Remember: Press F11 for a full screen view of this page.


"  Seafarer's 24 Peaks Event - Saturday  "


Date & start time:    Saturday 8th July 2017,  5.30 am start from home, 6am from Honister.

Location of Start :   Honister Hause NT car park, Cumbria, Uk. ( NY 25 136 )

Places visited :         Dubbs Hut, Haystacks, Green Gable, back via Brandreth and Grey Knotts.

Walk details :             8.5 miles, 2,300 feet of ascent,  9 hrs in total including 3 hrs on Haystacks.

Highest point :          Green Gable, 2,627ft - 801m.

Walked with :             16 teams, various colleagues, other walkers and Dylan the dog.

Weather :                    Cool, fresh, sunny, fluffy clouds, light breezes, perfect fellwalking weather.

© Crown copyright. All rights reserved. Licence number PU 100034184.


I'm marshalling again, this time for the Seafarer's Charity 24 Peaks event. 

I'm covering Haystacks on the first day of this weekend's two-day 31 mile walk

across 24 of the highest fells of the Lake District . . . a big ask by any standard.

My task is not quite so daunting as I check the teams through the summit of Haystacks and on to Green Gable.

They're on a long walk and it started at 5am from Gatesgarth, down there on the shores of Buttermere.

- - - o o o - - -

The night before . . . Dylan gathering his items for the walk ?
5.15 am . . . no . . . we're not even taking that one !

Sunrise was before 5am so it was daylight as I drove up the Buttermere Valley.

The first teams will be leaving the valley shortly to climb Red Pike and the High Stile Ridge, seen here on the other side of Crummock Water.

Photographers always say the best time to photograph 'The Buttermere Pines' is early morning

as the easterly light brightens the valley sides and picks out the crags, particularly those on Haystacks behind.

A lower level view as I leave the car for a moment and walk down to the water side.

My visit has disturbed a duck that is now paddling out into the lake, its bow wave leaving a silver line on the water.

Tucked in the field just inside Gatesgarth Farm is the start point for today's 24 Peaks Challenge.

Teams are being briefed before they start their walk to make sure they have all the required kit

and so they know it is a challenge not a race. They will shortly be walking the skyline from right to left.

I've got to be up there in the middle, on top of Haystacks summit, before the first teams arrive.

- - - o o o - - -

A drive up the final section of the valley finds me at the Honister Mine buildings at the top of the Pass.

Dylan is preparing to be a tiger for a day . . . too early for one of the ice creams though . . . maybe one later ?

Rumour has it that a new Osprey has been sighted at Honister . . . it's true . . . it's true.

Looks like he's caught a rare example of a slate, a fish similar to the ancient char, but one that tends to live in the underground pools of the mine.

Rising above all that now as I take the path up the fellside to join with the old Dram Road over to Dubbs.

At the highest point is the remains of the winding house that controlled the rope for the funicular railway.

The loaded trucks full of roofing slate going down would be heavy enough to pull up the empty wagons, needed for the next load of the day.

There was no need for an engine . . . just a strong break to keep control of the load !

The old trackway cuts straight across the open fell and down to Dubbs Quarry hut on the other side.

Dubs Hut is now an official mountain bothy, hopefully looked after and cared for by all those that use it,

and overseen and maintained by the Mountain Bothy Association.   There was a cyclist in residence last night so we pass quietly by.

Recent renovations have improved the water supply system !
Plenty of water on the path across the valley of Dubbs Beck.

On a April visit in 2016 we passed here there were loads of frogs.  Today (July) there were just a few tadpoles.

Bog bean and cotton grass in one of the marshy pools alongside the path to Haystacks.

I need to re-acquaint myself with the fence line route across Haystacks, as I haven't used it for a year or two,

so I'll take a left soon and head up alongside Great Round How (seen above).

At the top of the slope I find the fence

and now I can head back down towards Loft Beck and then on towards my destination for this morning.

Skirting around the high ground above Blackbeck Tarn.

Along the way I pass a moorland pool with really vibrant cotton grass.

Can't say I've really thought of it as an aquatic plant . . . but I have always associated it with damp ground.

A close up of the cotton grass set against a background of Great Gable . . . just need some sunshine please.

