40 Year Old Bones found on Englands Highest
by Phooooey » Wed Jun 20, 2012 12:33 pm
Wainwrights included on this walk: Lingmell, Scafell, Scafell Pike, Slight Side
Hewitts included on this walk: Lingmell, Scafell, Scafell Pike
Date walked: 19/06/2012
Time taken: 7
Distance: 16.3 km
Ascent: 1392m3 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).
I can't remember just how many times my father (or others) have dragged me up Englands highest over the years but Tuesday saw the transisition of a middle age, slightly unfit me into an "Over The Hill", slightly unfit me (according to ALL of my birthday cards and messages) . Yes ! Upon this day I dragged my 40 year old bones (and Damson's somewhat younger frame) back up the Scafell Massif and somebody / thing somewhere decided to throw a little sunshine on my birthday proceedings.
The weather forecast was looking good so I decided that my day should be spent outdoors and a break from work sounded just the ticket, so off up the west coast we drove to Wasdale Head.
Although when approching Wastwater the early clouds were wisping over the fell tops, it didn't take long to burn off and the tops were brilliantly clear affording great views as we climbed.
The route took us up Brown Tongue and Hollow Stones onto Lingmell Col where we set a good pace and felt like we were racing the multitude of people out for a mid week stroll.
Wastwater from below Brown Tongue
The climb up Brown Tongue above Wasdale
Nearly at top of Brown Tongue
Scafell Crag from Hollow Stones
Pulpit Rock and Mickledore from Hollow Stones
From here onto the lovely Lingmell summit which we got to ourselves, and watched a rescue helicopter circling Styhead Tarn below us.
Damson on Lingmell summit
Scafell from Lingmell summit
Ascent route up Scafell Pike summit from Lingmell
Piers Gill and Scafell Pike from Lingmell
Cloud over Great Gable
Mosedale from Lingmell (left to right - Red Pike, Scoat Fell, Pillar & Kirk Fell)
Helicopter circling over Styhead Tarn
We rejoined a few of the early plodders as we made the ascent up to the Scafell Pike summit.
The top was it's usual heap of bodies ascending and descending off all 4 corners. A bus load of young lads had commandeered the shelters so it's a good job only a light breeze was cooling us down up there.
A "rarish" picture of me with Damson on the top was required to celebrate and a newly arrived couple did the honours (and I repayed in kind), then Damson was unceremoniously dumped on the trig point for her photo shoot.
Damson & I celebrate reaching Englands highest point
Damson goes a step further
Damson on Scafell Pike summit
Scafell Pike Summit panorama
Scafell to Slight Side panorama from Scafell Pike
Part of the large crowd on Scafell Pike
We wandered away from the crowds across the fell top towards Chambers Crag admiring the views off all sides which stretched for miles, before heading for Scafell. My drop down into Mickledore was steep and full of loose scree as I came down slightly left of the required path and dropped down to Broadcrag Tarn (Lakeland's highest tarn) before traversing back onto Broad Stand and the fast descent down to the left of Scafell Crag.
Across Mickledore to Scafell - Line on left is ascent path up waterfall to Foxes Tarn
Heading down towards Cam Spout from Mickledore
At the bottom of this scree path we hooked right into the once dry gully (if I remember correctly) but nowadays seems to have been converted into a waterfall falling from Foxes Tarn. The climb over slippery rocks and at one point under the cascading water that breaks over an overhead rock is steep and at the time not my favourite part of the day (as I really don't like heights when I feel I'm totally reliant on my own sense of balance) but now its over I feel somewhat better about it and thought it added a very different challenge to todays yomping. Still not brave enough to get the camera out for a play up there though !!
Further steep scree climbing takes you directly up to Scafell's summit and the ridge leading across to Long Green and on to Slight Side covering the last of todays 4 summits.
Bowfell from Scafell
Burnmoor Tarn to Great Gable panorama from Scafell summit
Scafell & Scafell Pike from Long Green
Scafell Pike, Ill Crag and Esk Pike from Long Green
Damson on Slight Side
Slight Side southerly panorama
Scafell massif from Slight Side
No clear path back to Wasdale presents itself at this point so we headed back and down the long grassy banks under the western side of Scafell to Kettle Cove and down Hardrigg Gill heading towards Burnmoor Tarn. A number of small tracks link up to traverse round Hard Rigg to the north of Burnmoor Tarn and across the moorland to join a path leading back into Wasdale Head.
Lingmell from Burnmoor Tarn descent
Kirk Fell & Great Gable from Burnmoor Tarn descent
Wasdale Head & Mosedale from Burnmoor Tarn descent
Yewbarrow from Burnmoor Tarn descent
Kirk Fell from Wasdale Head
View back up Brown Tongue to Scafell Pike
Scafell Pike from Wasdale Head
Kirk Fell & Great Gable from Wasdale Head
From the National Trust Car Park we missed the bridle path and headed out to the road which took us back to the car park.
After 7 hours, I was running late for further birthday celebrations and therefore missed my usual pint in the Wasdale Inn and headed back home to meet up with the wife, my Dad and his partner Mags for a lovely meal in Hartleys in Dalton.
I thoroughly recommend the Pork Belly & Black Pudding starter and the double steak with Stilton and Bacon were top notch nosh too.
All topped off with an England win in the Euro's to take us into the quarter finals, who could ask for a better way to spend a special day.
by SusieThePensioner » Wed Jun 20, 2012 1:42 pm
Phooooey wrote: "Over The Hill",
Craig, to those younger than you, maybe, to those of us older than you, NO WAY are you over the hill, you've got a long way to go yet
Over all the years, I've never done Scafell. We always went up Brown Tongue etc. but came down via Styhead
Looking forward to the next episode
by BobMcBob » Sat Jun 23, 2012 7:47 pm
by ChrisW » Sat Jun 23, 2012 8:43 pm
by SusieThePensioner » Sat Jun 23, 2012 9:43 pm
Really enjoyed your report, especially as Jeff and our elder daughter Julia are hoping to go up Scafell Pike at the end of July. I can point out the route to them using your photos, thank you
by johnkaysleftleg » Sun Jun 24, 2012 6:42 pm
by Phooooey » Sun Jun 24, 2012 11:36 pm