Lake District Walks
Haycock & Caw Fell
Date: 1st March 2013
Distance: 11.6 miles
Ascent: 2904 feet
Time: 6 hours 45 mins
With: On my own
Start Grid Ref: NY085153
A lovely walk along the shores of Ennerdale Water before a steep climb to Haycock and Caw Fell, two of the less fashionable Lakeland fells.
Route Summary: Bleach Green Cottages - Anglers Crag - Ling Mell Plantations - Tewit How - Haycock - Little Gowder Crag - Caw Fell - Iron Crag - Red Beck - Anglers Crag - Bleach Green Cottages.
1. Great Borne and Ennerdale Water
2. Ennerdale Water from the foot of Anglers Crag
3. Red Pike from the head of Ennerdale Water
4. The fire break leading up through Lingmell Plantations
5. Ennerdale Water from Lingmell
6. Iron Crag
7. Tewit How and Haycock
8. Enjoying the view from Tewit How
9. The top of Tewit How looking to Steeple and Scoat Fell
11. Little Gowder Crag
12. On the top of Haycock
13. Approaching Little Gowder Crag
14. On Little Gowder Crag
15. Caw Fell
16. Scafell from Caw Fell
17. Caw Fell
18. On the top of Iron Crag
19. Descending towards Ennerdale Water
20. Evening in Ennerdale
Walk Detail: Haycock and Caw Fell are two of the more remote Lakeland fells and this, coupled with their location on the western side of the Lake District, has meant that it has taken me a long time to get round to climbing them.
This was also only the third time I'd set foot in the valley of Ennerdale. I certainly picked a good day for it, the weather was glorious and after passing a few dog walkers at the foot of the lake it felt like I had the whole valley to myself after I passed Anglers Crag.
The walk along the lakeside was truly idyllic, I enjoyed it so much that I even (very briefly) considered forsaking the hills and continuing around the lake. However, I was there to bag two of the five remaining Wainwrights I needed to do so after crossing a couple of pastures at the head of the lake I began the climb through the plantations on to the heathery ridge of Lingmell.
Although the climb was steep there were some wonderful retrospective views of Ennerdale Water. Once on Lingmell my next goal was Tewit How further up the ridge. This was reached mainly across pathless heather but by this time most of the hard walking had been done. By this point I had some great views of Steeple and rocky crags of Scoat Fell on one side and my destination of Haycock on the other side.
At this height I was also now beginning to encounter some patches of snow, these were all frozen solid and were treacherous to stand upon but it was easy enough to weave my way amongst them up to the main ridge from where it was a simple climb to the summit of Haycock. My 210th Wainwright, the summit of Haycock was surprisingly rocky and featured a great view in all directions.
Almost as good was the view from the small summit of Little Gowder Crag which I next crossed on my way to Caw Fell. Once past Little Gowder Crag the short stretch to Caw Fell was on nice grass with easy gradients. Having bagged Caw Fell (Wainwright No.211) I continued along the ridge to Iron Crag which I needed to visit as I'm also collecting Hewitt and Nuttall tops.
Iron Crag was another top that was quite rocky and which also had a much better view than I thought it would have. From Iron Crag I took a largely pathless route to eventually reach the path leading down the side of Red Beck to the shore of Ennerdale Water. Instead of following the path all the way down I took the alternative option of a narrow path that eventually led me to the top of Anglers Crag and some glorious views of the lake in the late evening sun.
The sun was almost setting when I got back to the car park but fortunately it was only a short drive to the Shepherds Arms Hotel in Ennerdale Bridge where I was staying for the night. This was a great and memorable day out in the hills and although it has taken me a long time to climb Haycock I'd definitely like to go back again.