Scafell Pike Walk

The Walk

1/08/2016

1 Wainwright completed.
Scafell Pike - 978mts - 2nd time.

A visit to the Lakes with my family wouldn't be complete without a visit to England's highest mountain the iconic Scafell Pike. Accompanying me would be my wife, son, eldest daughter and two son in laws, the rest of the family heading to a nearby swimming pool for the day.
The route would start at Wasdale Head and traverse the lower slopes of Great Gable up to Styhead, then on past Sprinkling Tarn to Esk Hause where we would turn up onto the Scafell ridge passing Great End, Ill Crag and Broad Crag before the final climb to The Pike.
We luckily picked a fine weather day, and so after the short but spectacular drive from Eskdale to the National Trust carpark at Wasdale Head we set off.
The idea was that we would stay as a single group, however my son and youngest son in law had other ideas, both of them are keen athletes and soon disappeared from view leaving the remainder of us playing catch up, this would be the scene set for the day, which seemed to suit everyone. First stop of the day was at the Styhead stretcher box with wonderful views over towards Piers Gill and Lingmell. Onwards and upwards, with a quick stop at Sprinkling Tarn (such a beautiful place), with Great End towering  up on our right we carried on up to the vast expanse of Esk Hause. This is where a number of paths meet, left for Allen Crags/Angle Tarn, straight on for Esk Pike, slightly to the right for Upper Eskdale and right for Scafell Pike.
Now the hard work begins, with a mile to go and the Pike still not in view I had to reassure some of our group that they would make it. A lot of people mistake Ill Crag for Scafell Pike, but there is much further to go. After the climb up onto the Scafell ridge via Calf Cove it was a good time to stop for lunch, refreshed we set off for the boulder hopping on Broad Crag, virtually the whole of the ridge is shattered rock, concentration is needed, with one wrong step could come a broken ankle, so very slow progress is made. However the views are to die for, although it is highly recommended to stop while taking in the sights.

 One superb moment occurred just as we reached the col between Ill Crag and Broad Crag, a Euro Fighter aircraft came hurtling through Wasdale Head then following Lingmell Beck before banking hard and flying directly over us so low we could see the pilot clearly, we all waved like mad and were rewarded when he tipped his wings to us. What a moment, the quietness and then the roar of the engines as it powered through the tight turn into Upper Eskdale were immense.

Spurred on by this we crested the ridge and Scafell Pike was directly in front of us, now this can be an uplifting moment followed by a moment of depression at the thought of heading steeply down to Broad Crag col followed by a hard 500ft climb to the summit of England's highest mountain.
Once again myself and Christine were rewarded with clear views from the roof of England, some people never get to see these, we have also been up  Ben Nevis on a rare clear day as well, lucky people.
The summit area was busy as usual but we did manage to photograph the four 1st timers on top of the large cairn. After visiting the south cairn it was time to head back to Wasdale Head, I was going to take us all back via the Corridor Route but there were some tired legs so we opted for the shorter Hollowstones route directly back to the carpark.

Another great day on the fells made extra special by having my family with me.

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