Buckbarrow is a small fell in the Lake District situated at the
western end of Wast Water. The fells name means "The hill of the buck or
goat" and is derived either from the Old English word "bucc" meaning
buck or the Old Norse word "bokki" meaning a male goat.
Western Fells occupy a triangular sector of the Lake District, bordered
by the River Cocker to the north east and Wasdale to the south east.
Westwards the hills diminish toward the coastal plain of Cumberland.
At the central hub of the high country are Great Gable and its
satellites, while two principal ridges fan out on either flank of
Ennerdale, the western fells in effect being a great horseshoe around
this long, wild valley. Buckbarrow is an outlier of the southern branch
of the horseshoe.
Buckbarrow is not really a separate hill but
just the craggy end of the southern ridge of the neighbouring fell of
Seatallan which reaches a height of 692 m (2,270 ft). Seatallan itself
lies to the south of the main ridge, connecting to Haycock across the
Pots of Ashness depression.
Seatallan's south western ridge falls
gently at first across the broad green expanse of Nether Wasdale Common,
finally narrowing to a point at Cat Bields (500 m or 1,640 ft), a mile
from the summit. From here the slope continues in the same direction to
the Greendale to Gosforth road, its progress only briefly interrupted by
the few disconnected rocks of Gray Crag.
A smaller spur runs out
south from Cat Bields, only resolving into a definite ridge some way
down the slope at Glade How (435 m or 1,425 ft). This cairned top is
recognised as a summit by some guidbooks.
A little to the south
of Glade How the spur ends in a wall of crag, dropping 900 ft to the
road below - this is Buckbarrow.
Buckbarrow's crags face the
Wastwater Screes across the foot of the lake, aping their more famous
neighbours in miniature.
About three quarters of a mile in
length, the principal features of Buckbarrow's southern face are Long
Crag, Pike Crag, Bull Crag and Broad Crag.
The western boundary
is formed by Gill Beck, flowing between Buckbarrow and the main ridge of
Seatallan. To the east the crags overlook Greendale Gill, the boundary
with Middle Fell.
The nearest to an actual summit given the
limited prominence is a rocky mound set back from the rim of crags. Much
finer views can be obtained from the lower rocky knoll which stands
above Pike Crag.
Buckbarrow gives good views of Wast Water as
well as the Wast Water Screes. The full length of the lake can be seen
from Pike Crag, along with a fine view of Great Gable and the Scafells.
The fell is usually climbed from the minor road which runs along the
base of the hill. From here Buckbarrow looks quite formidable and the
crags are a deterrent to a direct ascent.
However, all danger can
be bypassed by starting the climb at the more westerly point of Harrow
Head farm and following Gill Beck up to a height of around 350 m (1,150 ft)
before bearing north easterly to the highest point above the crags.
An alternative is to climb from Greendale, via Greendale Gill and
Buckbarrow can also be bagged almost as an
afterthought as the walker descends from Seatallan.
formidable crags are also a popular rock climbing venue.
routes near Buckbarrow