Black Sail Hut

I've wanted to stay at Black Sail hut in Ennerdale for many years and finally had the chance to do so this past weekend, meeting up with a few people I have met previously and few I had not.  Well-known guide book author, writer and raconteur Paddy Dillon also joined us for the weekend, bringing his own brand of humour and entertainment to the party.   The weather was wonderful all weekend with some fine walking on Saturday from the hut, along the Climber's Traverse on Pillar to the summit, Scoat Fell and a return to Ennerdale via the ridge from the top of Steeple.  What a fantastic route the climber's traverse is, taking-in great views of mighty Pillar Rock on the way.  I've climbed Pillar on numerous occasions, but this route is by far the best.  Beware, though, it's easy to miss the deviation from the direct route.  It does require a drop in height, but the views on such a day as Saturday are breathtaking.  Crossing via Scoat Fell, the descent from Steeple to Ennerdale is a great way to return to the start, or to Black Sail hut for anyone fortunate enough to be staying there.

Black Sail hut.  Rooms with a view and a plethora of routes to choose from.....



Looking down to Wasdale.  The Climber's Traverse takes a sharp right by a very small cairn from here and drops down sharply before levelling off and gently ascending.......



....up to Robinson's Cairn and that classic view of Pillar Rock where the gradient steepens to an easy scramble up to the summit of Pillar.....



....looking back to Ennerdale, Black Sail hut is tiny.  You can just make it out before the drumlins at the head of the valley.  I noted some great bivi opportunities for future reference along the traverse.....



.....descending the ridge to Ennerdale for a leisurely stroll along the forest track back to Black Sail hut, the views in the opposite direction towards Ennerdale Water were extensive.  The Solway coast was clearly visible.


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