Scafell and Slight Side
by richardkchapman » Thu Apr 05, 2012 10:01 pm
Wainwrights included on this walk: Scafell, Slight Side
Hewitts included on this walk: Scafell
Date walked: 05/04/2012
Time taken: 8.2
Distance: 18 km
Ascent: 983m2 people think this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
Another glorious morning, and our last day of walking for this visit, so we set of on our most ambitious walk yet - Scafell from Eskdale via Cam Spout and Foxes Tarn, with a return over Slight Side and the Terrace Route. Wainwright reckons the approach from Eskdale, though very long, is the best line for Scafell and Scafell Pike, as you get to see the best side of them, not to mention a beautiful approach through an unspoiled valley, and keeping away from the crowds.
We parked at Wha House, and set of up a farm track signposted Bird How.
The initial ascent is gentle and very scenic, along a good quiet path
Above the Cowcove zigzags the path passes through some beautiful wild countryside - "cut off from civilisation and surrounded by mountains, with bog myrtle and cotton grass growing nearby", as Wainwright has it.
Eventually, we approach the Cam Spout waterfall, where things suddenly start to get serious. The GPS tells me that we have already done 5 miles, but it's been such an easy walk through such lovely country that it doesn't feel anything like it. Mind you, we've still got 2000 feet of ascent to go...
The ascent beside Cam Spout was steep and a little scary (I'm not good with heights these days), but we all got up ok.
Above Cam Spout the path is steep but in glorious surroundings, leading up towards Mickledore.
Before the Mickledore ridge, a gully leads up to Foxes Tarn. Usually this would be a fairly straightforward scramble, but with snow and ice reducing the route options it was quite tricky.
Eventually We reached Foxes Tarn - not much of a tarn to be seen, just a big boulder in a snow-covered puddle. Then up a steep scree to the saddle. Looking over towards Scafell Pike the crowds were quite impressive (or depressing, depending on your point of view).
From the saddle the walk to the summit was quick and easy, and the views in every direction were spectacular.
We all felt a real sense of achievement at the summit - this is a long and hard walk, with a big ascent over very tricky gound at the end of it. The dogs were exhausted...
From the summit the descent was over Slight Side (a new Wainwright for me) and down the Terrace route back to the car. The paths over Quagrigg Moss down to Cat Crag were very indistinct and we wandered off course a few times, but the descent was generally easy (if long).
Overall, this was a really enjoyable walk, in great conditions and amazing countryside. A meal at the Woolpack Inn rounded off a perfect day.
by mamoset » Thu Apr 05, 2012 11:58 pm
by ChrisW » Fri Apr 06, 2012 12:21 am
by simon-b » Sun Apr 08, 2012 2:53 pm
As for the masses on Scafell Pike, I say credit to them all for making the effort and getting up there, when many probably aren't regular hillwalkers.
by johnkaysleftleg » Sun Apr 08, 2012 9:19 pm
by garyhortop » Mon Apr 09, 2012 10:10 am
Walkhighlands community forum is advert free
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by donating by direct debit?