Sail is a hill in the English Lake District lying
between Derwentwater and Crummock Water.
The North Western Fells occupy the area
between the rivers Derwent and Cocker, a broadly oval swathe of hilly
country elongated on a north-south axis.
Two roads cross from
east to west dividing the fells into three convenient groups. The
central sector rising between Whinlatter Pass and Newlands Pass,
The highest ground in the North Western Fells is
an east-west ridge in this central sector, beginning with Grasmoor above
Crummock Water and then gradually descending eastwards over Crag Hill,
Sail, Scar Crags and Causey Pike.
Sail is in every sense a satellite of Crag Fell,
although having sufficient prominence to be listed as a Hewitt.
From the summit of Crag Hill the eastward ridge narrows between opposing
walls of crag. This rocky crest is The Scar, the depression being at
around 2,425 ft.
The roughness decreases as the rounded top of
Sail is reached and the ridge then turns east north east.
further depression at 2,015 ft leads to the summit of Scar Crags. This
col is unnamed on maps of the Ordnance Survey, but Alfred Wainwright
termed it Sail Pass in his influential Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland
Sail has a further connection to the south of the main
ridge, a high level bridge to Ard Crags which, together with its
neighbour, Knott Rigg, form a lower parallel ridge to the south of the
The main drainage to the north of Sail runs to
Coledale. This is a long uninhabited valley which exits into the
floodplain of the Derwent at the village of Braithwaite.
its head are two successive steps of crag each bearing a waterfall. The
southern flanks of the fell are drained by Sail Beck and its
tributaries, flowing south west between the slopes of Wandope and Knott
Rigg to Buttermere village.
Sail thus stands on the main
watershed of the North Western Fells, a virtue not shared by the higher
Sail's slopes are steep and rough throughout with the
ridge to Crag Fell being bounded by rock, Scott Crag to the north and
Scar Crag to the south. The other principal face is Long Crag which
overlooks High Moss and Outerside.
The top of Sail is a heathery dome bearing a small cairn and
the main path along the ridge passes by to the south to take its heavily
eroded course up Crag Hill.
The view, other than where blocked by
this higher neighbour, is excellent. The head of Coledale is laid out to
the north while eastward is the full sweep of the Helvellyn range above
The High fells around Ennerdale, Wasdale and the head
of Eskdale complete the panorama southward. Bassenthwaite Lake can also
be seen from the summit and a few steps will bring Buttermere and
Derwentwater into view.
Perhaps most walkers will arrive at Sail
as part of a ridge-top traverse, starting either with Grasmoor or Causey
Direct routes from the north east begin at either
Braithwaite or Stair. From the former, the track to High Coledale Farm
is the initial objective, before crossing the Outerside ridge in the
vicinity of Stile End. The path then rises to Sail Pass from the north.
Starting from Stair, the Stoneycroft Mine Road also gives access
to Sail Pass via the cobalt mine.
From Buttermere village a long
walk up Sail Beck and 'behind' Ard Crags can be used to gain Sail Pass
from the other side.
routes near Sail