Great Borne from Buttermere.

Start. Buttermere.

Route. Buttermere - Scale Force - Floutern Pass - Steel Brow - Great Borne - Starling Dodd - Scale Beck - Scale Forece - Buttermere.

Notes. There's not many places in the Lake District can be considered remote, you're never many miles from civilization, today's walk took me into one of the lonely parts of Lakeland, Mosedale. A high desolate valley sandwiched between the steep slopes of Hen Comb and Mellbreak, this vast tract of bog tilts north draining into the Lowsewater Valley, A lonely valley like this deserves equally lonely hills, Great Borne and Starling Dodd were my high ground today, the far northern arm of the High Stile massif, by-passed by most walkers who descend Red Pike along Lingcomb Edge or via Bleaberry Tarn to Buttermere.

There's nothing remote about the Buttermere Valley, a well trod path leaves the Fish Hotel crossing the valley floor before reaching Scale Bridge. I followed this wide track, turning right after the bridge, a fairly good path lead north across the lower slopes of Scales before dropping into the deep ravine containing Scale Force. As I continued north the path cut across steep ground before swinging west to gift me with my first view over Mosedale. Following a lonely track sometimes boggy under foot, I traversed the head of the valley, ascending Floutern Pass. A boundary fence guided me to the foot of Great Borne's north ridge, Steel Brow a bloody steep climb.

With the boundary fence for company I made my ascent, relentlessly steep, even unforgiving. Every time I stopped to catch my breath the views just took it away again, I think my breath got to the summit ten minutes before I did. I flopped down in the shelter, time for a well earned brew. From Great Borne the path hugs the fence line, I made my descent, when the fence ended a rusty row of fence posts guided me onwards over the summit of Starling Dodd, across the slopes of Little Dodd before crossing boggy ground. Two thirds of the way across I met the path climbing from Scale Beck, here was my descent route. Bad winter weather has took it's toll on this path, the surface has been washed away turning it into a real ankle breaker, the path down Scale Beck is in a similar state, they're under repair but the damage to the beck above, and below Scale Force will take years for nature to heal. This all made for a tentative descent, boulder hopping much of the way. With a sigh of relief I reached Scale Force, this usually quite easy descent had took it's toll, feet, knees and legs were objecting, I was glad the short walk back to Buttermere was over soft ground for much of the way.

view route map.


High Stile and High Crag seen from near the Fish Hotel.

Seen across the Buttermere valley Knott Rigg rising above Newlands Hause.

Striding out across Scales, looking to the south face of Mellbreak.

Looming above Buttermere, Fleetwith Pike.

Scale Force only a mile and a half from Buttermere, described by Wordsworth as a "fine chasm, with a lofty, but slender fall of water", never the less even after a long period of dry weather this 170ft broken cascade is worth a visit.

Heading across the lower slopes of Gale Fell looking back over a rather large land slip, with Robinson over Crummock Water.

My first glimpse of Great Borne, in shadow with the summit under cloud.

In sunlight and shade, seen over the vast wilderness of Mosedale Floutern Cop.

Robinson viewed over the desolation of upper Mosedale.

Almost at the summit of Floutern Pass looking to Grasmoor over Mellbreak, in the foreground the slopes of Hen Comb.

Floutern Tarn a wild and lonely place, wonderful.

Taking a breather on Steel Brow with a stunning view over the Cumbria coastal plane.

Dappled light over the far north western fell, with Scotland visible across the Solway Firth.

On Great Borne's rocky summit, it looks like rain sweeping in across Buttermere....

....a short sharp shower then stunning views to the foot of Ennerdale, including Crag Fell, Grike with the Isle of Man across the Irish Sea.

From the edge of the Great Borne plateau, Great Gable and Pillar rise above upper Ennerdale.

As seen from the grassy saddle between Great Borne and Starling Dodd, Ennerdale Water backed by Crag Fell.

On Starling Dodd looking over Mosedale to the Loweswater Fells.

Rising above Ennerdale Water, Crag Fell seen from Starling Dodd.

Towering above the pine plantations of Ennerdale, Pillar, to the right Scoat and Steeple, the left Great and Green Gable.

Been there got the t-shirt, Great Borne and Starling Dodd seen from the descent to Scale Beck.

The boulder strewn stream bed of Scale Beck, washed clean after the winter storms.

Rising high above the Buttermere valley, Fleetwith Pike.

The final shot for today, a moody Crummock Water.

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