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Scafell and Slight Side

Scafell and Slight Side

Postby 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: 983m

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Track_SCAFELL 2012.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

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.

Setting off up Eskdale

The initial ascent is gentle and very scenic, along a good quiet path

Above Taw House

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.

Above Cowcove Zigzags

The sheep are watching...

First chocolate stop.

Still a way to go...


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...

One of Samson's Stones, with Cam Spout behind

Cam Spout

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, heading towards Mickledore

Above Cam Spout the path is steep but in glorious surroundings, leading up towards Mickledore.

Gully leading to Foxes Tarn

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.

Foxes Tarn

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).

Queueing for the summit on Scafell Pike

From the saddle the walk to the summit was quick and easy, and the views in every direction were spectacular.

View from summit of Scafell

View from Summit of Scafell. Skiddaw and Blencathra in distance.

View from Summit of Scafell

Wastwater from summit of Scafell

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...


Exhausted Sapphie

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).

Long Green, looking down to Slight Side

Looking back from Slight Side

Slight Side summit

Looking back at Quagrigg Moss and Slight Side

Overall, this was a really enjoyable walk, in great conditions and amazing countryside. A meal at the Woolpack Inn rounded off a perfect day.
Last edited by richardkchapman on Fri Apr 06, 2012 7:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Scafell and Slight Side

Postby mamoset » Thu Apr 05, 2012 11:58 pm

A good walk on a cracking day, nice 1 :thumbup:

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Re: Scafell and Slight Side

Postby ChrisW » Fri Apr 06, 2012 12:21 am

You and your squad are certainly racking em up Richard, and getting some spectacular weather for doing so too by the looks of things. Another great report with quality photos, the 'Exhausted Sapphie one is lovely :D
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Re: Scafell and Slight Side

Postby simon-b » Sun Apr 08, 2012 2:53 pm

You and your family have certainly been tackling the connoisseur's routes to the Scafell range recently, Richard.

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.
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Re: Scafell and Slight Side

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Sun Apr 08, 2012 9:19 pm

A fine way up a great mountain. Love the pic of the tired dog. :D
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Re: Scafell and Slight Side

Postby garyhortop » Mon Apr 09, 2012 10:10 am

Another great walk with some spectacular pics (apart form the poor exhausted pup!)! You have certainly made the most of the weather and some great walks - have really enjoyed reading and seeing these! :D
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