High pressure days with wondrous blue skies may have temporarily have left the hills, but drama remained. Wastwater is beautiful all the time and this year to have seen it, literally, in snow and shine.
The sun and clouds were competing for centre stage, perfect visibility alternated with thick mist.
Some peaks had vistas stretching far to the far reaches of Cumbria and others, well they were just another pile of stones.
Leaving Wastwater from Bowerdale we headed up Netherbeck, initially following the track along the beck.
An easy and gentle start – until we went off piste, just so we didn’t have to retrace our steps off Haycock we hung a left and went straight up the contours to the delightfully named Pots of Ashness. Now can anyone tell me where that came from?
No matter, it was still clear, not to last though. As we picked our way over High Pikehow and Gowder Crag the cloud blew in over the top of Haycock and hopes of glancing to Ennerdale were pretty much lost.
Were we just going to see ‘piles of stones’?
Ennerdale just appears
But then the wind turned and the sky turned from thick grey to soft white haze and there were some hills!
We were not standing in splendid isolation. Ennerdale Valley really was just over the hill.
Steeple behind Scoat
Having stumbled over the stones we headed down to grassy slope of Scoat Fell and the curtains parted and dappled Ennerdale in high intensity spotlights.
Cloud parting over Ennerdale
The carousel of cloud shift around. One moment the far side of Ennerdale opened and then the drama shifted to Wasdale Head.
Then just as quickly there was just another pile of stones – on Scoat. Another turn of the carousel and then there was Steeple. What had looked like an insignificant blip was, well, a bit more than a blip.
Worth walking to see over to Pillar.
Lunch hunched in the lea of Scoat, watching the changing moods and light but fickle as ever.
Ennerdale Red Pike
Isolation returned on the way to Red Pike and then it was, just another pile of stones.
The way up to Red PIke, Wasdale
I am obviously not destined to see either of the Red Pikes, when I went up the other side of Ennerdale on the C2C it was equally shrouded.
As quick as it it appeared, the cloud blew away as our direction shifted over to see the mass of Kirk Fell. Somehow it had not been quite as imposing from the bottom. Just as well as I may never had hiked it.
Stirrup Crag looked a little daunting but I managed to stretch myself sufficiently to make it up for the final ridge along Yewbarrow.
The low afternoon light pulled out the deep greens of the hill and valleys.
Wastwater as blue as it is deep with the sheer side of screes hugging the side.
Wastwater from Yewbarrow
Hidden special effects blew ethereal wisps of cloud over, coating us with a temporary chill.
It was time to just stand and stare.