Ennerdale and Pillar Rock

Mist on Pillar Rock in Ennerdale, Cumbria

Dominating the Ennerdale Valley, Pillar saw the birth of rock climbing in the lakes when a local man made the first ascent of Pillar Rock back in 1826. Surprisingly elusive for such a massive object, only the tip of Pillar Rock can be seen from Ennerdale Water, so to find it you'll need to explore further up the valley!

Although it is prominent in the Wasdale Head skyline, Pillar belongs to Ennerdale, where it dominates the view up the valley, its silhouette a familiar site to anyone driving past the mouth of the valley.

Despite its name, Pillar is a great craggy mass of a fell, the eighth highest of the fells and one of the more remote.

Rocky outcrop

The fell takes its name from Pillar Rock, a massive rocky outcropping on the Ennerdale side of the valley that looks like a slender pillar from the valley floor. The best views of the rock probably come from the famous 'high level route', a path that perches perilously half way up the side of the mountain. 

The birth of rock climbing

If that isn't your sort of thing, then it can be seen from the edge of the summit plateau, or perhaps most easily from a path that climbs up from the middle reaches of the Ennerdale valley, passing one of the most impressive unnamed waterfalls in the district on its way.

Pillar Rock saw the birth of rock climbing in the Lake District, and was first climbed by John Atkinson of Croftfoot, only a few miles away in Ennerdale.