Final Eastern fell – Catstye Cam

After ticking off quite a few in this area over the last few weeks, it left Catstye cam as the only one left to complete in the Wainwright’s Eastern fell book. I can’t believe we left it out when we climbed Helvellyn via the edges. Back then, I wasn’t in obsessed bagging mode. Plus for me it also about having a good walk.

Another stunning day in the lakes and remembered to put enough suncream on this time. Karen, Ray and Gary came along to join Dave and I. We decided to meet at 8.30 to avoid the crowds. Though we hardly saw anyone on the hills despite the good weather and bank holiday.



The route was up to Birkhouse moor, then past Red Tarn onto Catstye cam. I’d forgotten what a drag up Birkhouse moor was. I just plodded my legs cursing me for putting them through more. After a busy running week and 2 previous days on the fells they were tired. After this walk, that will be it for my hills fix until after I’ve completed the Brathay Marathon. I’m very conscious not to injure myself after doing that last year before the London marathon.

With lots of view stops and having stunning views of Ullswater and then views of Catstye cam. Soon the summit of Birkhouse moor was in sight. Though this pictures are of the summit before the the actual spot height summit.




From here as for most of the walk up Catstye cam was dominant in sight.
As Wainwright said “If Catstycam stood alone, remote from its fellows, it would be one of the finest peaks in Lakeland. It has nearly, but not quite, the perfect mountain form with true simplicity in its soaring lines, and a small pointed top, a real summit that falls away on all sides”.

We decided to have a break at Red Tarn. It was lovely sat in the sun having brownies with a fantastic view of Striding edge, Helvellyn and Swirral edge. It allowed Holly aka “the beast” to have a swim. She is such a good walking dog.




As we set off, fuelled with brownies, the wind was started to get up. So we put extra layers on for the ascent. It was quite an easy steady ascent. In my head I was thinking why did we not do this whilst up last time. It’s literally a 10 minute diversion.
Looking back to Helvellyn and was amazed that more people were not on the hills. Not that we were complaining as nice to have them to ourselves!


The summit, at 890m it’s the third highest in the Eastern fells. My 143rd wainwright and the final one to complete the Eastern fells book. It was incredibly windy on the top. So after brief pictures and we were off.





From here we descended down Red tarn beck past the disused mine.
As we were walking down we spotted a man walking up in just a pair of shorts and a rucksack. Karen and I were giggling “look at him what a numpty going up in just that”. As he got closer the man stopped in front of me and smiled. The penny dropped and then I recognised who it was. Alan Hinkes, The first Briton to climb all of the world’s 8000m mountains. He was off up Helvellyn via the edges. After introducing him to the group and a chat we said our goodbyes.

A lovely descent back to the car and more importantly the pub.



Walkers reward was a pint of Brim fell IPA from Hesket Newmarket at the Travellers Rest.



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