High Stile is a mountain in the western part
of the Lake District in northwest England and is the eleventh highest
English Marilyn, standing 807 metres (2,648 ft) high, and has a relative
height of 362 metres (1,187 ft).
It is the highest in the range
of fells extending north west from Great Gable towards Loweswater, and
together with its satellites, Red Pike and High Crag, forms a trio of
fells overlooking the lake and village of Buttermere.
side are high crags, wild combes and a small tarn, Bleaberry Tarn. High
Stile is most easily ascended as part of a traverse of the three fells.
The Western Fells occupy a triangular sector of the Lake District,
bordered by the River Cocker to the north east and Wasdale to the south
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.
The highest section of the northern branch
is formed by the trio of Buttermere fells, High Crag, High Stile and Red
The Buttermere Fells, also known as Buttermere Edge, form
the watershed between Buttermere and Upper Ennerdale.
Ennerdale flanks are steep and rough with areas of crag, the lower
slopes being planted with a ribbon of conifers.
Across the narrow
ridge-top to the north are deep corries and dark walls of crag,
glowering down over the lake.
The ridge continues south east to
Haystacks and the Great Gable group.
Beyond Red Pike to the west
are Starling Dodd, Great Borne and the Loweswater Fells.
three Buttermere Fells throw out a short spur towards the lake with deep
combs hollowed out between them.
North west of High Stile is
Bleaberry Comb, backed by the wall of Chapel Crags.
within is Bleaberry Tarn, a pool which is on continual shadow from
November to March. Despite the steep contours of the rock walls above,
the tarn is only about 15 ft (4.6 m) deep, and is well stocked with
Bleaberry Tarn is drained into Buttermere by Sourmilk
Gill, reaching the lake mere yards from its outlet.
A belt of
trees has been planted along the shoreline.
called Burtness Comb on Ordnance Survey maps, lies between the truncated
and unnamed northern ridges of High Crag and High Stile.
of a retaining morraine means that this hollow has no tarn, Comb Beck
running uninterrupted to the Lake.
Grey Crag and Eagle Crag are
the main faces on High Stile, these corries being scooped out of the
northern face result in the connecting ridges between the three
Buttermere Fells being fine and narrow.
The Ennerdale flanks have
a tier of crag at around 2,000 ft (610 m), The Knors and Raven Crag
being the principal features.
At the foot of the slopes are the
massed conifers of the Ennerdale Forest, all contributing to the
difficulty of access. There are no paths on the southern flank of High
The highest point lies a little way out onto the northern
spur at the top of Grey Crag, marked by a cairn.
point on the main ridge is only 3 feet (0.91 m) lower and was regarded
as the summit by Alfred Wainwright,the maps available at the time not
deciding the issue.
This top has two main cairns side by side. In
an attempt to avoid confusion some guidebooks refer to the summit as
Grey Crag and the top on the ridge as High Stile.
The view is
extensive, the highlight perhaps being the North Western Fells across
the Buttermere valley.
Ennerdale Water and Crummock Water are in
view and careful steps toward the brink can also add Bleaberry Tarn to
the picture. Fine views of the crags of the surrounding combs complete
The fell is usually ascended as a traverse of the
'Buttermere Three', as the north eastern flank is very steep and rough.
Strong walkers may continue the walk towards
Haystacks, four miles (6 km) to the
The direct ascent from
forest and steep
bracken) is not found in
guidebooks. The fell is climbed as part of Variation 1 on the
Coast to Coast Walk.
ascents can be made if desired via either of the northern combs.
From the shore of Buttermere a path runs up into Birkness Comb from
where the northern spur can be gained.
From Buttermere village
the path to Bleaberry Tarn can be used, branching off to find a line
around the eastern end of Chapel Crags.
If climbing from
Ennerdale the route up Red Pike may be used.
routes near High Stile