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" Scafell Pike Railway Children 2014 "
Date & start time: Friday 20 th June 2014, 10.30 am start.
Location of Start : The National Trust Car Park, Brackenclose, Cumbria, Uk ( NY 182 075)
Places visited : Brackenclose, Hollow Stones, Lingmell Coll, Scafell Pike and back.
Walk details : 6 mls, 2975 feet of ascent, 8 hour (4.5 hrs walking 3.5 stopped).
Highest point : Scafell Pike 3,210ft - 978m.
Walked with : Myself and colleagues plus 47 Challenge Teams of four.
Weather : Sunshine, blue skies, cloud down on the top for a while.
[ Alter the settings to zoom or change the Map, use Everytrail to download the Gps route ]
The superb weather continues, the sky is blue, the countryside has taken on its green summer mantle, the winds are light
and someone has asked me to do some work which involves climbing to the top of Scafell Pike . . . how could I refuse ?
Welcome to the Railway Children's summer "Three Peaks by Rail" Challenge.
The Railway Children Three Peaks weekend has become established as an annual charity fund raising event.
This weekend 47 teams, each of approximately 4 people, are attempting to climb the three highest peaks on mainland Britain
and I was part of the safety crew for the Scafell Pike (second) leg of their trip.
Here's your weather forecast . . . sunny and warm, possibly cloudy on the top, the cloud moving slowly in the gentle breeze.
Brackenclose Car Park.
Global Challenge's team bus isn't due over here for an hour or so but it seems there's another mountain challenge also running today.
The Wooden Spoon guys are doing a triathlon style event, cycling, canoeing and a mountain walk/run from here to Langdale.
We'll see their twelve teams and marshalls on the hill as the day progresses.
Full marks to the National Trust . . . at last.
An acceptance that the Three Peaks challenge exists and that the Trust should embrace it has led to an improved car park, toilets and a little cabin
for a warden. There is a sensibly priced car park fee with a ticket machine to collect the money. (Trust members can park free.)
We set off up the climb from Brackenclose.
There's warm sunshine down here but that cloud will make it potentially colder near the summit.
The dry weather has allowed the water levels to fall considerably.
This year the beck is a small stream, two years ago it was a raging torrent. Hold your cursor over the picture to see the difference.
I have swapped marshalling positions with Phil this year.
He'll take the low ground (here near the bridge) and I've been allocated the high ground, one from the top, way above Lingmell Coll.
A rare thing in the Lakeland fells is a signpost advertising route directions.
The problems caused by people taking the wrong route on the way back down is consequently reduced (there are no signs further up).
Lingmell Crossing . . . barely a trickle this year.
Climbing steadily alongside Brown Tongue.
The footpath is good here but someone said the stones are a little awkward in descent.
Still they have done their job and erosion has been reduced to a minimum.
Mickledore . . . the coll between Scafell Pike on the left and Scafell on the right.
The orange markers were being set out by the Wooden Spoon marshalls. However, I think they spoilt the view and took away the need to think
and look ahead at where the path went, so changing quasi-expedition into a basic route march, thus spoiling the experience. (Sorry guys)
That cloud over the summit is coming and going . . . the forecast is to clear later . . . I hope so.
Above Hollow Stones now . . .
and the basic path (below) changes to a man-made city street twisting in gentle curves that fail miserably to blend with the landscape.
If they are to "improve" the path up the fell in the future then please grass over this bit and think again !!
That improvement in the weather seems to be coming true. Lingmell is bathed in sunlight
as I meet up with two colleagues and hand over their radios. John will stay here, Karen and I continue the climb.
The flat slabs that make easier walking
and have caused the track to take a 'zig-zag' and so deviate from the direct approach to the summit above.
I've a little time in hand and so continue towards the top with Karen.
A welcome sight for many . . . one last false summit and the top is now in sight.
We're here, ahead of our teams, but there's still plenty of folk about,
all congratulating themselves on climbing to the "highest mountain in England".
Big cheer from Team Hodgson on the summit.
The first of our teams has made good time to the top . . . well done lads.
For them and the others on the summit at the moment, there are views to be had.
Here we're looking south east and picking up the outlines of the Langdale Pikes, Bowfell, Crinkles and Wetherlam.
Leaving Karen setting up her radio on the summit,
I make my way back down as Team Hodgson also start their descent . . . good company and good conversation for the next half mile.
Back at the top of the slabs, I leave them to continue on down and set up my marshalling position.
Can't ask for a nicer view !
The teams are approaching thick and fast (apologies for not remembering team names)
[ I have to count the teams up and later check they have returned past my spot on the way down. ]
Only one team fails to make the climb so there are 46 teams to record.
In there too are guys like the one in black with a white number on his chest, who are part of the Wooden Spoon Challenge.
Team Willian (I hope)
The young lady in red (if you're colour blind ... the one with the teddy)
hails originally from the same part of Swansea as I did but now lives in London.
These guys were from Cornwall but were on a private mission to conquer the Three Peaks.
Thanks for the wave . . . best of luck with your 'good cause'.
As the teams went up and down, so did the cloud base.
Karen on the summit had a warm paramo on all day. At the base of the cloud I managed with a light windproof,
while I hear the guys down below were digging out the sunscreen.
The summit of Scafell Pike is a rocky place and this terrain continues all the way to the top.
Gradually the better weather started to throw sunshine on Great End and the Corridor Route far below.
The easy way to the top.
Dodging the cloud base, this guy has floated up over Scafell and the Pike and was heading north . . . can we catch a lift for the descent ?
Broad Crag and Ill Crag to the right as the sunshine encourages me to take another photo.
The high cloud over the summit of Scafell was casting a shadow on me as I look down on Wasdale.
The last teams have summited and will be down here soon.
Time to start my descent . . . one last look down on Hollow Stones . . .
the name deriving from the stones in the hollow below, I presume !
I've said goodbye to Karen who has headed off to Seathwaite, met up with John who was at Lingmell Coll
and together with the last team we walk back down to those stones in the hollows.
The mighty rock bastions and crags of Scafell Pike and Scafell.
Back at the Mickledore turning and there's more sunshine here than earlier.
John favours an umbrella in preference to suncream.
This seemingly novel piece of fellwalking gear did also prove useful as a wind shield when the breeze was making communications difficult.
Back at the Lingmell Beck crossing at the base of Brown Tongue.
Team Alves . . . Paul, Kate and Ryan successfully complete the walk and are welcomed back to Challenge Base.
Everyone safely down and accounted for . . . time to get the mini-bus back to their waiting train.
Tomorrow, the final one of the three, Ben Nevis. Good luck guys !
The Railway Children Charity exists to help vulnerable children and young people who are in conditions of need, hardship or distress.
Originally it was concentrating on those homeless children who live on the world's railway stations, scratching a living from begging and collecting litter.
Now they have expanded their remit to include street children everywhere.
All the teams on the hill today work for one of the UK rail companies or have a connection with the railways in general.
The event was organised on their behalf by Global Challenge UK
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Technical note: Pictures taken with my Nikon P520 digital camera.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
This site best viewed with . . . a link to allow you to donate to a good cause should you wish.
Previous walk - 19th June 2014 - Fellbarrow Low fell with Joan
A previous time up here - 22nd June 2012 Railway Children (very wet) Challenge 2012
Next walk - 23rd June 2014 - Crag Fell and Grike ~ Jill & Nigel