Robinson, the Hassnesshow Back Ascent.

Start. Gatesgarth Farm.

Route. Gatesgarth Farm - Kirk Close - Floders Wood - Hassnesshow Beck - Robinson - Hockney Holes - Robinson Crag - Littledale Edge - Hindscarth - Hindscarth Edge - Dale Head - Yewcrag Quarries - Honister Hause - Honister Pass - Gatesgarth Dale - Gatesgarth Farm.

Notes. I think it was Wainwright who said of Robinson, “steep slopes raise blankly to the sky, with nothing in particular to attract the eye”. Let me tell you once you're up there the views over valley and lake, ridge and crag are stunning. When I paid Buttermere a visit the other week I noticed a row of green dots on the OS map, a route I'd never ascended, it looked interesting enough, a good excuse to grace Robinson and the ridges linking Hindscarth and Dale Head, my route back would be over Fleetwith via the Honister Slate Mine, unfortunately not everything went to plan, does it ever?

Once again I parked at Gatesgarth Farm, north along the valley road I wandered, after the road kissed the lake shore it passed Kirk Close, at the edge of the wood a finger-post invited me to the summit of Robinson, I entered Folders Wood, the ascent started immediately. Lets not guild the lilly, this was a bloody steep climb, slippery from last nights rain the going was hard, I stopped many times and am not ashamed to admit it. First following the gill then a fence line, 1,600ft of leg burning ascent, hands on in places, on lifting the eye from the toe of the boot the scenery was staggering, the views awesome, when the gradient eased there was wet ground to cross before a stile allowed access to the wide trod leading over gentle slopes to the summit of Robinson, I arrived in thick cloud on dead legs, the climb had took it's toll.

I sat ages waiting for the cloud to lift, had a brew and a bite to eat, with life back in the old legs I re-traced my steps to the fence and stile, turned southeast to traverse the head of Littledale before climbing Hindscarth. A short crossing of Hindscarth Edge followed before ascending Dale Head, I sat and ate the rest of my lunch before heading south to start the long descent to Honister. Out of food, out of liquid, with aching legs there was no way I was going to ascend Fleetwith, I opted for a road walk back, but this is no ordinary road. Honister Pass plunges into Gatesgarth Dale, on of the most spectacular passes in Lakeland, amidst incredible scenery I wandered back, it may be road walking but every step was a sheer delight.

view route map.


The ragged profile of Hay Stacks seen over the head of Buttermere.

The dramatic rock architecture of Goat Gills.

The route ahead with deep cut Hassnesshow Gill to the left.

Stunning views across Buttermere, High Crag and High Stile kissed by cloud guard Burtness Comb.

High Crag seen over Kirk Close from the final intake wall.

On steep ground above Hassnesshow Gill with another view to a cloud capped High Crag and High Stile.

The Buttermere valley in all it's glory, seen over the heather and rock slopes of Goat Crag.

Looking towards the summit of Robinson.

Descending to Littledale Edge, a window in the cloud gifts me with this dramatic view to Honister Pass.

Lit by the morning sun, the heather veneered slopes of Ard Crags with Causey Pike in dappled light.

Views from the summit of Hindscarth, Knott Rigg and Ard Crags backed by the higher, Sail and Crag Hill.

Wonderful views over Keswick and it's vale, across the skyline, head in cloud the Skiddaw massif.

Looking back over Littledale Edge with Robinson to the right and High Crag on the skyline.

Over the deep cut gills at the head of Newlands, the formidable face of High Spy.

Moody Dale Head as seen from Hindscarth Edge.

It may be hazy but it's spectacular, the Buttermere valley seen from the ascent of Dale Head.

Scudding cloud and dancing shadows, a spectacular view down the Newlands valley.

Views over the vast tract of peat bog above High Scawdel, under leaden skies the Stonethwaite valley.

Descending Dale Head drinking in views towards Allen Crags and Esk Pike with Great End under cloud.

Near Yewcrag Quarries with views over Seatoller Fell to Thornythwaite Fell for company.

High Buck How and High Knott carry the eye to a shadowed Bessyboot backed by the vast bulk of the Stonethwaite Fells.

Gullies of scree and crag tumble away from the Honister Crag face of Fleetwith Pike.

Welcome to Honistwer Pass, the narrow road leads back to the car through some of the most impressive scenery in the Lake District.

Gatesgarth Dale seen from Honister Hause.

Iv'e been wandering along to the sound of mountain birds carried away on cooling breeze, there's also the smell of hot brakes and boiling engines, not all cars even modern ones make the crossing of the pass, the roads quiet at the moment there's a Volvo stuck on the hill, I nearly forgot the view, High Stile viewed many times today.

back to top

back to list