Lake District


North Yorkshire

North Wales



About Summiteer

~Illgill Head & Whin Rigg~

7th September 2019

Wastwater Screes

Above the Screes


Church Stile Nether Wasdale The Screes

As Church Stile campsite enters the modern age, campers can easily book in advance. Quite a lengthy questionnaire has to be filled in and consequently when you arrive you are appointed a field in which to camp, based on tent size and the need for electricity. It will be a sad day, indeed, when I pay a little extra for electricity. They have a well-stocked shop with a cafe under shelter; quite a bit of the campsite is now populated by Pods and Shepherds's Huts. At 1400hrs on this Saturday afternoon, me n' Molly set off on our walk....

to Easthwaite Farm

to Easthwaite Farm

The plan is to walk along Wastwater's north-west shore and then climb Illgill Head (Wastwater Screes) from Brackenclose. Whilst this will involve some road walking, it provides a way of walking around Wastwater and it's something new for me.

Low Wood wastwater

Wastwater Boat House

There is a fine walk around Low Wood at this end of Wastwater.



We passed a couple of camerapersons with tripods on this walk round the headland of Low Wood; rich are the rewards of the photographers in this area, best at dawn or dusk with low light and a calm lake.

Wastwater Screes

Wastwater Screes



Yewbarrow Scafells

The walk along the road/edges was pleasant enough. A few giddy men-racers going a little too fast, but nothing too scary. Yewbarrow looks moody under the shadow of one of the clouds and to the right, the Scafell massif, we will walk on a path above the woods on the way to Illgill Head. Two mountain resuce vehicles pass us in a hurry on their way to a call somewhere up there.

Mountain Rescue


The two rescue vehicles are at the foot of the path up to Scafell Pike; after light refreshments at the National Trust campsite shop, we head away from the crowds for our walk above Wastwater Screes.

Fence Wood

Fence Wood

The view (in retrospect) as we climb above Fence Woood just keeps getting better. Soon the rescue helicopter arrives and heads for the higher reaches of the Scafell Pike. See footnote below.

Eskdale Fell

Eskdale Fell

A brief view of Burnmoor Tarn and Eskdale Fell on the climb up Illgill Head.

Great Gable

Great Gable

It's unusual for me to start a longish Lakeland legstretch at 2pm, but there is a plan here. Walk well, return to the tent for tea a chillout and an early bedtime, however I didn't measure the walk beforehand and the nights are drawing in....

Molly Illgill Head

Molly on top of Illgill Head 1,983ft asl

What a fine afternoon/evening with great views all around and now for some easy-paced, troublefree fellwandering on the way to Whin Rigg. What can possibly go wrong? Wainwright calls it "a magnificent walk".


"We know something you don't!"

Whin Rigg

To Whin Rigg

Wastwater View

There are several splendidly adventurous vantage points from which to take in the view and experience a little fear as you gaze at the sheer drops beneath the crags. Take care!




Who put these here? A herd of bullocks munch the grass. I chose to sneak along the scree-side of the herd, with a bizarre logic that if they came towards us we could nip down a gully, maybe, perhaps. In the event, they couldn't have cared less - one or two noticed us and then went back to the main course.

Molly Whin Rigg

Molly on top of Whin Rigg 1,755ft asl

That's her lead up here, if anyone finds it. Luckily, I brought a spare one and it's in the car. I only found out it was missing later on when we needed to walk through a field of sheep.

Whin Rigg

Whin Rigg

We walked beyond Greathall Gill for the path down to Nether Wasdale from Irton Fell.



Let's hope that long after we've all gone the birds survive, thrive and take back all that was once theirs.

Latterbarrow Sunset

The sun starts to set behind the wooded felltop of Latterbarrow, The Isle of Man is further away.

Chapel Stile Campsite

Church Stile Campsite

In the event, we arrived back at the campsite at 20:00hrs, a bit later than I had planned.

Walkers: Molly and Me.

Time taken: 6hrs over a distance of about 13 miles.

Route: Church Stile campsite, Nether Wasdale, Forest Bridge, Easthwaite Farm, Low Wood, Wastwater, road walk to the end of the lake, Brackenclose, Fence Wood, Illgill Head, Whin Rigg, Irton Fell route back down to Nether Wasdale. Cows in the last field, that's when I found I didn't have the lead as we mildly (!) trespassed into a field with sheep therein to avoid the cows. Somehow, I'd rather answer a charge of trespass than be trampled upon.

Weather and conditions: Warm and Sunny.

Refreshments: The little shop at the National Trust cafe at Wasdale Head offers hot drinks and all manner of snacks. Take your own cup for a discount on the drinks, I'll be sure to remember that for next time.


I found this on the Wasdale Mountain Rescue Facebook Page

Incident 68 in 2019
Date 07/09/19 Time 14:44
Location : Broad Crag Col
Weather : Sunny
Incident Closed 19:39 15 WMRT Involved + R199

Team called this afternoon whilst at the Whitehaven Emergency Services event for a walker who'd injured their leg when walking up Scafell Pike. A team member already on the fell went to the scene and assessed the injury. In view of the location high on Broad Crag assistance was requested from the Coastguard helicopter from Prestwick who treated the casualty then winched them aboard for the journey to hospital.


All photos copyright Richard Ratcliffe 2019 ©

Take me back to the start ....

Take me home....