Sunday, November 23, 2014

Four Lakeland Passes

Paul and Jonathan heading towards Buttermere along the old mine track over Honister Pass

A testing run today.  I woke up with a sore heel.  Plantar Fasciitis hurts the most in the mornings as your foot has been relaxed through the night.  A bit of walking around and stretching it out made it feel a bit better but I was still a bit nervous about taking on today's route, a reverse of the classic four lakeland passes route.  It's a Long Distance Walkers Association route, usually starting from Rosthwaite.  There used to be an event every year but we don't think it has been put on for a few years.

Our route started at Seathwaite Farm, we went along the road to the car park at Seatoller and took the track through the car park which meets up with the bridleway that runs alongside the road up to the Slate Mine.

I got my running sticks out here, something I was trying after winning them for getting a photo in Trail Running Magazine.  I thought it might make it a bit easier on my feet too.

Through the slate mine and we took the straight and direct old mine track over to Dubs Bothy and then down the really rocky track to Warnscale Bottom and along to Gatesgarth Farm.  We ran along the bottom of Buttermere Lake and then started the climb up Scarth Gap Pass.

Honister Youth Hostel and the slate mine
We had a little run along the top before picking up an initially muddy and then a nice track down the other side into Ennerdale and on to Black Sail Hut.  We were planning to refill water bottles here but saw that the hut is closed for the winter.  Paul filled his bottle up from Sail Beck - he needed to after swallowing a fly in Ennerdale.

We passed by the famous gate mentioned by Wainwright at the top of Black Sail Pass and then headed down the long descent into Wasdale.  Jonathan and I filled up on water from Gatherstone Beck at the point where the track crosses over it.

Down at Wasdale Head, Jonathan and I had a can of coke each and then we had an easy walk up the front of Great Gable to Sty Head.  I was tired at this point but not as tired as the last time I had a go at the route.

The path down to Stockley Bridge is rocky but I find that kind of terrain pretty good to run on and I was feeling good, really happy that my heel wasn't hurting.  Down at the bridge, it was just an easy mile or so back to the car.

Really really happy to get a decent distance in without any real heel issues.  The longest run I've done for a bit.  We celebrated with a pint in the Scafell Hotel.

heading down the very rocky path to Buttermere

our path down into Buttermere can be seen on the right hand side of the picture, starting from the corner and winding along Warnscale Bottom parallel to the beck on its left.  There is a group of trees on the near left side of the lake.  These are at the start of the climb back up this way over Scarth Gap Pass.

topping out on Scarth Gap Pass with cloud hanging over High Crag

heading down into the shadow of Ennerdale

top of Black Sail Pass and the famous gate mentioned by Wainwright

Paul heading down the other side of Black Sail into Mosedale

now at Wasdale, the track up the front of Great Gable is just visible in the centre of the picture.

Jonathan trides out the sticks.  The flat fields behind are at Wasdale.

passing Styhead Tarn

down at Stockley Bridge.  Seathwaite Fell behind.

Jonathan and Paul coming along the track back to the farm.

route elevation profile



  1. What a fabulous run, a great day out with good weather. A really nice route.

  2. Thank you Ian. Nice to have a proper day out.