Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Pillar Rock - The 254th and final English Nuttall

Walk Summary
Back in October 2008 when I climbed my first English Nuttall on Simon Fell, I said to myself "...if I need a rope I will not go there..."
Well that was 8 years ago.
Who knows what you will end up doing once you take that first step on any journey.
Just over 38 months to the day since climbing Catstye Cam in April 2013, I am now able to remove the caveat NPR (Not Pillar Rock) from my claim to have climbed all of the English Nuttalls.
Pillar Rock has the distinction of being the only English and Welsh Nuttall whose summit cannot be reached without being roped up. 
It is in fact classified as a grade III scramble and as such can and has been climbed without ropes. However all of these people have either more scrambling skills than most hill walkers or unusually - less sense than I have.
Because of this it would be a worthy final summit but for some obtuse reason best known to myself I did not want Pillar Rock to be the final English Nuttall no more than I wanted it to be my final Nuttall in England & Wales.
Since my first Welsh Nuttall on Chwarel y Fan in July 2013 I have climbed 149 of the 189 Welsh Nuttalls with a view to completing them before my 60 birthday in November 2016 so unless I organised something quickly I was in danger of doing just that
Because I do not have these climbing skills I decided to enlist the services of Iain Gallagher of Kendal Mountaineering Services. I first met Iain on the Isle of Skye when I signed up for his one week course climbing the Munros of the Cuillin Ridge back in May 2014. I was well impressed with his knowledge, determination to meet clients expectations and most importantly his ability to impart the necessary skills to his clients to achieve their objectives safely.
I therefore had no hesitation in contacting him to not only get me up Pillar Rock, and of course down, safely but to give me some much needed basic tuition to enable me to be able to competently 2nd with experienced rock climbers.
His approach was to tackle a more difficult ascent up the Old West route rather than the standard slab & notch route from the easier to access east side.
It took longer but as well as giving me the opportunity to learn some rope skills on the ascent up Pillar Rock, the approach to the start of the climb required some exposed scrambling which allowed me to consolidate many of the acquired skills gained over the last eight years under the careful supervision and safe environment provided by Iain.
Suffice it to say, thanks to Iain, the day was a complete success with the highlight of summitting Pillar Rock being followed by an abseil off the summit in to Jordan Gap, returning via Pillar last visited in September 2009 as part of The Mosedale Horseshoe.
Thanks again Iain. Look forward to learning more skills with you in the Scottish mountains next winter.

Walk Statistics
Walk Date - 22 June 2016
Walkers - Steve Smith

Accommodation - Wasdale Head NT Campsite (NY 18320 07504)
Start Point- Wasdale Head Green (NY 18668 08520)
Start Time - 09:23
Finish Point Ritsons Bar, Wasdale Head Inn (NY 18646 08771)
Finish Time - 18:20
Total Duration - 8hrs 57mins 
Overall Average pace - 1.12mph
Total Distance Walked - 7.44 miles
Total Height Ascended - 1168.90 metres

Peaks visited
Nuttalls (254E - 443E&W)
Pillar Rock (254E - 403E&W)
Pillar (59E - 59E&W) (first visited 12 September 2009)
Hewitts (138W - 317E&W)
Pillar (42E - 42E&W) (first visited 12 September 2009)
Marilyns (175E - 1556E,W&S)
Pillar (18E - 19E,W&S) (first visited 12 September 2009)
Deweys (181E - 422E&W)
HuMPs (444E - 2975EW&S)
Pillar (26E - 27E,W&S) (first visited 12 September 2009)
Wainwrights (214)
Birketts (541)
Pillar Rock (271)
Pillar (83) (first visited 12 September 2009)
Historic County Tops (49E - 93E,W&S)
W: Wales. 
E,W&S:England,Wales & Scotland

Other walks on this trip
19th Mynydd Nodol
20th Pendle Hill, Lad Law & Freeholds Top
21st Hutton Roof Crags & Arnside Knott
22nd Pillar Rock

GPX can be downloaded from
More Photographs
Pillar Rock English Nuttall No254. English Nuttalls completion delayed by 3 years and 2 months
Click on photograph to view slide-show