Causey PikeOn a fine day, no-one driving from Penrith to Keswick could fail to be impressed by the individual outline of Causey Pike, its ribs making it unmistakeable - Wainwright likens it to a sea-serpent. It is also a popular target for the fell walker; a fine profile and a delightful walk in both ascent and descent.
Part of the delight of this walk is the views: the whole Coledale Horseshoe beckons seductively during the ascent, whilst the two lakes and Skiddaw sum up the whole Lake District on the way home. The route given below can be reversed: the major deciding factor is the position of the sun to enhance the view!
5 miles; around 2000 feet of ascent. Time - 3 hours 30 minutes
From 1 Bridge Cottage, as with the Barrow Door route, leave the village store to the left and, passing the Coledale Inn, ascend the path towards Barrow Door. Either follow the path as it sweeps West under Outerside to join the old Stonycroft miners' track, or (in good visibility) take the path which forks right, leaving Stile End to the left - this is slightly more direct and gives uninterrupted views of the Horseshoe. Either way, follow the miners' track which leads to the col between Sail and Causey Pike.
Now is decision time! Sail summit is only half a mile and 500 feet of ascent away - but continuing West may see you succumb to the temptations of Crag Hill (only another half mile!) and Grasmere! And, unless you abandon all hope of Causey Pike and continue round the Horseshoe to Grisedale Pike, you'll need to retrace your steps.
Following the path east, a short period of ascent reaches Scar Crag - at over 2,200 feet this fell is actually bigger than Causey Pike, although it lacks the visual "pull" of its smaller brother. Three quarters of a mile later sees the summit of Causey Pike, and in good visibility it would be a mortal sin not to revel in the views: they are almost unsurpassed in Lakeland.
The return is straightforward but should not be rushed: with the wonderful views, the descent is always over too quickly. The good path leads down to the road at Stoneycroft, past Barrow Mine; after a mile take the bridleway left that leads to Braithwaite Lodge and then to Braithwaite.