems to be cloudy here!
Heading down to the col between Haycock and Scoat Fell.
The narrow path across to Steeple. Fortunately, there were no side winds to be concerned about, so the walk across from Scoat Fell was straightforward. A nice little bit of hand to rock as you clamber up the summit of Steeple. Under normal circumstances, this is a really rewarding short climb with magnificent views, but for now there was very little to see.
Steeple summit in soup.
But hey, what's this? It was, if the great man himself (no not Wainwright) took pity on me and decided to show me the way down.
I'd just had a few words with him regarding my nephew who is currently seriously ill in hospital after a car accident, and I hoped he could help. Being on the top of a mountain makes you feel closer to God in some strange way.
The excellent ridge walk back down Long Crag towards Ennerdale Water. Better going up, but nothing difficult about it either way.
Time for a bit of lunch - a bit late in the day to be honest, but I've certainly found a good spot in the sun to enjoy my treats.
Looking over to the High Stile ridge.
Haycock and Little Gowder Crag behind Tewit How.
Crossing Low Beck and heading onto the small Lingmell fell. Now I did intend to continue straight on to the River Liza when descending From Steeple, but without thinking I seemed to pick up a path which skirted round Lingmell instead, albeit heading in the direction I was going. It didn't really matter, so I didn't correct my route and just continued on via the forest fence line and a well-established path anyway.
Looking back on the high-level route taken today. From Little Gowder Crag on the right - Haycock - Scoat Fell - Steeple and the Long Crag ridge to the left.
Again, looking back on the path I took back today alongside the relatively new fence.
Ennerdale Water straight ahead.
The descent steepens as we begin to reach the outskirts of the forest and the Ennerdale Valley.
Beautiful scenery in Wild Ennerdale.
Crossing Silvercove Beck again
And then it's back to the junction that I went straight on at earlier in the day.
Now it's time for that lovely stroll back around Ennerdale Water to the car before setting of on that long journey home.
Another lovely day out in Ennerdale - Always a treat. Over 6 hours of walking and I didn't see a single other walker. I had these amazing fells all to myself today.