Starting Point: Wasdale National Trust Carpark
Distance: 5.36 miles (8.63km)
Most Monday’s I struggle to get into work on time for 1pm but today I was up at 4.30am no bother at all, that can only mean one thing…time for England’s highest!
Despite not being too far from Keswick, the route to our starting point in Wasdale Head added another hour onto our travel time so to arrive just after sunrise we had to set off from Newcastle at 5am.
Before reaching the carpark we stopped off to get a few shots from Wastwater, such a surreal and tranquil place, especially first thing in the morning.
As we continued along Wastwater, we caught our first glimpse of today’s challenge, Scafell Pike (Centre) and the winding trail up Lingmell Beck.
We were greeted in the carpark by a National Trust representative who was more than happy to help us through our breakfast.
From the carpark we followed the track alongside Lingmell Beck. Here is the view North over Wasdale Head towards Kirk Fell.
Continuing up the path, our second animal guide of the day stepped in to show us the way.
Passing through this gate you leave the sheep behind and begin the ascent up towards the Scafell plateau.
Lingmell Gill, not bad for no tripod or filters!
Looking back down towards Wastwater with Great Door and Iron Crag to the right. There;s another walker in this image to give you a sense of scale. Throughout this entire walk I found the route completely deceiving to the eye, nothing really looked that far away…that certainly wasn’t the case!
Looking north towards Stirrup Crag and Red Pike.
Decision time, left or right?
We took the route to the right up Mickledore from Hollow Stones as it looked the most fun and would come back down the route to the left on our descent.
Nearly there! A few patches of snow left over from previous weeks, by this point it was rock solid and very slippy, good job it could be easily avoided.
The view back down the valley.
This is the rather impressive Pulpit Rock, with our route up the right hand side of the image.
The scramble begins, pretty steep in places but really difficult to capture in an image.
After a brief scramble up Mickledore we were rewarded with a fantastic view southeast over the river Esk.
The Mountain Goat having a quick play on Symonds Knott, investigating a Mountain Rescue post and the view north.
Here’s a very atmospheric Symonds Knott looking west towards Scafell.
We left the trail to take a closer look at the Pulpit Rock, this is looking back towards Scafell again, the light was amazing.
Looking down over Pulpit Rock, some very helpful frozen footsteps to follow and a fresh frost.
GoPro shot of the day! Makes me look like I know what I’m doing haha!
Mountain Goat Halo!
Skiddaw, Blencathra and Derwent water from Scafell Pike. Best view of the day I reckon, the colours were phenomenal. It’s amazing piecing together your map in front of you.
The Summit, 978 metres of Scafell Pike complete – England’s tallest peak ticked off the list.
Initially we had planned on spending the whole day walking to take in Great End, Broad Crag, Scafell Pike and Scafell but time was against us so it would only be the one today. After lunch we headed east to descent between Scafell Pike and Broad Crag. The panorama over towards the Helvellyn range looked stunning with its patches of snow.
Also worth mentioning these fell runners….they are machines! Would love to be fit enough to run around these peaks, might give it a go sometime but that would mean sacrificing the camera….not keen on that!
One of the many summit cairns on Scafell Pike and more stunning views to the South.
As we approached Broad Crag the view opened up towards Lingmell Crag. Some seriously impressive rock faces here.
Can’t say I wasn’t tempted to wander off down this valley and get lost, just beautiful.
It’s also worth mentioning that as a result of leaving so early I forgot my bloody hat! The wind was ridiculously cold but my Buff was there to save my ears! You just have to excuse the rather wild look I’ve adopted.
The descent here got pretty steep and unstable, only fell over a few times!
How’s this for dramatic scenery? Lingmell Crag to the left and Great Gable to the right.
Flowing into this ravine is Piers Gill. I climbed down onto a small ledge to capture this image of the waterfall and found some really cool ice formations, looked like giant frogspawn.
Climbing back out of the ravine we headed west, following a wall alongside Lingmell Crag.
By this point the weather looked set to turn. I love how ominous the rock faces look when the sun goes in. Mickledore and Symonds Knott here looking a lot less inviting.
We followed Lingmell Gill back down towards Wastwater.
A few more interesting shots from the descent as we tried to rejoin the path.
And finally, the Guardian of the Gate, a cow with Mickey Mouse’s ears.
And that’s potentially it for 2016 unless I can sneak away between Christmas and New Year. Thanks for reading, will be back in 2017. Plans include Wales, Scotland and maybe a little adventure to Skye so plenty to look forward to!