The Knott Rigg Ridge from Buttermere.

Start. Buttermere.

Route. Buttermere - High Snockrigg - Newlands Hause - Knott Rigg - Ard Crags - Sail Pass (the head of Sail Beck) - Ghyll Wood - Buttermere.

Notes. A bit of a strange walk this one, when you look at the map it doesn't jump out at you, I guess your gaze is inevitably drawn to the more popular hills surrounding the Buttermere and Newlands valleys, it's a pity because the Knott Rigg Ridge is a proper ridge, almost an edge, steep on both sides, not narrow enough to put the wind up you but narrow none the less. Rather than trudge up the road to gain access to Newlands Hause I decided to ascend High Snockrigg, soak up the views over the Buttermere Valley while the day was young, then descend to Newlands Hause.

I left the village heading up the road towards Newlands Hause, after passing the Church of St James a finger-post announced I'd arrived at the path to Robinson, steep straight up the fell side, this was my route, you have to ascend High Snockrigg before climbing another 690ft to gain the summit of Robinson. I had my idle head on today, High Snockrigg would be high enough. After what seemed like a long tiring ascent I reached the small cairn marking the summit, small cairn big views to even bigger hills. I left the summit in a northeasterly direction, a good path carried me to Newlands Hause from where the steep ascent to Knott Rigg begun. Steep gets you up quickly, I soon found myself wandering across this wonderful airy ridge, exposed, fairly, stunning views, plenty, sense of satisfaction, immense, on reaching the summit of Ard Crags I sat down to soak up the views and have a brew.

I sat there ages absorbing the views and enjoying the solitude, there isn't many ridges you can sit undisturbed with just the views and your thoughts for company, my thought turned to the way down. I packed my bag and descended to the head of Sail Beck, here I stepped onto the path that leads over Sail Pass, this ancient track also descends to Buttermere. Winding my way in and out of deep cut gills, Addacomb Beck, Third Gill and Whiteless Gill, traversing the steep lower slopes of Wandop before rounding Bleak Rigg and Whiteless Breast, I was soon wandering along the edge of the intake wall en route to Ghyll Wood. My day ended strolling through this ancient oak wood with the many voices of Sail Beck for company.

view route map.


On the slopes of High Snockrigg looking over Buttermere to High Crag.

Crummock Water backed by Mellbreak and Hen Comb.

Rising from the valley of Sail Beck the massive cliffs of Crag Hill and Sail with Knott Rigg in shadow to the right.

Lit by the morning sun Low Bank with views to the hills of Galloway, lets pretend the wind turbines aren't there.

Rising above Buttermere, High Stile and Red Pike.

Lingcomb Edge rising above the green fields of the Buttermere Valley, with Buttermere to the left and Crummock Water the right.

Viewing Whiteless Pike and Wandope, a snow covered Grasmoor with the cliffs of Crag Hill and Sail to the right.

Let the path across High Snockrigg carry your eye to Knott Rigg.

Under snow Robinson with a stunning view through Newlands to Blencathra.

Mellbreak across Crummock Water with Low Bank leading to Rannerdale Knotts in the foreground.

The dramatic scree and heather slopes of Grasmoor look quite imposing from High Snockrigg.

Descending to Newlands Hause looking to the Knott Rigg Ridge.

Dappled light on the Bleak Rigg slopes of Whiteless Pike.

Ascending Knott Rigg on this wonderful ridge path.

Cat Bells over Newlands backed by Clough Head, with Blencathra seen over the aggressively steep slopes of Knott Rigg.

Seen from the summit of Knott Rigg, under a light dusting of snow the rolling skyline of the Dodds.

Looking back along the grassy ridge, with High Snockrigg casting a shadow over Newlands Pass, Red Pike and High Stile dominate the skyline.

Romping along the ridge path, ahead is Ard Crags my brew stop.

Views back along the wonderful ridge, unfortunately the spine of the fell carries on to Aikin Knott before descending to the valley, I descend from here north to the head of Sail Beck.

Seen from the head of Sail Beck, Red Pike and High Stile with High Crag just visible above High Snockrigg to the left.

Looking to the head of Sail Beck with Ard Crags in shadow.

Approaching Ghyll Wood.

High Snockrigg ascended earlier this morning.

Sail Beck a typical Lakeland stream.

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