Drawing 152: Eskdale Needle

Direction of view: SSW

Notes: To find Eskdale Needle, descend west from the summit of Hard Knott, and go to a gap between rocky knolls.  Head down, via a series of rocky promontories.  The lowest is adjacent to the Needle.  The best chance of good light will be on a summer morning.

This view also appears on page 116 of Wainwright in Lakeland, page 97 of Fellwalking with a Camera, page Hard Knott 5 in The Southern Fells, and it is Lakeland Mountain Drawing 457.  The sketch is very accurate to the photograph.

Comments: I first visited this impressive feature on 23rd November 2016.  It was a solo walk in newly-purchased Zamberlan boots, which coped well with the steep snow and grass on the descent to the Needle.  In terms of timing, my visit couldn’t have been worse: I was looking straight into the sun.  Opposite the Needle, there is a very low cave in the base of the rock wall; a brave place to bivvy for an early morning picture!

After doing the best I could with a photo, I headed off for Harter Fell – see 192 and 336. A better picture was obtained on 23rd July 2019 – the lighting was not ideal, but I deemed the picture good enough. The Needle was sporting a top knot of grass!  The pattern of horizontal and vertical cracks make it resemble a Jenga tower, and it does lean slightly towards the valley.

Getting a “good enough” picture was the key to completing my project – a search for perfection would never be fulfilled – and this was the second last to be achieved.  After taking this, I got Wainwright’s view of Eskdale which appears on the title page of A Fourth Lakeland Sketchbook (See From Pen to Photo, also on this site).