England's highest mountain with a sinuous twist in our latest walking route.
Walking Route - Scafell Pike, Lake
Wasdale > Lingmell >
Scafell Pike > Scafell > Wasdale
Average Time: 5 hours 45
Distance: 7.3 miles (11.7
Height Gain: 5030 ft (1533m)
There's no better time than winter to tackle England's
highest mountain without the crowds.
Maps: OS LR 89, Explorer
Photo Grade: 3
Start Point: NY184
There's a lot to be said for keeping things simple
when winter walking and nowhere is this more important than among
England's highest mountains.
Simple doesn't have to mean boring though, and there's no better
time of year to tackle Scafell Pike than winter, particularly if your
thing is walking on good paths uncluttered by an endless snake of
fair weather walkers.
By taking in Great End along with Lingmell and Scafell Pike you
can easily split the walk into three nearly equal
Section 1: Wasdale to Lingmell
Distance: 1.8 miles (2.9km)
Height Gain: 2329ft (710m)
Starting from the National Trust car park near the camp site at
Wasdale Head, take the lane towards Wastwater as far as the
signposted bridleway to "Eskdale, Scafell Route".
Follow the bridleway over the bridge then start the long climb up
Lingmell's West Ridge. The going for the first mile is consistent and
steep before levelling out at a cairn.
Continue along the path towards Goat Crags then turn north east
for the final climb over grass to the summit of Lingmell.
Although lacking the extra few hundred feet of its neighbours
Lingmell has stunning views of its own.
To the north Great Gable presents its rockiest face, and even
Piers Gill makes an impressive sight.
Scafell Pike from Ill Crag - stunning...
Section 2: Lingmell to Scafell Pike
Distance: 2.7 miles (4.4km)
Height Gain: 1616ft (493m)
From Lingmell to Scafell Pike is normally a simple descent to
Lingmell Col then up the other side, but with time on your side it's
a shame to waste the height already gained.
So, for a more interesting variation, take the path south east,
dropping down to Lingmell Col, but instead of striking out for
Scafell Pike directly turn east to pass the head of Piers Gill and
join the Corridor
Now head east on a small, but still obvious, path alongside Greta
Gill for quarter of a mile before heading left up the slopes of Round
How. Although a diversion off the main route it's worth taking in
Round How before rejoining Greta Gill and heading east to the
col above Calf Cove.
Turn left, away from Scafell Pike, on the main Esk Hause path then
keep left again to climb the easy slopes of Great End. Of the
three summit cairns the eastermost is the highest and is marked by
the OS trig point.
Great Moss from Ill Crag - Mycroft.
Return to the main Esk Hause to Scafell Pike path and turn right.
A small detour after 400 yards leads south to the rock summit of
Ill Crag, with its magnificent views of Great Moss far
Return to the main path and head south west to the col below Broad
Crag then up the steep but short climb to the summit of England's
Section 3: Scafell Pike to Wasdale
Distance: 2.8 miles (4.6km)
Height Gain: 1085ft (331m)
Average Time: 1 hour 45 mins
In summer, and wioth the right equipment and experience the classic
route from Scafell Pike
to Scafell is via the famous but
polished Broad Stand scramble, but in winter it makes more sense to
go via Foxes Tarn.
Descend south west to Mickledore
and the stretcher box, then trend diagonally left to an obvious path
at a stony gully and on over scree to join the path to Foxes
The next section covers loose scree, where care should be taken,
as you ascend to a col and the first in a line of cairns leading to
the summit of Scafell. Turn north from the summit and descend
to another col and a wide path heading down towards Wasdale.
The view from Scafell, worth the walk.
The path bears east, passing Symonjd's Knott and Rakehead Crag.
The path now bisects two streams as far as a stile, then follows the
stream down to an wide and obvious track back to Brackenclose and
your start point.