Date & Time: Friday 8th June 2007. 10 am start. ( NY 193 075 )

Location of Start : Brackenclose car park, Wasdale Head, Cumbria, Uk.

Places visited : Brackenclose, Illgill Head, Brackenclose, Lingmell Gill, Brackenclose.

Walk details : 5.25 mls, 2230 ft of ascent during the day.

Highest point : Illgill Head (Ann) 1985 ft ( 609 m )

Walked with : Ann and the dogs, Harry and Bethan, plus a cast of 200 other walkers.

Weather : Warm and sunny, some cloud on the high fells.

Meet at Brackenclose at 10 am for radios and last minute information


Today I had been asked to help on a sponsored climb of Scafell Pike, as part of a three peaks challenge.

The difference with this attempt was that the 200 team members would be taking a long weekend to complete the three climbs, Snowdon, Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis, but do it as far as possible by using the train . They would be sponsored by friends and colleagues and the money raised would go to the Railway Children Charity supporting children, often orphans, who spent their live scraping a living on railway stations round the world.

Organised by Global Challenge UK they had "borrowed" a spare train that would carry them round the country. It would be their base for the three days.

Six of us had been asked to supervise the Lake District part of the walk, so with first aid kit, pen, paper and personal radios we set off to count them out, and count them all back in at the end, to make sure they all made their way up, down, and back onto the train to continue their journey north.

Radio check prior to the start of the day.

Conditions are a bit overcast but it's warm. The teams were due over to Brackenclose at lunchtime so with a couple of hours to spare Ann and I decided to walk up Illgill Head . . . to exercise the dogs, and to exercise ourselves.

This is Wasdale, looking down from the head of Wast Water.

Staring the climb from Brackenclose we look down on Wasdale Head Hall Farm.

Yewbarrow across the lake, pictured with the old wall and a flower-laden Rowan Tree.

Looking back, the high fells at the head of Wasdale are showing through the haze.

The one in the centre is Pillar Fell, with Kirk Fell partially obstructed by the tree on the right.

The double footbridge on the way up . . .
with it's well paved double hump-backed stone surface.

A fuller view of Kirk Fell as we climbed higher towards Burnmoor Tarn.

The stone walls below are ruins of old sheilings (summer dwellings) or possibly peat houses used to store winter fuel.

Ann climbing up the grassy slopes of Illgill Head
. . . closely followed by yours truly.

Despite the blue skies and warm temperatures the summit of Scafell, and behind it Scafell Pike, were attracting a slight cloud cover.

Due to time constraints, I turned and retraced my steps to Brackenclose in order to be in position for the expected arrival of the sponsored walkers.

Ann meanwhile continued on and reached the large cairn on Illgill Head. Beyond is the far end of the Wasdale Screes, Whin Rigg.

The view down the screes from below the cairn
and the view across to Greendale Beck and Buckbarrow.

Near the dramatic edge of the screes, looking across to Greendale again.

It's a warm day so the dogs stop running about for a few seconds.

Later Ann also returned to Brackenclose.

Beyond in the haze is the shapely Yewbarrow, with Red Pike to the left of it.

Ahhh ! Chance to cool off in the stream on the way back.

Meanwhile . . . the "Railway Children" had started from Boot (Dalegarth Station on La'al Ratty) and they were somewhere down there in the haze.

They had a four and a half mile walk over to Wasdale past Burnmoor Tarn before they even started their ascent of Scafell Pike.

Full marks to them for effort.

That looks like them now . . .

. . . a thin ribbon of walkers making their way across to Wasdale.

Their task - should they wish to accept it - was to climb that fell.

First they had to report in at our checkpoint above Brackenclose Bridge.

Time to report in, perhaps take a break, and for us to offer help if required.

Here I'm trying to fix someone's trekking pole prior to the ascent.

Lunch over, these guys got ready to leave . . .

. . . as others were just arriving from the second train into Boot.

From here they would be making their way up by Lingmoor Gill and onto Hollow Stones (the green ridge ahead)

before climbing Scafell Pike . . . Ann has now joined me at the check point after her extended walk.

The teams make their way up towards Scafell Pike, via Lingmell Col to the left, then up the sky-line to the summit.

Kate and the other organisers of Global Challenge take a break themselves. They had followed the last teams over,

but would not climb to the summit today, in order that they would be ready to meet the teams coming down.

I now moved further up the fell side, in order to meet the teams as they returned from the summit.

They had climbed Snowdon at midnight last night

and now all but about twelve or so had climbed their second summit of the weekend, Scafell Pike.

Happy smiling faces, but some of them were looking rather tired.

Most had enjoyed a good view from the summt as the clouds had cleared.

I counted them onto the mountain, now I had to count them off.

Afterwards we just checked for any litter left behind, but this butterfly had found the apple core first.

It seemed almost a shame to clear the apple away.

Stop Press . . .

Now you can't go showing me a picture of an un-named butterfly
withour knowing I'd have to look up what it is ;o)

I think its a Dark Green Fritillary and what a lovely butterfly he is too. Jill (B)


Thanks Jill. ( apparently the name derives from the green underside of the wings )

After everyone was down we made our way back to base.
We left a cloud free Scafell Pike at the end of the day

Illgill Head which Ann had climbed earlier in the day.

The 48 teams made it off the mountain on time

and proceeded to Ravenglass and their waiting train.

Afterwards we understand they had a successful climb of Ben Nevis

and celebrated all the way back to London.


We hear that together they raised in excess of £200,000

for the Railway Children of the world.

What a tremendous effort.


- - - o o o - - -

Technical note: Pictures taken with a Canon G7 Digital camera.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

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Previous walk - 6th June 2007 Side Pike and Lingmoor, and it's hot again

A previous time . . . on the summit of Scafell Pike - 13th October 2006 A Great End to our "428 Wainwright Fells"

with the Railway Children 22nd September 2006 Burnmoor Tarn and the Railway Children Walk 2006

Next walk - 9th June 2007 Caw and Haycock from Bowness Knott