The district as a whole is grooved by a main depression, running from north to south along the valleys of St John, Thirlmere, Grasmere and Windermere, surmounting a pass (Dunmail Raise) of only 783 ft.; while a secondary depression, in the same direction, runs along Derwentwater, Borrowdale, Wasdale and Wastwater, but here Sty Head Pass, between Borrowdale and Wasdale, rises to 1600 ft.
A splendid range separates this dale from Wasdale and its tributary Mosedale, including Great Gable (2949 ft.), Pillar (2927), with the precipitous Pillar Rock on the Ennerdale flank and Steeple (2746).
Wasdale Head, between Gable and the Scafell range, is peculiarly grand, with dark grey screes and black crags frowning above its narrow bottom.
East of Wasdale lies the range of Scafell (q.v.), its chief points being Scafell (3162 ft.), Scafell Pike (3210), Lingmell (2649) and Great End (2984), while the line is continued over Esk Hause Pass (2490) along a fine line of heights (Bow Fell, 2960; Crinkle Crags, 2816), to embrace the head of Eskdale.
In 1929 Wasdale Head became a joint benefice together with Nether Wasdale.
Wasdale is the home of the famous Wil Ritson who was the former innkeeper of the Huntsman Inn.
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