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Date & Time: Sunday 21st September 2008. 4 am start.

Location of Start : Seathwaite Farm, Borrowdale, Cumbria, Uk. ( NY 235 122 )

Places visited : Seathwaite, Grains Gill, Esk Hause, Calf Cove, Broad Crag, Ill Crag, Scafell Pike and back along the same route visiting Ill Crag on the way.

Walk details : 9 mls, 3400 ft of ascent, 8 hrs 30 mins (including extended stops).

Highest point : Scafell Pike summit 3210 ft ( 978m)

Walked with : Jill, Ann and the dogs (Harry and Bethan) plus 8 Challenge Teams and staff.

Weather : Fine and dry with a very light breeze. Dark to start, light to end.

An early start again as we wake before dawn


We had been asked to help out with marshalling of another mountain challenge event on Scafell Pike.

If we were leaving at 3.30 am then Jill, who was visiting for the weekend, had little chance to avoid an early morning walk too !

This weekend's event was organised by NDCS, raising money for deaf children.

A quiet start for the dogs as well please.
Jill, ready with rucksack, head torch and camera.

We had a 4 am start due to having to be in position on the mountain in advance of the Challenge teams that were due out at 5 am.

They would be arriving by minibus after travelling down from Ben Nevis in Scotland yesterday evening.

First off we have to make our way through the farm area and out on the track towards Stockley Bridge . . .

What's this . . . spooky . . . lots of little white eyes watching us from the darkness !

The unreal sight of hundreds of blue/white double reflections greeted us as we walked up the track.

Slow going towards the gate so as not to panic them into running.

What was interesting was that amongst all the sheep were two sets of orange reflections. Harry and Bethan's eyes shone a distinct yellow compared to the sheep's blue eyes, which made identifying the dogs in the dark much easier further up the valley, once they were off the lead.

Out on the open track now . . .
. . . Jill and Ann reach Stockley Bridge.

Who's got a brand new head torch with brand new batteries then ?

A steady climb took us to the top of Grains Gill . . . half way there and a significant part of the climbing done.

Ann leads Jill across Ruddy Beck on the way to Esk Hause.

First light as we make Calf Cove.

Behind is the slope to Great End, but we're on the "Scafell Pike direct" track.

The first non-flash photo of the morning was from the summit plateau of Ill Crag, looking across to Great Gable and Kirk Fell.

Ann's marshalling position located . . .
. . . we erected a small shelter and enjoyed a cup of hot tea.

As the dawn broke the path ahead could be clearly seen

passing over the flanks of Broad Crag and on to the ultimate goal, Scafell Pike.

The first teams start to arrive . . .
. . . Ann checks everyone is ok and accounted for.

As Jill and I were not on duty, we left Ann at the shelter and took the opportunity to extend our walk

heading for the summit ourselves.

A reverse of the previous photo.

Ann's red shelter can just be seen on the fell side opposite, just to the left of the path.

Looking obliquely down into Little Narrow Cove and across to the outlier of Pen.

Dawn has broken but unfortunately without any great sunrise today.

A slight diversion along the way . . . Broad Crag Summit . . . about as rocky as they come.

Click here or on the photo above for a larger annotated panorama.

Across the top of Little Narrow Cove to distant Harter Fell and a slight hint of pink in the sky.

Down from Broad Crag . . .
Up towards the summit of Scafell Pike. . .
. . . a last steep climb but with good views back.

Summit Photo of myself by Jill.

The two dogs seem more concerned about investigating all the summit's olfactory secrets.

The purpose of the day was for the teams to reach, and hopefully enjoys the summit.

"Mr Bean" the team from Royal Bank of Scotland, pose for a photo before radioing back to base.

- - - o o o - - -

Click here or on the photo for a brief video of the summit call. ( Black and white . . . due to a camera setting )

The video should open and play in your Windows Media Player. [ It may take a minute or so to download on slower connection speeds - please be patient]

- - - o o o - - -

"Ali G" from Rugby Borough Council pose for a summit photo . . . to prove they made it to the top.

Give us a cheer lads . . . . . !

In a lull between teams Jill and I had chance to look around. This is the hazy view southwest over to Mickledore with Scafell and Wast Water far below.

Click here or on the photo above for a 360 degree annotated panorama.

From the side summit of Scafell Pike, a view over the edge into Upper Eskdale.

As the early morning progresses, thin cloud moved in slowly to form a disappointing valley haze.

I return from the secondary summit and meet up with Jill who was descending from the summit cairn.

Together we headed back towards Ann on Ill Crag.

Lingmell and distant Pillar from Broad Crag Col

Styhead Tarn and Great Gable looking over the raised valley area around the upper Greta Gill and Lambfoot Dub.

The last teams have reported their departure from the summit so I have just enough time to quickly scramble over and back to Ill Crag summit.

Myself and the dogs that is !

Upper Eskdale again with the minor summit of Pen just below us again.

A view back towards Scafell Pike and Broad Crag

from the rocky summit of Ill Crag.

Time to make our way back now and we follow the teams back towards Calf Cove.

Ann and Jill descending from Esk Hause, with Sprinkling Tarn below and Seathwaite Fell extending beyond it.

The great cliffs of Great End, from the top of Grains Gill.

The dogs make for the water as we reach the wooden footbridge.

Stockley Bridge on the way back.

It's daylight now and that early photo seemed an age away.

Marshalls and final team members pause briefly at the bridge to enjoy the surroundings.

Harry and Bethan pause to enjoy a swim.

Cheerful faces . . . we're nearly down now . . . only Snowdon to climb this afternoon !

Challenge base and Ann reports in and hands back her radio and we say goodbye for another year.

This will be our last challenge day out for this walking season.

The teams head south in their buses but Jill, Ann and I pause briefly to enjoy tea and cakes at the farm cafe,

. . . and very nice they were too !

- - - o o o - - -


Technical note: Pictures taken with my Cannon G7 or Ann's Ixus 75 Digital cameras.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

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Previous walk - 20th September 2008 White Oak Beck Walk

A previous time up here - 7th September 2008 A damp Three Peaks Challenge