Route type: Other
Total climb: 993.01 ft
Distance: 5.34km, 3.32 miles. Like (0)
Catbells is a short, sharp, steep climb richly rewarded by the views of mountains and lakes. On its own this short walk could be gently ambled along to make the most of a clear day. An afternoon, or summer evening brisk stroll would delight too. Go around anti-clockwise as we suggest here, the scrambly bits are easier in ascent, and the steps off the ridge whilst tedious get you down quickly and without difficulty.
The small car parking area near Hawse End gets quite busy and people park on the roads nearby,
please respect local residence and double yellow lines.
This walk takes you to the top of the following hills: Catbells; and includes 1 Wainwright and 1 Birkett.
Near to: Derwent Water, Keswick
Maps: 50K: 89, 90 25K: OL4
Distance: 6.0km (3.7 miles) 3.7miles
Min. Time: 2 hrs 2 mins
Terrain: 4 - hands on rock/steep/loose scree
Bog Factor: 1 - none
Tech Diff: 1 - easy
A little minor scrambling required, it looks worse than it is! If faced with something you
don't like look left and right for an easier path. There will be one.
Dog issues: No water on Catbells ridge. Dogs of all sizes were climbing up with apparent ease - it's
not just for Collies!
1.At the start of the small parking area near Hawse End follow the signpost to "Cat Bells 1 mile". This narrow path climbs across the hillside round to the north ridge. Bear right onto steep zigzags heading straight up the nose of the ridge.
The first scrambly bit comes as you reach the memorial stone. Here the easiest way up is a path to the left of this face.
2.Continue over Skelgill Bank and the fun really begins. Although it may appear intimidating, there are no technical difficulties on this last steep pull up, but it will require care and three points of contact.
The first obstacle appeared to be a piece of overhanging rock in the direct line of the path. This is best tackled head on: to the left is more awkward, nothing on the right. Straight on the handholds are fine. Those of us, like the author, with short legs might use a knee otherwise it's just a big step up.
Nearing the top, with many options facing you, the easiest path can be found on the right hand side of the face which although loose presents no difficulties. The summit is at the top of this section.
3.Carry on over the summit and down to the col at Hause Gate where four paths meet. Turn left and drop down the steep engineered steps zigzagging down the hillside. The path bears right over a knoll. On reaching the bottom and the bridleway, turn left. This wide track mainly traverses above the road, meets it once, and then climbs again slightly to continue back to the foot of the north ridge. Reaching the road again, turn left, and then left again to return to the car park.