Height: 978 metres / 3209 feet Grid reference: NY 21548 07223 Category: The Southern Fells
Scafell… Continue Reading
The weather turned out even better than I was expecting today – I thought it would be clear, but it was unbelievably so and very warm with a temperature inversion to boot! I have been ‘saving’ this walk for a while which includes a steep scramble up to Pen, a subsidiary summit of Scafell Pike, and the scrambles of Lord’s Rake and the West Wall Traverse. It is for this reason that the walk had to be Angus-less; he would never have managed it today. As it turned out, it was one of the most memorable days I have ever had in the fells – one to remember. I make no apologies for the number of photos included in today’s walk – there could have been lots more, it was so hard to weed them out. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Cold and clear was the forecast and that was spot on today. This is a relatively short distance mileage wise but the time taken tells how difficult the going was at times. The wind made it hard and the deep snow in Deep Gill made it even harder.
Note: Ice axe and crampons were required for this climb. Lord’s Rake, The West Wall Traverse and Deep Gill are difficult and not for the unwary.
Today’s walk is an ascent to the roof of England with a climb to Lingmell via Piers Gill and an ascent of Scafell via Lord’s Rake. Both of these routes require a certain amount of scrambling and Lord’s Rake is at present considered unsafe due to the large, loose boulder lying in wait to crash down at the top of the first section. There are warning signs in place at the bottom to warn of this – any ascent using Lord’s Rake is at your own risk…
It was another warm day today, the sun was beating down and all was still. This is an interesting round to reach the well known highest peaks in the country, ascending alongside Piers Gill and descending down Lord’s Rake. This route manages to avoid the inevitable crowds and apart from Scafell Pike itself, where there were dozens of people, we were alone for virtually all of the route. Casper is getting there now; he seems to be getting used to climbing the rockier sections after being taught a thing or two by Angus on this walk.
The weather certainly didn’t turn out as I expected with it being rather grey and I didn’t really know which route I would take until I did it. I must say it took longer than I thought and it was pretty arduous going at times over boggy ground coupled with a steep ascent and descent. It was still enjoyable though – this is my favourite area of all.
Where better to experience winter conditions than the roof of England, Scafell Pike. I set off early today to beat the Bank Holiday crowds, in fact so early that I didn’t see anyone! The snow made the going tough at times with the snow often being knee deep and sometimes deeper than that. I also took in Lord’s Rake, a difficult prospect at any time of year and even more so in the snow. Warning: if you are going to attempt a similar walk in these conditions, you need to be adequately prepared and have the correct equipment to enable you to do it safely.
I fancied a bit of a scramble today so I headed for the Scafells from Eskdale in beautiful weather to do just that. The Little Narrowcove route is a steep one but straightforward and Lord’s Rake and Deep Gill were as good as ever. I was out early today so there were not so many people around; Casper did manage to get spotted on the descent from Slight Side though, and it is always a pleasure to bump into StridingEdge followers up on the fells.
It was predicted to be clear today and I wasn’t disappointed when I went up to Scafell Pike, it was a complete contrast to yesterday’s rain. The climb to Lingmell straight up the nose is a steep one and it was really cold on this section as the sun was hidden behind Scafell for much of the ascent. The climb to Scafell Pike was bitterly cold too, being in shade until I reached the upper parts. The top was icy with little clumps of snow around but in glorious sunshine. The only fell I could see with a decent dusting of snow was Helvellyn to the east. I climbed to Scafell via Lord’s Rake and the West Wall Traverse before the steep drop down back into Wasdale. A superb days walking; conditions don’t come much clearer than this.