Search Site



Grid Reference: NY 17126 12101
Height: 892 metres/2927 feet

"The north face of the fell has a formidable aspect. Crags and shadowed hollows, scree and tumbled boulders form a wild, chaotic scene, a setting worthy of a fine mountain."
A Wainwright

Pillar, the 8th highest peak in the Lake District dominates the skyline to the west of Great Gable, it's broad summit plateau easily recognisable with it's stepped ridge on it's eastern flank.

The northern slopes above Ennerdale hold the best treasures of Pillar, here the majestic Pillar Rock is the dominant feature, the huge free standing rock, high on the slopes above the deep Ennerdale Valley. Pillar Rock is home to many famous rock climbing routes and was one of the main crags in the country in the early years of British rock climbing. The rock can also be ascended by several good scrambling routes, most famously Slab & Notch, a grade 3 scramble high on the east face of the rock.

Pillar is usually traversed on a circuit of the Mosedale Horseshoe (or the Pillar Horseshoe) on which it is the highest point of the day. The Moesdale Horseshoe from Wasdale Head ranks amongst the best ridge walks in the Lake District. A slight variation on this route is to follow the High Level Route, from Black Sail Pass to the summit of Pillar, this wonderful path traverses the steep slopes above the Ennerdale Valley to Robinson's Cairn, the best viewpoint over Pillar Rock, before climbing alongside the rock onto the Shamrock Traverse, a wonderful easy ledge that climbs above the rock, from where an easy scramble leads to the summit of Pillar.

  1. Pillar and Black Crag

    Pillar & the High Level Route: Private Guiding

    Distance: 16km / 10 miles
    Ascent: 1400m / 4700ft
    Duration: 8 hours
    Maximum Group Ratio: 8:1

    A long walk over rough ground with some easy scrambling, one of the great walks in the Lake District

    Learn More