Rosthwaite Fell  (Bessyboot), 6th May 1996

Rosthwaite Fell is an awkward little eminence forming a long spur northeast of Glaramara and is ultimately the northernmost outlier of Scafell Pike. It is defended by steep and largely pathless slopes and is relatively unvisited. Its 1807ft summit is known as Bessyboot. It's one of the quainter summit names in Lakeland but by no means the only one - it's in strong competition with Grike, Barf, Whoap, Loadpot Hill and the unforgettable Great Cockup. On this day I was setting out to "mop up" Rosthwaite Fell, the only summit in the vicinity that I'd not yet climbed.
Stanger Gill

 One of the few lines of approach available is via Stanger Gill, accessed from Langstrath about a mile southeast of Stonethwaite. The climb is heart-stoppingly steep. This is a view back towards Stonethwaite from about 1300ft. 

Rosthwaite Fell

The rather "choppy" terrain at the top of Stanger Gill.  It was such hard work ascending the gill that it took me two hours to reach the summit from Stonethwaite.


Looking north into upper Borrowdale, with Skiddaw way beyond.

Tarn at Leaves

South of Bessyboot is this body of water known as Tarn at Leaves, surely Lakeland's most poetic name. Beyond is Rosthwaite Cam, higher than Bessyboot and a "top" of Glaramara.


The summit cairn. We're looking west of south. Glaramara is the main peak in view, with its satellite of Rosthwaite Cam to the left.

Bessyboot (2)

Tarn at Leaves forms the foreground to this view into Langstrath.

Bessyboot (3)

Looking just north of west to the double-winged shape of the High Stile group south of Buttermere.

Bessyboot (4)

Looking due north towards Borrowdale and Skiddaw

Bessyboot (5)

A telephoto shot from a rocky outcrop a little south of the summit, towards High Stile and its neighbours. Fleetwith Pike, with Honister Crag falling steeply to its right, looks quite dramatic from this angle.

Bessyboot (6)

Rock outcrops at the summit.

Tarn at Leaves (2)

No path to speak of, but I wanted to take a close up look at Tarn at Leaves. It proved possible to ford its outlet stream without mishap and I settled down for lunch in the lee of Rosthwaite Cam just beyond.

Dry Gill

I had nothing more on the agenda for the day so I studied the map, looking for a possible alternative descent. The grassy slopes to the west were pathless but looked like an excellent way down, and so they proved. My route kept just south of Dry Gill. It was only when I studied the small print in Wainwright that I realised he'd also spotted this alternative descent. It leads in half a mile to Comb Gill and the main descent path from Glaramara.

Comb Gill

It's an easy hop across Comb Gill to reach the path. This is a view southwards towards Glaramara.

It remained only to walk down the path to Mountain View for the short stroll along the road to Seatoller, there to catch the bus back to Keswick.

Mountain View

The lower end of the path from Glaramara back to Borrowdale

Mountain View (2)

A retrospective view back up the path from Mountain View

Mountain View (3)

Rosthwaite Fell seen in silhouette

Mountain View (4)

The end of the path, at Mountain View cottages near Seatoller.

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This page last updated 15th July 2001