Esk Pike

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Esk Pike
Esk Pike in Sunrise (14848604829).jpg
Esk Pike at sunrise
Highest point
Elevation 885 m (2,904 ft)
Prominence 105 m (344 ft)
Parent peak Bowfell
Listing Hewitt, Nuttall, Wainwright
Coordinates 54°27′22″N3°10′48″W / 54.45622°N 3.17995°W / 54.45622; -3.17995 Coordinates: 54°27′22″N3°10′48″W / 54.45622°N 3.17995°W / 54.45622; -3.17995
Lake District National Park UK relief location map.png
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Esk Pike
Location relief map United Kingdom Allerdale.svg
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Esk Pike
Location in Allerdale, Cumbria
Location relief map Borough of Copeland.svg
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Esk Pike
Location in Copeland, Cumbria
Location Cumbria, England
Parent range Lake District, Southern Fells
OS grid NY236074
Topo map OS Landrangers 89, 90, Explorer OL6

Esk Pike is a fell in the English Lake District, one of the cirque of hills forming the head of Eskdale.



The Southern Fells include the highest ground in England, a horseshoe which begins with Scafell and Scafell Pike in the west and then curves around the north of Upper Eskdale to take in Great End, Esk Pike, Bow Fell and Crinkle Crags. As the name suggests, Esk Pike stands at the head of the valley, although it is not the highest of these fells.

To the north-west of Esk Pike is the depression of Esk Hause, a broad saddle carrying a number of important paths. The ‘true’ Esk Hause—so named by Alfred Wainwright in his influential Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells —is the north–south route from Borrowdale to Eskdale. A lower path—the ‘false’ Hause—runs east–west from Langdale to Wasdale, passing a stone windshelter. There are also paths climbing to the summits of Esk Pike and Allen Crags, together with the popular Calf Cove route to Scafell Pike, all contributing to make Esk Hause a confusing place in mist. The source of the main branch of the Esk flows south from the Hause, while to the north the topography is more complex. Allen Crags stands adrift from the main ridge, with the valleys of Langstrath and Grains Gill falling on either side. These combine some miles downstream to form the River Derwent, flowing through Borrowdale to Derwentwater and Keswick.

South-east of the summit of Esk Pike is Ore Gap, the col separating it from Bow Fell. The soil here is red due to haematite, and climbing lore suggests that magnetic compasses cannot be trusted in this locality. [1] North of the gap is Angle Tarn, a feeder of the Langstrath. This round tarn occupies a corrie beneath Hanging Knotts, small trout lurking in its 50-foot depths. [2]

Southward from the summit, Esk Pike throws out a long descending ridge into the uninhabited fastness of Upper Eskdale. This divides the Esk from its major upper tributary, Lingcove Beck, which has its beginnings at Ore Gap. Two miles in length, this ridge falls over a series of craggy steps to the confluence of the two streams at Lingcove Bridge. An old Packhorse Bridge, this is a focal point for those approaching from the south, particularly when the Esk is in spate. The south ridge has a number of subsidiary tops which are recognised by some guidebooks, [3] the principal summits being Pike de Bield (2,657 ft / 810 m.), Scar Lathing (1,440 ft / 439 m.) and Throstlehow Crag (1,325 ft / 404 m.). Scar Lathing is particularly impressive, presenting sheer cliffs above a bend in the Esk. Although of minor significance Pianet Knott on the eastern side of the ridge also has a very striking appearance from lower down the valley.


Laminated volcaniclastic claystones and siltstones of the Esk Pike Formation form the upper reaches, crossed by an intrusion of andesite and hybridized andesite porphyry. [4]


Summit of Esk Pike. Esk Pike Summit - - 1209340.jpg
Summit of Esk Pike.

The summit area is extremely stony, striking pale rocks being much in evidence. [5] A series of steps rise up from Ore Gap whilst the approach from Esk Hause is rough and eroded. A small cairn on the highest craggy outcrop marks the highest point. Esk Pike's central position above Eskdale gives it glorious views of the Scafells, with the Eastern and Northern Fells also forming a fine panorama. Derwentwater and a section of Windermere complete the scene. A little to the south, Pike de Bield provides an intimate view of the upper Esk. [5]


Being far from any roads, all ascents of Esk Pike involve considerable distance by Cumbrian standards. From Brotherilkeld on the Eskdale road the climber can choose between Ore Gap, Esk Hause and the south ridge, all of these options being around five and a half miles. Borrowdale gives a choice of starting points, either making for Esk Hause from Seathwaite, or Ore Gap from Stonethwaite. Access is also possible from Great Langdale, ascending Rossett Gill from the Old Hotel. Many walkers will reach the summit indirectly having climbed Bow Fell first via the Band, or perhaps climbed from Borrowdale over Glaramara and Allen Crags.

Related Research Articles

Scafell Pike Highest mountain in England

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Scafell is a mountain in the English Lake District, part of the Southern Fells. Its height of 964 metres makes it the second-highest mountain in England after its neighbour Scafell Pike, from which it is separated by Mickledore col.


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Great End Mountain in the Lake District, England

Great End is the most northerly mountain in the Scafell chain, in the English Lake District. From the south it is simply a lump continuing this chain. From the north, however, it appears as an immense mountain, with an imposing north face rising above Sprinkling Tarn (lake). This is a popular location for wild camping, and the north face attracts many climbers.

