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Scafell and Slight Side via Eskdale

Scafell and Slight Side via Eskdale

Postby trailmasher » Thu Dec 18, 2014 1:19 pm

Wainwrights included on this walk: Scafell, Slight Side

Hewitts included on this walk: Scafell

Date walked: 07/09/2007

Time taken: 9

Distance: 15.7 km

Ascent: 1163m

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This is an old walk of mine that I did 7 years ago so must apologise if it does not fit the bill. Reason is that I have not had a walk in decent image friendly weather since I signed up to WH.
0014 Looking towards Slight Side and Scafell Pike from Jubilee Bridge under Hard Knott.jpg
Looking towards Slight Side and Scafell Pike from Jubilee Bridge on the Hardknott Pass Road

Joe and I arrived at the Jubilee Bridge car park near the bottom of Hardknott Pass at around 10am, it having taken us some 1½hrs to drive there from Appleby. The car park is just below the old Roman fort, MEDIOBOGDVM, now commonly known as Hardknott Castle.

We left the car park on a warm sunny day with mist on the fells and on leaving the car park turned right up the tarmac road for a short distance and took the path which runs along the topside of the small wood which is just above Brotherikeld Farm. We then followed the path which took us under Yew Crags on the right, above us, and Brock Crag and Heron Crag which is on the opposite side of the valley. Eskdale Needle is also visible on the right hand side just past Yew Crags. Our first objective being Lingcove Bridge some 3.11km or 2 miles from the car park. As we approached the bridge the mist seemed to rise in front of us giving us the impression that it may have lifted by the time we had got up to Mickledore. That in fact is what happened and the day turned into one with blue skies and lots of sun.

So far we have followed the old packhorse route that started at Boot and went all the way over to Esk Hause and Ore Gap. This is where the route splits. The one we are taking is the old packhorse route leading to Esk Hause and which eventually goes on to Rosthwaite and Seathwaite, whilst the other one heads for Ore gap and then on along the Langstrath Valley and into Rosthwaite.
0002 Lingcove Bridge 2.jpg
Lingcove Bridge, an old packhorse crossing

We crossed this lovely little bridge - a work of art really - and followed the River Esk between Throstlehow Crag on the right and Green Crag on the left eventually reaching Scar Lathing where we continued to follow the river left as we found it much drier here than going directly across Great Moss which is notorious for its boggy ground. The weather has been sunny for a good few days now so that has helped to dry things out a bit.

Many photos were taken at this point as the landscape is magnificent. Cam Spout Crag being in your face at this point. After crossing the River Esk without much trouble we left the packhorse route which finds its way past Little Narrowcove and on to Esk Hause and proceeded to climb up the rocky face which is alongside How Beck Waterfalls. A good enough scramble. Our path now leads us up the steep path to Mickledore which is now in view.
0005 Scar Lathing by the River Esk.jpg
Scar Lathing by the river

0009 A view across Great Moss.jpg
A view across Great Moss

0013 walking towards Cam Spout waterfall.jpg
Dow Crag

0016 Cam Spout Crag waterfall.jpg
Cam Crag Spout waterfall

0023 Climbing up the side of Cam Spout waterfall.jpg
Climbing up the side of Cam Spout waterfall

0024 The view across Great Moss from the top of Cam Spout waterfall.jpg
The view over Great Moss from the top of Cam Spout waterfall

On reaching Mickledore we lingered awhile where a drink and a sandwich was most welcome.

0025 Mickledore in the distance.jpg
Mickledore in the distance

0026 Scafell Pike summit in the mist.jpg
Scafell Pike summit in the mist

The mist had lifted as we got to Mickledore so had to take more photos.

0032 The view from Mickledore to Great Moss.jpg
The view from Mickledore over Great Moss

0034 Scafell and Broad Stand looking from Mickledore.jpg
Scafell and Broad Stand looking from Mickledore

I am a bit of a monument on the fells bagger and if I get a sniff of one I try to find and photograph it and so far have built up quite a collection. Some I have just come upon with no indication of them on the OS map or info when Googled. Our intention was to find the Memorial Cross at the bottom of The Pinnacle climb which is on the face of Scafell just before entering Lord's Rake, and also the site of two World War 2 fighter planes which crashed in mist only 50ft from clearing the summit of Slight Side.

