What better way to start a Monday morning than to climb Haystacks – that iconic Lakeland height so much associated with Alfred Wainwright. And last Monday morning was a particularly fine morning – warm weather, blue skies and very clear views.
We went up from Gatesgarth Farm, admiring the views over Buttermere and Crummock Water as we went up. Easy going too, up to the Scarth Gap, which is, I think, one of the finest mountain passes in the district.
Then the scrambly rough path up to the top of Haystacks – and still very warm on the top.
Wainwright was right, Haystacks makes a wonderful viewpoint, both downwards as you look towards the lakes and across to the greater heights – the long ridge leading from High Crag, then mighty Pillar and Great Gable.
The top too is a very pleasant mixture of rock and tarn – including Innominate Tarn – the resting place of Wainwright’s ashes. There’s a fair few other fellwalkers remains up there as well.
We walked the length of the ridge, to make our descent by the Warnscale Beck. I think this circuit is well worth doing, for going down this way you get to see the mighty cliffs and crags of Haystacks – and very impressive they are. And on this Monday morning, the light made the rocks stand out with great clarity.
The Warnscale Beck, with its waterfalls is a grand sight too, the noise of its waters rising up to the very summit of Haystacks.
We halted for a while at the Warnscale Bothy (maintained by the Mountain Bothies Association) – what a lovely place to seek shelter. Well done the MBA and the volunteers who keep it in such excellent condition.
So if you haven’t been up Haystacks at all, or not for some time, why not schedule a trip?
Interesting that much of its fame goes with its association with Wainwright. Looking along my bookshelves at old Lakeland books, it’s interesting that most give Haystacks the briefest of mentions. Hard to think why?