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" Scafell Pike with Abi "

Date & start time:      10th April 2022.  10 am start.

Location of Start :     Brackenthwaite NT car park, Wasdale, Cumbria, Uk. ( NY 183 074).

Places visited :          Brown Tongue, Mickledore, Scafell Pike, Lingmell and then down the ridge.

Walk details :              5.75 miles, 3300 ft of ascent, 5 hours 36 mins.

Highest point :           Scafell Pike, 3,210ft - 978m.

Walked with :              Grand daughter Abi and the dogs, Dylan and Dougal.

Weather :                     Sunny to start, turning overcast, scattered snow on the ground, breezy on top.


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My granddaughter Abi had missed out when her older brother had climbed England's highest peak back in 2010,

but she's staying here in Loweswater over Easter and when asked what she'd like to climb, Scafell Pike was the instant response . . .

" because her brother had climbed it and she hadn't ".

Living locally and having 'worked' on Three Peaks events, I had done it many times, but there was one significant walking route left

that was still un-climbed by me ! Today was the chance to combine the two objectives into one walk.

It was a nice morning as we rounded the corner into the Wasdale Valley.

Ahead was a view of the highest peak in England, the task for today was laid out before us.

Scafell Pike via Mickledore.

Starting from the National Trust car park at Brackenclose we headed out with the prospect of the climb laid out ahead of us.

Today we'll head to the summit via the col to its right, but don't get confused with the other high peak in the centre of the picture.

Scafell always looks taller than its neighbour, but there's a whole 14 metre height difference between them.

Crossing the bridge over Lingmell Beck . . . now the hard work starts.

It's only April and there's poorer weather in the forecast, so we've warm clothing either on or packed in the rucksack, despite the sunshine.

Photo by a passing fell walker . . . with thanks.

Abi strides out on the path alongside Lingmell Beck.

The cooler weather hasn't arrived so Abi is looking a little flushed by the steep climb.

The Lingmell Beck Crossing which can be difficult in flood conditions.

I'm surprised that The Park hasn't constructed a bridge . . . but at least this way it makes the trek upward more interesting.

Little dogs have to be carried or be washed away !
Our two took it in their stride and we were away up Brown Tongue.

The view behind is always worth looking at . . . a photograph provides the excuse for another breather on this hot day.

Towards the top of Brown Tongue the path splits.

The main path heads left for Lingmell Coll, but we'll go right heading for Mickledore.

Into the flatter corrie below Scafell Pike and Scafell, known as Hollow Stones.

This less frequented route has lost its pitched path that we climbed earlier, in favour of a more traditional mountain path.

Work has been done on the path however and we're back to stone pitching as we reach a large boulder . . . on top of which were two dogs.

I didn't tell them to climb up, but I did ask them to pose for the camera !

Off to our left, the Lingmell Coll (motorway) path zig-zags its way ever upward.

Below the hollow is full of stones fallen from on high . . . so Hollow Stones is a meaningful name for the place !

The sun continues to shine on us and on a lone walker on the slopes ahead.

The guides mention the boulder as a place to shelter in poor weather ?
The steep face of Pulpit Rock high above us.

- - - o o o - - -



Up here in the bowl of the valley the temperature were lower

and we officially crossed the snow line.


The run up to Easter has been a cool and slightly damp one

and a few weeks ago this would have been deep snow

but today specialist footwear was not necessary.


Dylan and Dougal are fully equipped however

and have good thermal insulation, four wheel (leg) drive

and retractable crampons (claws) if needed.


- - - o o o - - -

The suggested route up Mickledore follows the break of slope under the rocks to the right.

Despite the lack of grass, a consistent route through the stones was reasonably identifiable.

Late winter conditions has left some fine icicles on the Scafell crags.

The path tucks itself close to the steep cliffs that became the home of the early rock climbers.

Lord's Rake is an adventurous walker's scramble, seen here climbing to the notch on the skyline.  It leads on towards the summit of Scafell.

The fallen boulder which used to sit across the gap has move once again and is no longer a major problem.

Abi safely across the scree, now carefully placing her feet on the rocky path.
"I've been up ahead and there is a way through" our guide tells us.
He didn't mention how steep . . .
. . . or how icy the route would become !

Still there was sufficient bare rock to make the ascent possible without specialist footwear . . . we just needed to take care.

The steepest part of the Mickledore scramble is done . . .
. . . still our guides spur us on.

It was just a short climb out onto the Mickledore Coll.

This was the view to the right as we emerged from the climb.

The view ahead now offer us Upper Eskdale and the distant Coniston Fells.

However, our route turned right and we continue up past the Stretcher Box.

[ Inside would be a mountain stretcher, to avoid the rescue teams having to carry one all the way up here should they need one.]

Looking back from slightly further up, we can now appreciate Scafell as a separate mountain.

