Outline of Route
Braithwaite - Grisedale Pike - Hopegill Head - Grasmoor - Eel Crags - Sail - Scar Crags - Causey Pike - Barrow Door - Braithwaite (Grid ref. NY 227238)
Total Distance 10.9 miles, Total Ascent 4400 feet, Equivalent Distance 20.3 miles
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Follow the path south, over Sand Hill (photo), to Coledale Hause. Shortly after starting up the path on the other side bear right across the beck and follow the cairns which go along the top of Grasmoor's northern crags (panorama). These ultimately lead to the top of Dove Crags (photo) from which there is a short stroll to Grasmoor's summit. After that brief excursion from the well trodden routes we return to them. Head along the path to Eel Crag and after reaching the lowest point gradually bear right to the cairn that marks the summit of Wandope (photo). When approached from this direction it looks like no more than a blip on the path up to Eel Crag but the view down to Buttermere reminds us that it looks impressive from that direction.
There is a straightforward climb from here to Eel Crag (Crag Hill) where there's a fine view of Coledale (photo) and continuing east we reach the narrow ridge that leads to Sail (photo). The wind seems to accelerate over this ridge and it can be difficult to keep one's feet. About a third of a mile after the summit of Sail, at a col (photo), a path leads off on the left, which can be used for an early return to Braithwaite. Continue along the ridge over Scar Crags to Causey Pike, the characteristic knobbly summit so easily recognised from Borrowdale. This is an interesting ridge, full of peaks and troughs. Causey Pike is well-known for its views of Skiddaw (photo), Derwentwater (photo) and Newlands (photo) and has a fine (complete panorama). Return to the col between Causey Pike and Scar Crags where a path leads off to the right. Follow the path - it is not much used and indistinct - where you can, going diagonally down across the northern slope of Scar Crags and curving to the right to meet the path from the Sail col by a sheepfold.
This path skirts the south eastern slopes of Outerside after which look for a path diverging to the left. The path keeps to the contour line rather than going downhill (to Stair), skirts the eastern slopes of Stile End, through Barrow Door (photo), and gradually descends via High Coledale farm to Braithwaite. This is a deservedly popular route which is best avoided by the misanthropic during the tourist season.
Rev. 19 July 2012