Climbing Sheffield Pike

Alfred Wainwright is more than a bit disparaging about Sheffield Pike, criticising the nearby lead mines and its merits as a viewpoint. But I think it’s terrific. The mines of Wainwright’s day are long gone and the views, well…

We climbed it from Glencoyne Bay on a very beautiful day on what has become a kind of Winter/Spring in the Lake District. Wonderful blue skies, snow-capped mountains and far-distant views.

We took the route past Glencoyne Farm and the old miner’s cottages, known by the gorgeous name of Seldom Seen. Far below, the Glencoyne Beck with its many little waterfalls was quite entrancing.


Seldom Seen (c) John Bainbridge 2016

A narrowing old miners’ path contours and climbs the side of the Pike to Nick Head, a founding tributary of the Glencoyne Beck. The great cove in the mountains at the head of the beck, with its view across to the Balcony Path is very dramatic, worthy of some I’ve seen in the Scottish Highlands.


The old Miners Path to Nick Head (c) John Bainbridge 2016

Cresting the head of the pass above Nick Head, an easy stroll took us to the top of Sheffield Pike, iron posts marking the land boundaries between the Howards and Marshall families.

And, sorry AW, but you are just plain wrong. The views over Ullswater are quite magnificent. And looking the other way the mountain views are spectacular, more so with their coating of snow. Catstycam, Helvellyn and Raise looking positively alpine, the latter providing hours of fun at its ski-lift for skiers.


The view towards Catstycam and Helvellyn (c) John Bainbridge 2016


We were fortunate enough to summit before a load of other walkers arrived, giving us time to appreciate the setting.


Ullswater from the Summit (c) John Bainbridge 2016


We returned much the same way, though taking the cart track from Seldom Seen down to the Lakes.


Summit View Towards Raise (c) John Bainbridge 2016


Terrific conditions for a fell walk.


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