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Date & start time: Thursday 2nd April 2009. 10.10 am start.
Location of Start : Roadside near Seathwaite Farm, Borrowdale, Cumbria, Uk ( NY 236 124 )
Places visited : Taylorgill Force, Styhead Tarn, Stretcher Box, Corridor Route to Lingmell Col, Scafell Pike, Broad Crag, Ill Crag, Great End, Esk Hause, returning by Grains Gill to Seathwaite.
Walk details : 10.5 ml, 3750 ft of ascent, 8 hours 15 mins.
Highest point : Scafell Pike 3,210ft ( 978m)
Walked with : John, Jack, Matthew, Ann and the dogs, Polly, Harry and Bethan.
Weather : Superbly sunny with blue skies all day.
Seathwaite Farm at the start of the walk
Our grandsons are staying with us for a few days and they wanted to climb Scafell Pike.
Today was the day. The forecast was good and the weather matched it
so we met John at 10am to start a classic walk up England's highest peak.
Four out of the five of us . . . well someone had to take the picture
Jack, Matthew, John and myself.
Through the arch and across the valley to start our walk on the Taylorgill path.
The campsite looks busy today.
Matthew and Jack take a few moments out to give the dogs a swim at the river.
The normally hidden Borrowdale Trout Farm
only seen by virtue of the higher path on this side of the valley.
John has to climb the ladder stile but Ann has the advantage of having her own little doorway !
Staying on the right hand side of Styhead Gill we climb steadily up the valley to these lovely cataract falls.
Time for a little boulder hopping with a damp prospect if Jack gets it wrong.
Water captured for just a moment in time.
As you may know, I just love that moment when a distant fell bursts into view.
This is Lingmell at the apparent head of the valley.
Polly rushes down to the bridge but we'll stay on this side of the beck.
Our target can now be seen . . . Scafell Pike . . . and it's summit cairn just above a high patch of snow in the centre of the photo.
Matthew passing a really blue Styhead Tarn.
Not a cloud in the sky on this wonderful April day.
The famous stretcher box at Styhead.
Time for a quick refreshing drink and a biscuit before we continue on.
We cross to the left and join the Corridor Route and look down on Wasdale.
The white building is the Wasdale Head Inn, with Yewbarrow and Red Pike behind.
Great Gable . . . by name and by nature.
The Gable Pinnacles and the red scree of Great Hell Gate.
Ann climbs the pitched path which undulates but steadily climbs towards Lingmell Col.
Looking back we can see Styhead Tarn that we passed earlier.
Higher now above Wasdale.
The mighty bulk of Lingmell and it's crags, plus the deep ravine known as Piers Gill
( Remember you can press F11 for a full screen view of this slightly taller photo)
John and I wonder over to the tarn to check out the ripples
Little circular disturbances were caused by marsh gas, rather than fish breaking the surface, but it had us guessing for a short while.
One last pull would bring us level with Lingmell Col
but we would pass on the summit today as lunch and the Scafell summit cairn were too close to delay further.
Matthew and I divert slightly to climb a patch of snow left behind on the north facing fell side.
Inevitably all routes lead to the Lingmell Path and the final climb to the top.
The summit may be calling but there has to be time to stop and look back at the superb view today.
Jack is already on the top, carrying the highest red rucksack in England !
Summiteers ! . . . again Ann seems to be taking the photo.
A passing cloud casts a temporary shadow over the summit as I look west across to Scafell.
The classic photo panorama, delayed and captured while no-one was on the summit cairn but me.
Lunch today is in one of the many rocky shelters just below the summit.
An extra layer of clothing is useful, despite the shelter walls, as the breeze at this height is always that little bit colder than expected.
Excuse me Dad . . . is there any chance of some of that for me ?
Lunch over and final summit photos over
we start on our way again, taking the path towards Broad Crag Col this time.
Looking down on Lingmell and Piers Gill but from a much higher altitude this time.
The fine weather is holding wonderfully.
John starts the first descent with the rocky summit of Broad Crag ahead.
To our left on the way down, Bowfell and the suitably rough outline of Crinkle Crags.
Matthew and Harry climb the summit crags towards Broad Crag top.
The only shame is that it isn't classed as a Wainwright Peak but merely part of the Scafell summit ridge.
This must be the roughest and rockiest summit peak of them all and is well worth the extra effort to visit the top.
While we are up here, we divert to the other non-Wainwright top, Ill Crag
with it's wonderful view down over the minor peak of Penn into the upper reaches of Eskdale . . . Great Moss.
Ann pauses by the summit so I can get a photo of her for a change !
Behind the summit cairn of Scafell can be clearly seen.
Returning to the main path now as a keen fell runner passes by.
The North Western fells form the background with Great Gable in front with diminutive Green Gable almost hidden behind the middle cairn on the path.
Jack had passed on climbing Ill Crag so we now had to find him . . . he'll be somewhere off to the right presumably.
Ahh . . . search dog Harry found him, reclining in the mid-afternoon sunshine.
Another very rocky section as we leave the ridge and make our way over to that next summit, Great End.
The view down from the north western side of Great End summit.
The view extends right through the gap to Low Fell and Loweswater before fading in the distant afternoon haze.
Far below, the view of Derwent Water and Skiddaw Fell behind.
The white houses are Keswick with the dark trees on Latrigg giving it an almost craggy look.
The summit deserves a photo, even if everyone is looking in different directions !
It's downhill all the way now as we start our descent to Esk Hause.
The distinctive outline of the Langdale Pikes are ahead of us for a short while.
The last patch of snow, and some of it is heading my direction again by the look of it !
Sprinkling Tarn is the lake in the foreground of this photo of the Gable fells.
We walk down alongside Ruddy Gill (in the shadow) and will soon turn right down the Grains Gill path.
A close up of Castle Crag
set in the Jaws of Borrowdale between Maiden Moor crags and Kings How's wooded slopes.
Ann and John negotiate the rock slab
half way down the grassy right hand side of the Grains Gill valley.
Back on the main track and we cross the wooden footbridge.
Just two miles to go now before we reach the car parked at the farm below.
Stockley Bridge, John crossing ahead of Jack this time.
Countdown. . . . just one more mile to feet up time lads !
Looking back on a great day out
We ascended by Taylorgill to the right of Seathwaite Fell, and descended by Grains Gill, the valley to the left . . . with sunshine all the way.
- - - o o o - - -
Technical note: Pictures taken with with my Cannon G7 or Ann's Ixus 75 Digital camera.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
This site best viewed with . . . a "coincidence" of good weather and grandsons.
Previous walk - 1st April 2009 Blencathra with Jack & Matthew
A previous time up here - 13th October 2006 A Great End to our "428 Wainwright Fells"
[ Post-script: The cafe at Seathwaite Farm appears to be closed for the season so don't rely on it for refreshments ]