In this we achieved both.

Below is a short article on both incidents.

Scafell climbing accident

The climbers killed were:-

R W Broadrick
H Jupp
S Ridsedale
A E W Garrett

On Sept 21 1903, 4 climbers fell to their deaths on Scafell pinnacle. The climbers were the first to lose their lives doing the sport in the UK and to many it heralded the end of the Golden age of climbing. I believe the accident was caused by a sudden big storm and an unfortunate lightning strike that hit where they were climbing. Their grave was the first to go in the newly consecrated graveyard at Wasdale Head and a memorial was carved into the rock at the base of the Pinnacle (Lords Rake).

The info I have is:

R W Broadrick of WIndermere , a school master and fell runner

Henry Jupp of Croydon

Stanley Ridsdale of Kew Gardens, London

A E W Garrett of Wallington in Surrey

Here are some photos of the Memorial Cross and the climbers initials carved into the rock face.

0038 Memorial Cross to 4 fallen climbers at the bottom of Lords Rake.jpg
Memorial Cross to 4 fallen climbers at the bottom of Lord's Rake

0040 Sca Fell memorial cross 2.jpg
Scafell memorial cross

Slight Side aeroplane crash details

World War 2 Hurricanes on Slight Side, Cumbria
N 54° 26.144 W 003° 13.344[/b]
30U E 485574 N 6032026
Quick Description: The wreckage and memorial plaque for two fighter Hurricanes on a training flight in fog by two Polish pilots on 12 August 1941. At an altitude around 700 metres.
Location: United Kingdom
Date Posted: 2/6/2007 3:24:16 PM
Waymark Code: WM172E

Long Description:
Polish Sergeant Pilot Stanlislaw Karubin was only 25, yet a veteran of the 'Battle of Britain', credited with 7 confirmed victories and awarded the D.F.M. He was the posted to RAF Usworth, near Washington, County Durham, as a flying instructor on Hurricanes in early 1941.
Pilot Officer Zygmund Hohne, 24, had seen service with the Polish Air Force, and had also been posted to RAF Usworth.
They were on a training flight from RAF Usworth. Flying almost due west to the Irish Sea, down the coast, and then back across the country.
They ran into low clouds on Cumberland coast, and dropped down to see where they were, thinking they were still over the sea. Unfortunately they impacted into upper slopes of Slight Side.
This is open fell side with unrestricted access. Look for the cross made from pipes from the wreckage, after crossing Slight Side summit. About 50 metres below the top of the ridge, 150 m to north east of the summit, come down from the saddle. Approaching from below, the cross is silhouetted. Slight Side is only 1.5 km from Scafell summit.
As you wander around the fell side, pieces of old aluminium fuselage and strips of metal are just lying about. The aluminium cylinder head and rusting camshaft are well below the plaque at N 54 26.114 W 03 13.431. Further wreckage is below at N 54 26.130 W 03 13.456
Source Book: Bob Orrell - Lakeland Monuments
More information at Millom Museum
Web Address for related Web Sites: Not listed.
Date of Crash: 08/12/1941
Aircraft Model: Hurricane
Military or Civilian: Military
Tail Number: 7742 and 6565
Cause of Crash:
Flying in fog. Dropped down to get below fog thinking they were over Irish Sea. Impacted into side of fell (mountain). Wreckage near top of ridge suggesting they nearly cleared the top. Fells beyond are amongst highest in England, Scafell group.
Source Book: Bob Orrell - Lakeland Monuments
More information at Millom RAF Museum.

Now for the crash site. I looked east over the crags whilst Joe went to the west side of the fell. I was having no luck when I heard a bellow from Joe, went and found him down the fell side waving his arms about like a demented semaphore signaller. He had found them, two small monuments made from the wreckage of the aircraft.
I wonder how many people have walked over Slight Side and not seen these reminders of the war.

