Monday, October 1, 2012


"Many mountains have been described as having the shape of the inverted hull of a boat, but none of them more fitting than Yewbarrow." - A.W Book 7.

climbing along the wall, looks pretty easy eh?
I had been looking forward to an ascent of Yewbarrow.  David had planned a route scrambling up Bell Rib which is described really well on this website.  On the day, a combination of poor weather and David's fuzzy beer head (but mostly the wet conditions) meant that we opted for the 'easier' route.

The walk started at the National Trust Car Park at Overbeck Bridge.  We climbed directly along the side of the wall which runs up towards Bell Rib.

A lot of walks start with a steep ascent but this was particularly tough going.

It was cloudy over the scafells and the cloud was threatening to cover the top of Illgill Head and Whin Rigg.  It's hard to make the screes look bad though.

Climbing higher we got to the rocky steep part of the path.  Just as we got there, the rain came.  

After a quick stop to put on our jackets we continued up the path.  

There is a bit of easy scrambling involved whichever route you take.  We took Wainwrights, 'avoiding tactic' skirting around the big rocks of Bell Rib.

The rock was wet but it was fairly easy to find a way up to the top.

We took a path up to the left and before long we were at the infamous Great Door.

Due to the cloud, the views through the Great Door were not as extensive as they might have been.

It was also really windy and it was quite scary being at the top looking over the cliff edge.

Still, we both decided we needed to pose for pictures.

We had a look at the easy scramble up to Bell Rib but decided that the windy and wet conditions made it an unsafe option.  Luckily, we didn't have Alan with us to get me into a 'situation'.

photo courtesy of David Harrison
Again, this website shows the way up and back down to and from Bell Rib.

We hung around for a while, trying to get good pictures through the door and then, after making the right decision about scrambling up to Bell Rib, carried on to the summit.

The route from the Great Door up to the top of Yewbarrow is fairly easy.  The tough climb is certainly over at this point.

this is the climb up.  A fairly easy climb but a long drop if you slip.

Bell Rib with the screes and Wast Water behind

David taking a much better version of the previous picture

windy Yewbarrow summit - photo courtesy of David Harrison

looking back over Wast Water and the screes

heading towards the north top of Yewbarrow, cloud lifting a little bit over towards the top of the Ennerdale Valley

looking back to the summit

Wasdale walls are brilliant

Up next was a technical descent of Stirrup Crag to Dore Head.  The cloud was rolling up from the Mosedale Valley, then dropping back down:

Just to make the descent a bit more challenging, it started to rain and then hail.

We took shelter behind a rock and waited for the worst of the weather to pass, which it did fairly quickly.

The climb down Stirrup Crag was a lot easier than it looked from the bottom or the top.  There are some big steps and drops but nothing that cannot be managed by taking care and time.

Towards the bottom of this section, the path becomes scree.  David said that the route down from Dore Head was like this only worse.

Once at the bottom, we carried on a bit further to get a view of the pinnacle rock.  A piece of rock that juts out like rabbit ears.

the pinnacle

looking back up Stirrup Crag

From the bottom of Stirrup Crag, the path went down steep scree to Mosedale.  Scree running is one of my favourite things to do in the world.  I'm sure my fellow fix the fell volunteers frown on such activity, although no body has actually told me not to do it yet.

looking down from Dore Head to Mosedale

Kirk Fell from Dore Head

David making his way down

some quite big rocks

at one point, David did overtake me, sliding on his arse.  Unfortunately, I was not quick enough to get a photo

the scree peters out onto the grass

Of the three major scree runs I have done, this was not quite as fun as the one from Grassmoor as the stones were a bit uneven at the top and it was a bit harder to predict how much they would move.  I think it was better than the Barrow scree as I found that this did not move very much at all.

looking back up with the pinnacle rock visible on the right

looking up to Styhead, plenty of cloud

Great Gable was in and out of cloud all day

deepest lake, highest mountain...

Wasdale Head Inn with Yewbarrow behind

the pontoons were for the Wasdale Triathlon planned for Sunday but ended up being cancelled due to the weather

Yewbarrow's Great Door from the road

one last look at the upturned boat hull from the car park

Yewbarrow is a great fell with lots going for it.  Steep climbs, scrambling, technical bits, grassy bits and a scree run exit.  Perhaps the highlight of the day though, for both David and myself, was meeting the legendary Joss Naylor.  David had been walking in the area earlier in the week and had already worked out which house Joss lived in.  He said that we might see him, sat in his conservatory.  Just as we rounded the corner going past Middle Fell, we saw Joss walking along with two dogs.  We stopped and asked if he would mind us getting a photo with him and, like a true gentleman, he was happy to oblige.


  1. Another good one get you into a "situation" never as i'm sure you would have got yourself into one if i was there going up rib bell ;-)

  2. well done both of you,just wondered which one is Joss Naylor,had a good look
    its the one without the stick.HA HA.Panora.D.