Today we had a walk up to the Scafells – I had intended to climb Great End via Skew Gill…
Height: 807 metres / 2649 feet Grid reference: NY 20925 08144 Category: The Southern Fells
Lingmell is recognisable in the Lake District logo in the classic Wast Water shot.
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.
The forecast was looking good for this morning but when I pitched up at Wasdale Head at first light it looked anything but. The wind was fierce and the rain driving by the time I got to Sty Head. I made my first objective which was Lambfoot Dub, a small and remote tarn which nestles below Great End. The second objective was Scafell Pike but that went by the wayside in the end. Read on to see why…
Some walks are pretty and some are easier than others but today’s walk is best described as a gnarled and hard going. I climbed Skew Gill to reach Great End and that was a hard scramble (Note: to repeat, Skew Gill is a hard scramble and in no way is it a ‘walk’) and had a look at Cust’s Gully before climbing Great End and walking the Scafell Pikes. It was really quite pleasant at times too, warm and spring like and not too many people about either.
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.
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.
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.
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…