The darker gash down to the left is the Fox's Tarn approach path for Scafell summit

which avoids the difficult, direct rock climb of Scafell via the Broad Stand.

The approach to Scafell Pike summit for us is an altogether an easier option  . . . we can see it ahead !

We just have to find where the path goes between one cairn and the next, as crossing the rocky summit plateau is tricky today.

Rebuilt, or at least repaired in recent years, we reach the fine summit 'platform' with the memorial stones on the sides.

Climbing up onto it gave us a fine panoramic view of the surrounding fells.

Click here or on the photo above for my 360 degree annotated panorama

Our priority after our climb  was a spot of lunch in a warm place,

so we diverted away from the top slightly and sat in one of the larger wind shelters.

Picking up on a couple of familiar views . . . this one of Borrowdale, Derwent Water, Keswick and Skiddaw.

The other 3,000 footer of Helvellyn was lost in the mist

but close at hand, in relative terms, were Bowfell and Crinkle Crags. 

That's Windermere over the back.

Lunch over we return to the summit, sadly not before we had to gather up other people's rubbish from inside the shelter.

[ If you want it back it's in three green dog bags in the bin at Brackenthwaite car park ! ]

Time now to find the way down !

No wander that folk get lost up here in the mist.  The obvious cairns seen here to take you away towards Mickledore

but we need to head away more to the right, to follow the Lingmell Coll line of cairns for our planned descent route.

Abi at the turn above the slabs.

The path changes direction to avoid steep cliffs and heads towards Styhead Tarn in the distance.

Lower down it turns back, more north west once again, heading down towards Lingmell Coll.

Near the bottom a path breaks away to the right to lead you to the start of the Corridor Route to Seathwaite.

We continue on, but soon leave the main path ourselves, as we want to climb Lingmell summit on the way down.

Looking back at Scafell Pike and Scafell to the right.

The Lingmell Coll path can be seen as a grey path and higher up you can see the crags that the twisting path and slabs avoided.

We've crossed the wall that divides Lingmell and Scafell Pike and are now climbing hard once again.

To our left we can see Sellafield . . . and a faint outline of the Isle of Man out to sea, beneath the high cloud.

To our right the view is totally different . . . as we look over the edge into the deep gash of Pier's Gill.

That's Great End opposite and the Corridor Route crosses the slope below it on the way to Styhead Tarn.

From the top of Lingmell Abi and I look across to Great Gable and Skiddaw in the far distance.

The views now seem to be slightly better despite the lack of sunshine that we had enjoyed on our ascent route.

Lingmell is famous for two other cairns on the way down from the summit.

They seem much smaller than I remember, a fact confirmed by looking at pictures from an earlier climb once we got home.

Still I added a few stones to the top to try and right problem most likely caused by winter weather's freeze and thaw action up here.

The lower cairn again was not a patch on the olden days.

They both need more working time and a better cairn builder than I

for them to achieve the dizzy heights that they used to enjoy.

Still there's plenty of stone about if anyone wants to have a go !

The route down crosses the wall we saw in the earlier photo.

Yet another cairn, this time in the middle of nowhere particular.

The path drifts back to the northern side of the Lingmell descent ridge

and we get lovely aerial views down into Upper Wasdale and of the Wasdale Head Inn.

The descent is surprisingly steep as we head down towards Wast Water once again.

If you had a school protractor you could measure the angle of descent !

Here we could look across to the Brown Tongue spur and the Mickledore Coll.

Always nice to see the walk in perspective after having just walked it.

One last wall to cross . . . not too big on this side . . .
. . . but a full eight foot drop on the other !

We followed the ridge down and so avoided the Lingmell Beck ascent path we used earlier.

Safely back at lake level after a great walk.

It's a short walk back across the bridge to the Brackenthwaite car park.

The dogs were quickly into the car . . . I think they were tired.

It must be a strange life not knowing what's ahead in your day, a short dog stroll or a full on five and a half hour, rugged fell walk with snow.

Still they never complain and always seem to enjoy whatever life throws at them !

The day has cleared again as we stop at the shelter on the Nether Wasdale Road

and look back and admire the views towards Great Gable and the head of the valley.

. . . and by standing the other side of the shelter

we could even see the classic walk we had just completed, laid out before us.

- - - o o o - - -


Technical note: Pictures taken with my Panasonic Lumix Gx8 Camera.

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

This site best viewed with . . . another of life's targets achieved . . . a first ascent of England's Scafell Pike by Abi.

(Now her brother will have to stop teasing her about not having climbed it)

Go to Home Page . . . © RmH . . . Email me here

Previous walk - 4th / 6th April - Two Easter Walks with Rachel 

A previous time up here - 27th July 2010 Scafell Pike with Tom & Sam

Next walk - 15th April 2022 - Rannerdale from Home