A wintery ascent from Wasdale Head


Rime ice growing near the summit

To I was over in Wasdale to meet Jo for an ascent of Scafell Pike. This was part of a grand tour of the UK for Jo, we're so glad she stopped off in the Lake District and sampled the dramatic landscapes we call home.
The weather was kinder than expected - meaning it didn't rain - but the northeasterly wind was utterly bitter and summit temperatures were not exciting the Mercury.

The Lingmell Col route was chosen. This had us stumble across quite an unusual sight. On the slopes of Lingmell we saw 3 workers assembling a large digger. Whilst I was very tempted to go and ask what they were doing, they all seemed so busy I thought it better to leave alone. We continued with our summit bid and all went well. No views from the top, but for the rest of the journey we had enjoyed some splendid vistas and this more than compensated.

Once safely back on the lower slopes of the mountain we came across some National Trust staff, so I asked what was going on with the digger. Footpath repairs came the answer. Above Hollowstones is a section of path known as the 'zig-zags'. This is an excellent track and easy to follow, however many walkers do choose to cut the corners and over time new paths have been carved in the fragile grasses. The aim of the work is to encourage walkers to stay on the main path, thus reducing erosion. We really hope it works.
As well as this, the National Trust were busy re-seeding the Brown Tongue area. This has been badly eroded in recent years and the top soil is washing away. With careful remedial work this area can be brought back to its former self. Again we hope the plan goes well.

Due to the chilly temperature we had only one stop - on the summit - so were back at base by early afternoon. The sun was out, the gorse flowers looking fine, and next for me was a look at some rocks on nearby Middlefell (Wasdale).

A grand day out, thanks Jo and good luck with the rest of your trip.



Atmospheric vistas on the flanks of Lingmell


Looking over Wast Water to Scafell Pike

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