Avoid Wainwright's Barf Route, Urge Rescue Team

Keswick Mountain Rescue Team have advised walkers to steer clear of Wainwright's route on Barf, following a third incident at the site this year alone.

Sunday's rescue in progress, 168 kb
Sunday's rescue in progress
© Keswick MRT

A prominent little fell above Bassenthwaite Lake, Barf is a naturally popular objective for a short walk. But the route as described by Wainwright leads through problematic steep terrain above the painted boulder of The Bishop, an area of scree and broken crags on which unsuspecting walkers regularly get into difficulties.

"A third trip to Barf this year, to locate and recover folk who have tried to follow the Wainwright Route above The Bishop, and find themselves stuck at the difficult step at the foot of Slape Crag" the team wrote on Facebook.

"Once they are there, they decide that they can't retreat down what they climbed up. This time, a grandfather, his daughter and grandson were the subjects, and the Team despatched the usual team of five, plus another who had gone direct, to help them down."

"It's worth emphasising the unpleasant nature of the scree on the route, the looseness of the surrounding rock, and the apparent lack of a clear escape route when it all goes wrong" they advise.

Walkers who don't fancy a loose grade 1 scramble are better off ignoring Wainwright's description, the team urge, and instead using the path that goes up through the forest on the south side of the gill, to come out above the waterfalls.

"That way, you won't get stuck in the abundant horridness, and we won't have to come and retrieve you!"

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