Top of the World on our Honeymoon Hike

Wainwrights: Scafell Pike
Hewitts: Scafell Pike

Date walked: 22/07/2021

Although I’ve followed my dad up Ben Nevis, Snowdon and a few other hills in the Lakes, Scotland and Wales, I’m not really a very experienced fell walker. I just about know what a cagoule is and I know that you need to take some spare clothes, sun cream and water in a rucksack but I’ve never really done much map reading, don’t really know how a compass works and, when it comes to climbing hills, I don’t know the difference between feet and metres. :oops: And, if anything, my new husband knows even less… :shock: :shock:
But we were in the Lake District on our honeymoon and the weather was brilliant – which meant that climbing Scafell Pike was the only option. :thumbup: So we did what loads of other people do and went to a shop in Ambleside to buy a map and some Kendal Mint Cake – well, actually, we bought Jamaica Ginger Cake :-D because that’s what my family always eats when we go hillwalking. I also e-mailed my dad and he said that the weather was set fair :D and that, even though we only had trainers, :eh: we’d probably be fine – but, whatever happened, we weren’t allowed to call out a Mountain Rescue Team as this would be very embarrassing. :problem: What could possibly go wrong?
Well, we managed the first challenge which was to get to the car park at the Old Dungeon Ghyll before 7.00.am. on the hottest day of the year… :D but we failed the second challenge because, even though we’d been warned that parking was expensive, we didn’t have either any cash or any reception to pay on our phones. :-? :problem: Oh well, maybe we’d get some reception higher up and be able to pay that way?
Anyway, we set off and walked up this big valley which we couldn’t pronounce (Muggles’ Den? :-?) to a steep stream bed with a dead sheep in it :problem: which we also couldn’t pronounce (Rose It Gill?) and then a grassy slope which was much higher. Great! We had some reception on our phones so maybe we could pay for the parking? This, though, was more difficult than it seemed and all I managed to do was set off an emergency beacon which I didn’t know I had on my phone. :problem: Luckily it had a cancel button…
The good thing was, though, that it was still early and, therefore, quite cool despite the wall to wall sunshine. But we still hadn’t seen anyone else and were a bit worried about being alone on the mountain! Anyway, we pushed on to Angle Tarn which was very scenic and then we met our first fellow hill climber tramping towards us. He was enjoying being out in the mountains, said that he’d come over from Narnia or Westeros or somewhere :eh: :think: and gave us some directions…
4.a - Angle Tarn on the way up Scawfell Pike.jpg
Angle Tarn on the way up
So we carried on uphill to a wall which someone had built in the shape of a cross. I said that we should head up to the right but my new husband knew better and, pretty much by chance, picked the correct route. Well, he reckoned that it was down to map reading skill. :lol: Anyway, after a fair bit of clambering over boulders, this had the useful effect of getting us to the summit where we realised that we’d brought too much food with us; we even had olives… 8) The views and the weather, though, made for a terrific picnic!
4.b - Summit of Scawfell Pike.jpg
On the summit
4.d - Mickey and the view towards Pillar.jpg
Summit views
4.c - Jamaica Ginger Cake on the summit of Scawfell Pike.jpg
More food than we could eat
I’d always been told that most mountaineering accidents happen on the descent :think: :problem: so we were very careful once we started heading down. The main danger, though, was probably heatstroke but we managed to keep this at bay with a swim in Angle Tarn – probably, like our trainers, against the mountain code :shifty: but it was impossible to resist.
4.e - A swim in Angle Tarn during the descent.jpg
An afternoon swim in Angle Tarn
4.f Passing Angle Tarn on the descent.jpg
Heading down in the afternoon sun
It was really hot by now and the climb down Rose It Gill and Muggles’ Den seemed much further than it had in the morning; I kept hallucinating about a pint of cold beer at the bar of the Old Dungeon Ghyll. :thumbup: Unfortunately, though, the perfect end to what had been a perfect day was dented by the sight of a flat tyre :problem: :problem: once we got back to the car park… it didn’t stop us from having that cold drink but getting the nail removed in a Windermere garage was an unwanted chore!
What’s next? :think: Maybe a trip up Rum Doodle?

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Munro Mary

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