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This route takes in some of the most famous scenery in the Lake District. It starts out by traversing screes below Kern Knotts Crag before veering steeply up behind Napes Needle and traversing the base of the crags which hang high over Wasdale Head. Thread the Needle, then follow the polished line along the base of Eagle's Nest Ridge and Arrowhead Ridge.

Approaching from Wasdale traverse left below the high crags of Kern Knotts over rocky terrain. Continue over screes past Tophet Wall until the Needle appears prominently above you. At this point the scramble turns right up to the cleft right of the Needle, from here an easy but strenuous chimney takes you to the gap at back of the Needle.

A long and polished step down takes you to the start of the Climbers' Traverse. The traverse winds an obvious and natural line around the base of the crags, several short gully descents and rocky steps add interest. The route leads naturally into Sphinx Ridge.

Ticklists

The Ridges of England, Wales and Ireland

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Route of Interest

Sourmilk Gill

Grade: 2 ***
(Sourmilk Gill (Buttermere))