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Via Ferrata & Walking Weekend
NEW for 2020 This is what weekends are made for. A chance to be out in the great outdoors, making memories, and experiencing some of the finest adventure activities in dramatic and picturesque settings.
The Via Ferrata and Alfred Wainwrights favourite mountain, Haystacks, will provide a lot of enjoyment on this adventure walking weekend, combined with enjoyable group social evenings.
- Fully guided activity weekend in the Lake District
- Via Ferrata experience
- Walking in the footsteps of A. Wainwright
- Haystacks guided mountain walk
- Enjoyable social evenings
Accommodation at YHA Buttermere
For the weekend we have reserved a number of beds in male shared and female shared bunkrooms at YHA Buttermere. A limited number of private rooms are available subject to availability, please contact us before booking. Accommodation is for 2 nights, including breakfast.
If you prefer to find your own accommodation, please contact us prior to booking.
Friday – (Optional) Welcome Evening
Check in time at YHA Buttermere is from 5pm and the Friday Welcome Evening (optional) is 8.30pm at the hostel. It’s a chance for everyone on the weekend to meet and the Country Adventures tour leader will be on hand to answer any questions about the planned walks. If you’re unable to make it to the Welcome Evening, the booking confirmation will detail everything you need to know about the weekend.
Saturday - Walk Day
Grade 3 – Haystacks 8 miles (12.8km), with 2380 ft (725m) of ascent, and (optional) Rannerdale Knotts 3 miles (1.8km), with 895 ft (273m) of ascent
Saturday’s walk will follow in the footsteps of A. Wainwright as we walk what was his favourite Lakeland fell, Haystacks. The walk is a steady and rewarding ascent with views of Buttermere Lake and then as we near the summit of Haystacks the Lakeland skyline truly opens up. The view from Haystacks is exceptional with the massif of Great Gable clearly in the distance. The top of Haystacks holds a special place for many a Lakeland fell walker.
An optional circuit of Rannerdale Knotts will be available at the end of the Haystacks walk.
In the evening, an optional social evening is planned in Buttermere where the group can meet up for a drink and enjoy an evening meal together.
Sunday - Via Ferrata & Departure Day
After breakfast we head out for today’s via ferrata experience. It will be an experience you will be re-telling for years to come. Via Ferrata is Italian for ‘Iron Way’ and the system has been used in the Alps for more than a century. Honister’s Via Ferrata Xtreme in the Lake District is an adventure climbing system that uses a permanently fixed cable for safety and protection up the rock face of the old miners’ route. You don’t have to be an experienced rock climber to enjoy the Via Ferrata, although you will experience the same thrills but in the knowledge that you are securely fastened at all times.
The weekend will finish between 1-2pm.
The accommodation for the weekend is YHA Buttermere. Rooms are shared male and shared female bunkrooms and the package includes 2 nights with a cooked breakfast. Private rooms are subject to availability.
If you require help with booking alternative accommodation you may find the following links useful:
Booking.com search for accommodation in Buttermere, Cumbria
We recommend booking accommodation in, or near to, Buttermere village for easy reach to the meeting point for both the activities and social evenings.
Food & Drink
Meals included during the holiday: All breakfasts (with YHA Buttermere accommodation option).
For the walk(s) please bring with you a packed lunch and refreshments. Occasionally on some guided walks (Grade 1 to 2 walks) we may pass a country inn or tea room where if we have time we can call in, however having a packed lunch with you gives the group the freedom to have lunch wherever we are on the walking route. YHA Buttermere has a well equipped self catering kitchen with fridges and storage space to enable you to store snacks and packed lunch items if you wish to prepare your own packed lunches. Alternatively, packed lunches for the walks can be purchased from the hostel (approx. £6).
The venue for the Via Ferrata does have a café where lunch items may be available to purchase once we’ve experienced the via ferrata.
On Saturday evening, an optional social evening in Buttermere is organised by Country Adventures, where the group can meet up for a drink and enjoy an evening meal together.
For guided walking tours that require transport from the meeting point to the start of the walk, we use a minibus or where necessary local transport. There is no extra charge for this, it is included in the tour price.
Our walks are by no means designed to be endurance tests where everyone sets off at a blistering pace. Far from it, it’s about a fine day in the hills in good company enjoying the best of fell walking with exceptional views but it is important to state that for everyone’s walking enjoyment walking does require a minimum level of fitness and stamina. Hill / Mountain walking experience is not essential as long as you have a reasonable level of fitness. For the higher level graded walks (i.e. Challenging Grade) it is advisable that you are someone who enjoys regular cardio exercise or have experience of mountain walking and have the stamina/ leg strength in order to be better prepared for longer sections of uphill & downhill walking associated with higher mountain treks.
Walking Grades Explained
Grade 1 (Leisurely) Normally 5-8 miles, may include gentle ascents and descents of up to a total 1100ft of ascent and similar descent over a day’s walk. Easier scenic walking at lower altitudes along paths and tracks.
Grade 2 (Moderate) Normally 6-10 miles on paths and tracks, between 800ft – 1700ft of total ascent and similar descent. Longer walks, on hills and moorland.
Grade 3 (Moderate Mountain) Normally ranging from 6-10 miles, between 1700ft – 2600ft of ascent, similar descent. Longer walks, over higher ground with possibly steeper ups and downs on paths and tracks.
Grade 4 (Challenging) Normally ranging from 8-13 miles, between 1500ft – 3000+ft of ascent, similar descent, over undulating mountain terrain, walking at higher levels with steep ups and downs. Suitable for people with a good level of fitness.
What you need to bring with you for the walks
- Good, comfortable walking boots with a cleated sole and good ankle support are essential.
- Waterproof jacket and over-trousers.
- Warm, dry walking clothing. Unsuitable clothing includes Jeans or cotton tracksuit bottoms and cotton t-shirts (cotton is a poor insulating fabric and when wet it takes a long time to dry, which can lead to a rapid loss of body heat as well as being uncomfortable).
- A number of thin layers are better than one thick/ heavy jumper. We suggest a fleece for extra warmth especially when we stop on the hills for lunch.
- Hat and gloves (even in summer – any wind chill on the mountain tops will lead to cooler temperatures).
- Sunglasses, sun cream.
- Hot or cold drinks (i.e. a minimum of 2 litres of water).
- Plenty of food and drink for lunch and snacks.
- A rucksack large enough to carry it all in (20-30 litres), ideally with a waterproof liner.
- Any medication you need.
- Thermos flask. We recommend bringing warm drinks with you, as even on sunny days it can occasionally feel cooler, especially on the summits of the higher-level mountain walks.
- Walking poles (if you use them).
- A towel (if staying at the YHA)
We want you to enjoy your time with Country Adventures and have the best possible adventure experience. Please be aware that if any participants are not properly equipped for the walk (i.e. with walking boots and waterproofs), at the guide’s discretion we reserve the right to not allow them on the walk for reasons of safety for both the individual and the group. If you need clarification any of the equipment requirements, please don’t hesitate to ask.
Tour Schedule & Activity Meeting Times
Please ensure you give yourself plenty of time to get to the meeting point at the required time. The transport for our day walks will leave promptly at the stated time and due to the nature of scheduled tours, we are unable to provide refunds if unfortunately, you miss the departure time.
Welcome Evening – 8.30pm at YHA Buttermere
Activity Days – 9.00am at YHA Buttermere
Address: YHA Buttermere, Buttermere, Cumbria, CA13 9XA