Positioned at what must be about the centre of the Lake District, Fleetwith Pike holds a commanding position at the top of the Buttermere Valley. It’s a steep climb from the valley floor with a few false summits along the way. Once at the top, however, the view can be stunning with Great Gable and Scafell Pike to the south, Helvellyn East and Skiddaw to the North. The valley floor was icy and cold but gave way to a thin layer of snow and bright sunshine on the top. A few ravens flew past but little other life was immediately evident; look closer however and the snow was covered in the trails of small mammals and the occasional set of bird prints.
The land to the east of Fleetwith Pike is slate mining country with Honister mines directly east and the remains of other, now abandoned, mines a little further south. One of the old mine buildings remain as a bothy and the old quarries and tips are slowly blending into the landscape. This was once a busy industrial landscape now just the scars remain, the miners and quarrymen have long gone.
Two tarns stand by the walk on towards the smaller but rugged peak of Haystacks. The first, Blackbeck tarn, comes with views of Great Gable while the second and strangely named Innominate Tarn accompanies views of Pillar. Both tarns came with a sheet of ice, any life within them hidden from view. Hay Stacks itself is a tricky hill with three contenders for status as summit and the route down is a bit of a scramble to Scarth Gap, from where the path descends back towards Buttermere.