No time to wait for the sun as I must continue on along one of the many small paths that cross the flanks of Haystacks.

Topping out from this rise I get my first full view down Ennerdale Valley.

Closer now to Blackbeck Tarn as I take the path to another of the landmark features of this fell.

We find the erratic boulder set back about fifty yards from the main path.

Wainwright suggests there may be a face to be made out within the outline of the rock.

His drawing is done from the other side . . . note his comment on the perched boulder below.

The boulder from the southern side . . .
. . . looking back at Great Round How.

On now to Innominate Tarn . . . the tarn with no name . . . except that it is actually called Innominate Tarn.

The summit is within easy reach now . . . timings this morning are perfect.

Looking back at Innominate from Innominate 2 . . . except that Innominate 2 really doesn't have a name at all.

- - - o o o - - -


Hmmm . . . .

I started from Honister

and noticed these blue splodges of paint

on the rocks all the way across.


We don't normally mark Lakeland paths in this way

because it discourages people from taking the responsibility

of route finding for themselves.

It is tantamount to graffiti on the fells.

Hopefully it will fade and disappear as quickly as possible.


Will those responsible for doing it make sure

that they do not deface the Lakeland hills like this again.

They might even consider returning with a wire brush

and cleaning them away if they feel the least bit responsible.


-- - o o o - - -

Back to the moment and Dylan and I have reached the summit of Haystacks . . . it is just 7.30 in the morning.

Time for a quick look around for you all to see where you are.

Click here or on the photo above for a Loweswatercam 360 degree annotated panorama.

Time to take the pack off . . . no need for a wind shelter today . . . but a quick cup of still-warm coffee goes down nicely.

Perhaps a swim Dylan ?

- - - o o o - - -


The radio crackles into life and I have the timings

for the first teams off the summits

of Red Pike and High Stile


I can see several groups making their way down Gamlin Edge

so I've still got time to walk around and enjoy the views

this fine summer morning.


Here I'm looking over the crags on the

northern side of Haystacks.

No way down . . . the path is off to the left.


- - - o o o - - -

Crummock Water and Buttermere with the white buildings of Gatesgarth Farm below.

A quick radio call to 'Challenge Base' below confirms my safe arrival and illicits a wave from the start point

. . . but I'm a bit far away to see exactly who's waving !

- - - o o o - - -

Time passes . . . the sun is temporarily behind a light cloud . . . as the first teams arrive.

"Team Anchor" are in fine form and walking well.

They may not be the fastest, as the teams had staggered start times . . . but they are the first team to this summit.

They have a dog like mine too . . . no they haven't . . . Dylan has just woken up and joined in the action.

9.21 am . . . This is the Braemar ACM "Team Plimsole".

Ten minutes later and the Maersk UK "Team Captain" break open the banners

which blow nicely in the gentle, warm breeze.

More people appear over the rise . . . four teams together get booked in with a ten o'clock time through the summit.

"Team Destroyer", "Team Minesweeper", "Team Mainsail" and "Team Porthole".

[  They all have sea-based nick names as you may have gathered. ]

The five cheerful and very well presented girls of "Team Destroyer".

"Team Main Sail" had a flight cancellation problem on their journey over from the Netherlands and only arrived a few hours ago.

After a quick sleep and a slightly late start they joined the event by climbing up via Scarth Gap.

This photo conveniently shows the next section of the route . . . Innominate Tarn, Brandreth path-junction on the Moses Trod path,

on to Green Gable and then a radio call (please) from the summit of Great Gable up there on the right.

All the teams through now . . . and time for me to grab a bite to eat and follow along the route with the final team.

- - - o o o - - -

A last photo from the summit across to Dubbs Quarry and the Dram Road that I walked earlier.

In the background is the Helvellyn ridge, from Dollywagon Pike on the right to Raise on the left.

The whole of the lofty ridge walk will be their challenge for tomorrow after a good night's sleep at Ambleside Youth Hostel.

Underway now and we all follow along the fence line

enjoying occasional views down into Ennerdale and across to Pillar.

"Team Cruiser" going well as we traverse the summit paths of Haystacks.

We're over by that pool with the cotton grass again . . . and this time the sun is shining !

We leave the end of the fell and join the Loft Beck path as it climbs from Black Sail Hostel towards Moses Trod.

