Both myself and my wife Vicky, wanted to take our time to walk this route so we could explore the mountain and its surroundings, as well as searching out all of the areas we had read about for so long. But due to relentless rain that week we decided we would just go on the next available day and see what happens. A window of better weather was promised so with the cloud still hanging over the peak we left Wasdale campsite and headed up to the track. Walking through the car park confirmed to us that it was going to be a fairly quiet day on the mountain compared to what we had heard prior. As we crossed the bridge onto the track heading up through Lingmell Gill it soon became obvious that most of our walk would be on man-made tracks built to keep people on route and also to protect the mountain from erosion. It’s a fairly straight-forward walk up this part to the spot where you can look across to Lord’s Rake with its precariously hanging boulder at the top. Maybe next time!
With the walk going well and the skies clearing, we now had a short scramble up to a place called Mickledore (which sounded reminiscent of something out of The Lord of the Rings?!), and proved to be a little harder than it looked. It was great fun though getting hand to rock, but it was over a little to soon really. Still, we then had the view of the summit and a cracking view to the north. With the sun now on our backs it was really warming up and we decided to get moving before the midday sun hit us. We followed the line of cairns through a field of skree and eventually came across the summit, and we weren’t let down by the view at the top. This really is a great place to be in clear weather with stunning views in every direction – you could even see the isle of Man!
After a good half an hour of taking in the views and filling up on calories, we decided we would take a different route back down. We headed down towards Lingmell, where we planned to include that summit as well. Unfortunately, just as we reached the saddle between the two mountains it became apparent that a big storm cloud was looming and you could see the rain already pouring on to the valley below. So we decided on a quick change of direction and headed down the side of Lingmell and back to the car park and campsite from where we had started. We managed to get down fairly quickly, but not without getting a bit of a soaking! But we didn’t care because we had climbed to the top of the highest mountain in England and there was just one thing left to do, a few pints in the local pub to finish of a great day. And a further bonus was Scrappy (the dog) really seamed to have enjoyed his day out at the local kennels!
Route on OS Explorer OL6: Start from the car park at *NY183075* next to the national trust campsite. There are signpost’s here for Scafell Pike which you need to follow to *NY186073* where a bridge allows you to cross the river on to the path which follows the river’s natural route to *NY203073* Here the path divides into two. Stay on the right hand side and follow to *NY209069* At this point you will see track in front of you with a short scramble at the top. Follow this up to *NY211069* (Mickledore) Take the track to your right which will lead you through the rocky summits to *NY216073* the summit of Scafell Pike and England! From here head down the winding track to *NY212078* You will see a faint track here which you need to follow to *NY209083* to add Lingmell to your bag or turn onto the earlier faint track to *NY203082* where to will find a track heading down Lingmell to *NY186073* where you previously crossed the river on the way up. Cross back here and follow the path back to the car park *NY183075*