If anyone wants to see the crash site the grid reference is NY20780 05194. War is a bad enough situation to be killed in but under the circumstances of these two young pilots hitting a hillside makes it even more saddening. A little prayer was said.

Here are some photos of the crash site Memorials which are on Slight Side.

0012 Slight Side aeroplane wreckage and memorial.jpg
Slight Side aeroplane wreckage and memorial

0010 Memorial and cross to 2 Second WW2 fighter pilots on Slight Side.jpg
Memorial and cross to 2 Second WW2 fighter pilots on Slight Side

0011 Memorial on Slight Side self explanatory.jpg
Memorial on Slight Side, self explanatory

The mist had more or less gone by now so more photos were being taken at Mickledore when two chaps appeared on the top of Broad Stand having just scrambled down from Scafell. They seemed to be having trouble finding a way down and as the top of the Stand was wet they weren't too steady on their feet. Shouldn't have been on there as it was an accident just waiting to happen. They retreated the way that they had come down. Sense is the better part of valour.

Now for Lord's Rake. We had been advised of a large unstable rock lying across the top of the first pitch of the Rake, but speaking to a couple who had just come down it they assured us that it was safe and that there was no danger of falling rocks. So off we went and began the scramble up the first pitch and on nearing the top saw that a massive rock had tumbled down and lain itself across the opening at the top but allowing free access beneath it. Short of an earthquake I don't think that will move in the very near future.
From there on it was quite a straight forward walk/scramble - although a bit exposed in places - to the top of Scafell and the summit at 964 metres. A walk onto Symonds Knott, more photos and then more intake of fluid saw us on our way to Slight Side. Whoopee, all downhill now, stopping on the top of Long Green and just venturing as far as we safely could onto Cam Spout Crag before reaching Slight Side summit at 748 metres, which is just a jumble of rocks of which at first glance refused an access on to the top where the cairn was. Found it, just a sort of groove that allows one to get to the top without much fuss. In fact I had to point to the way up to a couple that had arrived just after us.

0037 The beginning of Lords Rake.jpg
The start of Lord's Rake

0042 Lords Rake 1st pitch.jpg
Lord's Rake - 1st pitch

0047 The rock fall across the head of Lords Rake.jpg
The giant rock lying across the head of the 1st pitch of Lord's Rake

0049 Lords Rake 2nd pitch.jpg
Lord's Rake - 2nd pitch

0050 Lords Rake 3rd and 4th pitches.jpg
Lord's Rake - 3rd and 4th pitches

These next couple of images show how the visibility had got progressively better as the day went on.

0054 Great Gable and Kirk Fell summits poking through the mist.jpg
Great Gable and Kirk Fell summits poking through the mist - view from Scafell

0057 Cam Spout Crag and Slight Side looking from Scafell.jpg
Cam Spout Crag and Slight Side from Scafell

Leaving Slight Side we continued downhill over Horn Crag, down the steepish fell until the path forked, the right hand path leading to Boot and the left hand one which we needed taking us down to Catcove Beck and Cat Crag where we went between the both of them. At this point we veered off left following Scale Gill down to the left of Scale Bridge, on to Taw House where we cut off more or less east across the field, over the footbridge, through Brotherikeld Farm and back to the car.

A good walk with plenty to see, not a fast walk due to the looking for, and investigation of the two memorials but, with beautiful surroundings, good company, and I must say one of my most memorable, if not, my favourite walk yet.

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Re: Scafell and Slight Side via Eskdale

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Mon Dec 22, 2014 5:14 pm

A cracking report and pics. Did a very similar route in the summer but didn't brave the massive chock stone on Lords Rake taking the Foxes tarn route instead.
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Re: Scafell and Slight Side via Eskdale

Postby MiniRambo » Fri Dec 26, 2014 10:44 am

Excellent report tm. Loved the part about the 'demented semaphore signaller'! :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Scafell and Slight Side via Eskdale

Postby trailmasher » Sun Dec 28, 2014 1:44 pm

Bit of a scramble down the bank to get to the start of 'the Rake' but worth it. The route via Fox's Tarn is a great way to go also.
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