Smiles now as the slope eases and they can look back at summits already completed.

My next colleague was based here at the path junction

to ensure the teams head up towards Green Gable and not take the more obvious path under Great Gable Crags.

Dylan takes the opportunity of a quick dip and cools down as we pass the Brandreth pools.

We've been following what remains of the old boundary fence that surrounded the whole of the Ennerdale Valley.

The 20 mile wire fence (in places a wall) enclosed the old Lonsdale Estate.  The wires of the fence have long ago rusted away.

As we climb Green Gable the teams get a view down into the upper reaches of the Borrowdale Valley.

Another summit ticked off . . . and chance now for a little lunch . . . to give them energy for the next section of the day.

While they enjoy a quick break I return to the summit of Green Gable for a quick photo.

Click here or on the photo above for another Loweswatercam 360 degree annotated panorama.

I would leave the teams here in the company of my colleagues that have marshalled the route on this section.

They would hand over in turn to the guys at the Styhead Stretcher Box and so on, to make sure all teams are looked after on this big walk.

A potential short cut for those feeling the strain . . .
. . . was to drop down Aaron Slack and make direct for Esk Hause.

The idea was to complete the day with an ascent of Esk Pike and Bowfell

and to finish the walk at the foot of The Band in the Langdale Valley.

- - - o o o - - -

With few teams if any needing to walk out via Seathwaite my duty was done,

and I could return back over the fells to Honister where I left my car.

Passing the Brandreth pools . . . a little windier now but still just as warm.

Crossing the boggy bit on the ridge to Grey Knotts.   I found the hidden stones by the fence

but Dylan misjudged the route and ended up having to have a swim to clean up after landing in the peat bog.

Two guys passed me heading to the next summit of Grey Knotts.

They are on their own personal challenge . . . the 66 mile, 27,000 ft circuit of 42 of the highest peaks in the English Lake District . . . within 24 hours.

They are attempting their own Bob Graham Round

To make a change from the rocky descent of Grey Knotts

I follow the two gentlemen down the grassy side of the fell towards Honister Pass below.

An interesting and relatively simple descent leading directly to the car park.

The place is busy now, full of visitors this afternoon.

The two runners are taking refreshments before the next part of their round . . . I'm off to find that ice cream.

- - - o o o - - -

Today's route in red . . . tomorrow's route for the teams is in green . . . the numbered pins are radio check points.

The two day challenge will find the teams on 24 of the high peaks of the Lake District.

- - - o o o - - -

As a result of this weekend, the teams succeeded in raising nearly £60,000 in support of the 'Seafarers in Need' charity.

For final results and details of everyone's fundraising success check out the Seafarer's web site

You can make a donation too if you wish to add to their excellent total.

- - - o o o - - -

Hi there,

I was in Team Braemar ACM

and I snapped a picture of your dog on Haystacks,

and was very proud of the result.

Thought you would like to see.

Cheers for all of your guys
help over the weekend!


Many thanks for the photo Charles.

If he could understand, I'm sure Dylan would be proud of the photo too. . . RmH

[ If anyone else has pictures of day one or two and wish them to be added to this report, feel free to email me here ]

- - - o o o - - -

- - - o o o - - -

Back home in the Loweswater valley

and blow me, within half an hour I had a 'First Responder' callout

to help someone injured at a local wedding reception.


It also turns out that another of my colleagues

was involved with the Keswick Mountain Rescue Team callout

to a group in difficulties in the gully on Great End this afternoon.

As a team member himself, he was able to assist

in a tricky rescue that was to last a full six hours.

- - - o o o - - -

It's been a long and interesting day . . . time for a cup of tea I think . . . maybe two ?

- - - o o o - - -


Technical note: Pictures taken with Ann's Panasonic Lumix TZ60 Camera (for ease of carrying).

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

This site best viewed with . . . sixteen groups of really nice people.

Go to Top . . . © RmH . . . Email me here

Previous walk - 7th July 2017 - Holme Wood with Richard and Christine

A previous time up here - 12th July 2014 - Seafarer's 24 Peaks Challenge

And another previous (rather wet) time   7th September 2013 - 24 Peaks  Water Aid ~ High Stile

Next walk - 9th July 2017 - Sandy Yat with Dee & John