Yewbarrow is a fell in the English Lake District located immediately
north of the head of Wast Water. It is 628 metres high and in shape
resembles the upturned hull of a boat or a barrow and is on the left in
the classic view of Great Gable and Wast Water.
The top of
Stirrup Crag forms a second summit 616 metres high, half a mile north of
the main summit. The Hewitt and Nuttall lists classify the north top as
a separate summit.
The name is derived from the past prevalence
of yew trees on the fell and its "barrow" shape.
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.
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. Yewbarrow is an outlier of the southern arm.
The main watershed runs broadly westwards from
Great Gable, dividing the headwaters of Ennerdale and Wasdale.
Travelling in this direction the principal hills are Kirk Fell, Pillar,
Scoat Fell, Haycock and Caw Fell. Scoat Fell throws out a long southern
ridge terminating in Yewbarrow, with Red Pike standing part way along.
The southern end of Yewbarrow rises steeply from the shore of Wastwater,
the crest of the fell running a little east of north for about two
Just beyond the second top, the ridge swings sharply to
the west at the depression of Dore Head (1,560 ft) continuing then onto
The wide river valley of Wasdale Head forms the eastern
boundary of the fell with the quiet valley of Over Beck to the west.
The ridge-top is rimmed by crags, particularly above Over Beck and
at either end. Stirrup Crag lies below the north summit, sometimes
lending its name to the top, while Dropping Crag and Bell Rib guard the
southern end of the crest.
Yewbarrow summit bears a cairn set on
grass, perhaps a surprise after the rough ascent.
It is an
excellent vantage point for the high fells in this part of the Lake
District. Its unique location makes it the only place to enjoy
uninterrupted views of the Scafells, Great Gable, Kirk Fell and Pillar.
Although smaller than the other fells surrounding Wasdale Head,
Scafell Pike, Scafell, Great Gable, Kirk Fell and Pillar, the ascent of
Yewbarrow by the two traditional routes involves some scrambling.
There are two primary ascents to Yewbarrow from Wasdale Head, via
Overbeck Bridge and the Great Door (a cleft in the rocks providing
thrilling views of Wast Water) or via Dore Head and Stirrup Crag.
It is possible to circumvent almost all the scrambling on the route
via Great Doo. By taking a path to the left of the major gully and a
cairned track without any scrambling runs up the west side from below
Stirrup Crag to the minor col between the two tops of Yewbarrow.
It can also be climbed as part of the Mosedale Horseshoe, which can
start or end at Yewbarrow and also includes Red Pike, Scoat Fell,
Steeple and Pillar.
routes near Yewbarrow