Autumn 2002 - The Scafell Hotel, Borrowdale

November 16 2002 (Day Three): Honister to Pillar and back

It was a much better day, with higher cloud (but a rather confused weather forecast). The group took the cars to Honister, and set off up the old tramway across to the disused slate mine opposite Haystacks. Then on to Haystacks itself, followed by a drop to Scarth Gap and a left turn into Ennerdale, following the track down to Black Sail Hut and the valley bottom before ascending the other side to Black Sail pass. John was suffering a nasty blister picked up on Day 2 from a new pair of boots, but pressed on manfully. Turning right, the group began the final climb to Pillar - when the turn off to the Shamrock traverse was reached, Brian, George, and Steves W & P went that way, with the rest of the group going up the main route to the summit. By now it was a very clear day, with wonderful views from the top of Pillar up the Scottish West Coast and across to the Isle of Man.

The main group gained about 25 minutes over the Shamrock group and hurried on as it was after 2 o'clock and quite a long way still to go. The route taken led along the side of Kirk Fell, and to the head of Ennerdale just below Great Gable. At this point certain members of the main group got worried about time and navigation and scurried on ahead, trying to keep in touch with some other walkers (much to the disgust of Nigel and John who followed on behind). The route followed went just below Windy Gap and round the west side of Brandreth and Grey Knotts, eventually cutting the tramway again and turning right back down to Honister.

By this time the Shamrock group were not too far behind, which was just as well as by the time they cut the tramway it was moonlight not daylight and Brian's new head torch (as well as George's old one) were coming into effect. They joined the main group (who were continuing reasonably jovial recriminations over the conduct of their walk) in the Honister car park. All proceeded back to the hotel in time to catch the highlights of England v. Australia at Twickenham (32-31 to England and very exciting).

Distance walked for the main group was 11.2 miles on the main route , with Brian George and the Steves doing about 11.7 miles including the Shamrock traverse.

Photos (click on each for a bigger image)

Buttermere, Crummock water and the Scottish hills behind

Nigel with Great Gable behind him

Steve nearly falling (not really) near
the slab on the Shamrock traverse

Final climb to Pillar from the Shamrock traverse


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