Mountain Journeys

Pillar Rock, Ennerdale


Looking back to the mighty Pillar Rock

Whilst walking in to the huge Pillar Rock this morning, I commented to Suzanne, 'what must it have been like for the pioneers visiting this crag back in the 1800's?'
Our route for the day being 'Slab and Notch' - first climbed in 1863. Likely is was very quiet then as it was today.

Suzanne, a visiting New Zealander, was looking for more than hill-walking, and wanted to push into easy rock climbing on this mountaineering route. I think Pillar delivered. It always does.

We approached from Gatesgarth and walked over Scarth Gap, down to the River Liza and back up into the dramatic Pillar Cove. This is a truly epic place, amazing surroundings and so much rock, all with a wilderness feel to it. We enjoyed snacks of Bilberry during the approach, delicious they were too.

We climbed the route in 4 pitches, enjoying fine views from each stance. Thankfully most of the rock was dry. Some time spent enjoying 360' views from the summit, before sorting out the abseil into Jordan Gap. Following this we climbed out via a grade 3 scramble onto Pisgah. An easy scramble then reaches the summit of Pillar, to round off the summits.

Footpaths all the way down, so nice and easy. But this is a big day, a proper mountain day. Don't come to Pillar if you're looking for easy access 'cragging' routes, but do visit if mountaineering and all the rewards that brings is your thing. This is most definitely a 'stand out' day in the Lake District and has no equal in the UK anywhere South of the Scottish Highlands.

Thanks Suzanne for joining me today, a pleasure to meet you 🙂


We can offer guiding on Pillar Rock and many other mountains and crags in the Lake District and beyond. Please do get in touch if you're looking for local, experienced guides.   


Heading into the notch on 'Slab & notch' route


Ennerdale from the summit of Pillar high man


Scafells and Great Gable from Pillar



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