Crinkle Crags

Crinkle Crags is a fell in the English Lake District in the county of Cumbria. It forms part of two major rings of mountains, surrounding the valleys of Great Langdale and Upper Eskdale. The name reflects the fell's physical appearance as its summit ridge is a series of five rises and depressions (crinkles) that are very distinctive from the valley floor. In Old English, cringol means twisted or wrinkled.

Hard Knott is a fell in the English Lake District, at the head of Eskdale.

Harter Fell (Eskdale) Fell in the Lake District, Cumbria, England

Harter Fell is a fell in the western part of the English Lake District, located between the Eskdale and Duddon valleys. Its height is 649 m (2128 ft). There are several walking routes to the summit.

Dale Head

Dale Head is a fell in the north-western sector of the Lake District, in northern England. It is 753 metres or 2,470 feet above sea level and stands immediately north of Honister Pass, the road between Borrowdale and Buttermere.

High Raise (Langdale)

High Raise is a fell in the Central Fells of the English Lake District, not to be confused with another High Raise situated in the Far Eastern Fells. High Raise is not one of the most spectacular mountains in the district; however, with a height of 762 metres (2,500 ft) it is the highest point in the central fells of Lakeland.

Pike of Blisco

Pike of Blisco, or Pike o' Blisco, is a mountain in the Lake District in Cumbria, England. Located between the valleys of Great Langdale and Little Langdale, its relative isolation from neighbouring fells together with slopes falling away immediately from the summit in all directions mean it has excellent views: the view of the Langdale Pikes across Great Langdale is particularly arresting.

Esk Hause

Esk Hause is a mountain pass in the English Lake District, England. It is where the paths from Eskdale, Borrowdale, Langdale and Wasdale all meet. Esk Hause is a first step to reaching higher summits, such as Scafell Pike, Great End, Esk Pike and Allen Crags, which are all nearby. This can be a confusing place for walkers, especially in mist. This is because two paths cross at right angles on a tilted grass plateau, but not at the summit of the plateau. The popular Great Langdale-Wasdale path crosses at an elevation of 727 m (2,386 ft) at the wall shelter; this is the lower of the two passes known as Esk Hause, but is, in fact, not the true pass, which is 30 m (100 ft) higher and 270 m (300 yd) distant, a less-used pass between Eskdale and Borrowdale that occupies the depression between Great End and Esk Pike. The 'true' Esk Hause is the highest pass in the Lake District, but Sticks Pass is commonly named as Lakeland's highest pass, most probably because fellwalkers equate "Esk Hause" with the lower of the two passes.

Base Brown Fell in England

Base Brown is a fell in England's Lake District, near the head of the Borrowdale Valley. It forms one side of the Seathwaite Valley, and on the western side it is flanked by the hanging valley of Gillercomb.

Seathwaite Fell

Seathwaite Fell is an area of the Lake District in Cumbria, England. It stands above the hamlet of the same name at the head of Borrowdale.


Glaramara is a fell in the English Lake District in Cumbria. It is a substantial fell that is part of a long ridge that stretches for over six kilometres from Stonethwaite in Borrowdale up to the important mountain pass of Esk Hause. The summit of Glaramara at 783 m (2,569 ft) is the central point of this ridge, which separates the valleys of Langstrath and Grains Gill. However, the ridge has two additional fells, numerous subsidiary tops and several small tarns making its traverse an appealing and challenging walk.

Ullscarf Fell in England

Ullscarf is a fell in the English Lake District close to the geographical centre of the Cumbrian hills. It forms part of the watershed between the Derwentwater and Thirlmere catchments, a ridge running broadly north-south.

Calf Crag

Calf Crag is a fell in the English Lake District, on the eastern side of the High Raise massif.

Allen Crags

Allen Crags is a fell in the English Lake District, it lies in a group of very popular hills and is regarded as part of the Scafell group of fells. It is a hill that is frequently traversed by walkers along its ridge but is seldom climbed as the sole objective.

Slight Side

Slight Side is a fell in the English Lake District it stands 25 kilometres east southeast of the town of Whitehaven and reaches a height of 762 m (2,499 ft). Slight Side lies at the south western edge of the Scafell Massif, a four-kilometre-long crescent of high ground which includes the highest ground in England. The fells names derives from the Old Norse language and means "The mountain shieling with the level pastures", it is a combination of the Norse words "sletta" and "saetr". With a shieling meaning a shepherds hut or a mountain pasture used in the summer.

Rossett Pike

Rossett Pike is a fell in the English Lake District. It is located at the head of Mickleden, one of two tributary valleys of Great Langdale.

Southern Fells

The Southern Fells are a group of hills in the English Lake District. Including Scafell Pike, the highest peak in England, they occupy a broad area to the south of Great Langdale, Borrowdale and Wasdale. High and rocky towards the centre of the Lake District, the Southern Fells progressively take on a moorland character toward the south-west. In the south-east are the well-known Furness Fells, their heavily quarried flanks rising above Coniston Water.


  1. Alfred Wainwright: A Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells , Book 4: ISBN   0-7112-2457-9
  2. Blair, Don: Exploring Lakeland Tarns: Lakeland Manor Press (2003): ISBN   0-9543904-1-5
  3. Birkett, Bill: Complete Lakeland Fells: Collins Willow (1994): ISBN   0-00-218406-0
  4. British Geological Survey: 1:50,000 series maps, England & Wales Sheet 38: BGS (1998)
  5. 1 2 Richards, Mark: Mid-Western Fells: Collins (2004): ISBN   0-00-711368-4