Ennerdale Skyline Challenge

A tough committing challenge in 'Wild Ennerdale'

More advanced challenge option to do the route 10 peaks in 10 hours for groups of similarly matched individuals with excellent fitness and a good deal of physical and technical preparation prior to attending your challenge.

The Ennerdale Skyline is one of the toughest of the Skyline routes on offer here. It’s toughness is obviously indicated by the long distances and large ascent involved, but it’s the consistent remoteness and ruggedness of the terrain, with more limited options for retreat and escapes at given points that makes it such an involved undertaking. Ennerdale is definitely a wilder place than some of the more populated areas in other areas of the Lake District, and so will appeal to smaller groups with some experience of mountain challenges who are keen to operate further away from the beaten track and experience somewhere different.

A number of accommodation options are available in the Ennerdale valley or Cockermouth areas. Transport to mainline stations such as Penrith can be arranged as appropriate.

We recommend that in the lead-up to this challenge, participants work on building up their stamina with weekly cardio-vascular exercise of a minimum of 1 hour per day, 5 days per week to build up their calf + quad muscles. It would also be beneficial to do at least one training walk if possible on broken rough terrain walking for at least 8 hours. From an average fitness start point it is likely you will need to commit to a 3-4 month fitness training programme to maximise your chance of success. We can help you prepare for this event – for  information about our  pre-selection / training day click here.


Arrival day

Check into your accommodation in Pooley Bridge followed by early evening team briefing. Alternatively, we can arrange transfers from Penrith Rail Station.

Second day - Walking

We begin our journey by walking along the shores of Ennerdale water, a challenge in itself along the rocky and remote shoreline. From here we ascend the Northern rib of Haycock (797m) heading deeper into the higher fells to gain the deeper mountain landscape. This is a stiff climb and once on the summit, you will begin the feel the atmosphere of the route changing as we get in amongst the rugged giants of this area. On leaving the summit of Haycock, we bear round to Scoat Fell (802m) and then make a short scrambly excursion out and back to the isolated and atmospheric rocky spire of Steeple (819m) and then North East towards the grand summit dome of Pillar (892m). The route then traverses above the North face of this mountain descending to Looking Stead (627m) and then into the wooded valleys at the head of Ennerdale. Black Sail hut marks the transition of the route to the second mountain stage. Bear in mind for many, a great adventure would have already been had by this point, but we’re still only around half way round here, and have reached our furthest point from the start, a long way from home! If time is looking good at this point, ascend to take in the summit of Hay Stacks (582m) before descending to Scarth Gap or alternatively if time or conditions are looking tight, we can ascend to Scarth Gap direct here, missing out Hay Stacks. Either way, we have now regained height and are now engaged on our second grand ridge traverse of the day. This ridge separating Buttermere from Ennerdale is an excellent elevated day above the Lakes in its own right. Thought the fells we will now negotiate are somewhat friendlier and more well-trodden than our previous section, there’ll still a few leg burning ascents to overcome. On a clear day this ridge offers an amazing position to gaze back at the faces of Pillar Rock we were above, and also down towards the tranquil shores and pastures at Buttermere lake many hundreds of metres below. We take on the summits of Seat (561m), High Crag (744m) and High Stile (806m) before reaching the termination of the ridge at the sweeping top of Red Pike (755m). From here, we take a direct decent down the southern slopes of Red Pike, descending towards the forests of Ennerdale once more, eventually reaching the shores of Ennerdale once more, but this time on the Northern shore, a welcome sight after the wilds of the higher ground. There’s now a couple of kilometres left to cover to our pick up at Bowness Knott car park and time to head back to your accommodation for some well-earned sustenance and sharing of stories from the day.
Distance 28.5km, Ascent 2084m, Descent 2064m, Target time 12-14 hours. Terrain – rough mountain paths and exposed ridge scrambles.

Key Information

  • Advance booking required, minimum 8 weeks notice
  • Maximum group size 10, or reduced number by prior arrangement
  • Bring your own hiking gear and spare clothing in event of poor weather
  • We have First Aid and emergency equipment and are qualified to use it
  • Meeting point is Cockermouth or Ennerdale
  • We can arrange transfers from Penrith Railway Station if required

Package Includes

  • One day walking with experienced and licensed guides
  • Accommodation for two nights
  • Breakfasts and packed lunches
  • Training guidance information
  • Personal kit list and advisory service
  • Support transportation as required
  • 2-way radio communication – all staff
  • Trekking poles and head torches if required
  • Cotswold Outdoor Voucher – 15% discount
  • Photographic highlights of your event uploaded to Dropbox
  • Local information plus second to none service with passionate staff!

Duration: 1 Day

Activities: Walking

Suitable for: Charity fundraising, personal development and/or team building groups.

Comments: This challenge offers a strenuous route ideally suited to committed teams with a high level of fitness and prior mountain walking experience. 

Prices from: £225

Call: 017687 75337

Booking Enquiry

Package Prices


From £250

Guest House – bed & breakfast + packed lunch
15% off Cotswold voucher
Head torches and Trekking poles included
Price is per person

Enquire now


From £225

Hostel – bed & breakfast + packed lunch
15% off Cotswold voucher
Head torches and Trekking poles included
Price is per person

Enquire now


From £275

Hotel – bed & breakfast + packed lunch
15% off Cotswold voucher
Head torches and Trekking poles included
Price is per person

Enquire now

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