High Stile highs - and lows

I remembered the route as a fast trip around High Stile, the carry over Scarth Gap had seemed easy, the track from Black Sail Youth Hostel to Ennerdale Water fast, even the climb back over Whiteoak Moss had been pleasant enough, before another steep and fast descent led back to Loweswater and eventually Buttermere...it had been a damp but pleasant afternoon completing the 33km route in good time.
Take 2 and things started well enough, warming up on the easy track beside Buttermere.
A short way up Scarth Gap Pass and the carry seems to be taking a little longer than I remembered...
...the crags of Hay Stacks, a mere 597m, seem a long way up...
...while Buttermere below still seems a little too close.
A short level stretch - Kirk Fell beyond and then the descent, which is tricky but followed by the long forestry track above the River Liza - easy, fast and fun.
The climb to Floutern Tarn from Ennerdale - all that is worst about mountain biking - like riding through glue, the sodden ground gave no quarter on the long slog over the day's second high pass...
...prompting frequent pauses, to look out across the Irish Sea - the Isle of Man beyond.
Level ground and light relief before a wet crossing of Mosedale led once again to the fast stony descent into Loweswater in failing light.
A proper day out - best left for long dry spells.

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