Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Scafell Pike from Seathwaite farm

This started off with a big up and down before the walk had even begun. We were due to make this trek to the summit of England together with Dave, and had arranged to meet at Seathwaite. So when Dave pulls up in the village of Seathwaite and asks a nearby publican if this was the right Seathwaite for Scafell Pike the landlord replied "You're the first to ask today, but you won't be the last, and no it isn't!"...

the view from Seathwaite

The upside of this is that we had made great time and had reached Keswick early, so Claire and I managed to grab a big breakfast in Booths. The downside was of course, not having Dave with us!

The first mile or so of the walk is amazing, following the river Derwent along the valley until you reach Stockley Bridge. Here you could choose which way to go around Seathwaite Fell, we chose the path that would take us up to Sprinkling Tarn. Our chosen route followed up the side of the spectacular Taylorgill Force.

This was a steady climb up to Styhead Tarn, with the low cloud obscuring the views we should have had up Aaron Slack to Windy Gap between Green and Great Gable. It also meant we could barely see our next target, the huge buttress of Great End.

the view to Great End had cleared by the time we returned

We followed AW's directions and veered off from the path, heading straight up the steep grassy slops of Great End, between the crags. Poor visibility meant I think we veered off the proposed route, but the GPS showed we were firmly on track. In fact the GPS proved to be a real winner on this route with visibility right down.

Sprinkling Tarn through the mist

There was a fair bit of scrambling to be done before we made it to the rocky plateau of the summit of Great End, but we rewarded ourselves with a tasty picnic in the summit shelter.

looking over to the Langdale Pikes

From there it was a short but tough trek over to Scafell Pike. The boulders strewn across the path together with the lack of visibility did mean that it felt like we were walking on the moon - albeit a busy moon. As we couldn't see a great deal we didn't bother with the other "Pikes" but headed straight over to the big one. The steep ravine just before the summit was a bit of a blow even though I was expecting it. But a short pull up the other side and there we were, on the highest point in England!

Scafell Pike summit!

The crowds and winds meant it was a short but happy moment, before heading back down towards Lingmell Col. Here I had my first ever good views of Wastwater and some of the more remote scenery in the Lake District.


From the col we headed straight up the slopes opposite and made the short climb up to the summit of our third and final Wainwright of the day, Lingmell. Sadly again the clouds were not on our side, having opened up briefly they closed in on us when we reached the top, so those views of Great Gable and the Scafell range have been saved for another day.


Of course once we got back off the higher ground the skies cleared, and we had some really incredible views all around us. We then hit the celebrated Corridor Route which proved trickier than expected. There were a few places where the path was less than obvious and a tough little scramble up a scree bank too. But the views around Piers Gill were just sensational and I would go back in a flash.

The route was a lot longer than anticipated too, meaning the sun was setting fast by the time we got back to Sprinkling Tarn, and it was more or less dusk when we were back at Stockley Bridge.

But soon enough we were back at the car, and in a 12 mile (or thereabouts) round trip we had taken in the highest point in England, three Wainwrights, some fantastic scenery, a lake, waterfall and some tarns, and a great day out!

No comments:

Post a Comment