An atmospheric day on the Scafells


Deep in Mickleden and about to start our ascent towards Angle Tarn

Today I was joined by Elizabeth from Ireland. Our objective being an ascent of Scafell Pike from the Langdale valley. This is a long walk over a lot of high and exposed terrain, so very satisfying.

The weather forecast wasn't too good, but we set off with hope in our hearts and a smile on our faces. Optimism is powerful after all.

By the time we reached the stone shelter at Esk Hause I was beginning to take stock of the weather. Gale force winds and driving rain was so far making things uncomfortable, but doable, and Elizabeth was certainly keen for more. Onwards we went, and soon after we came across more walkers, the first we'd seen all day! They were heading for Great End.

There were occasional respites from the strong wind, this was encouraging and allowed us some recharge time before the next battering! The summit plateau of Ill Crag was when things turned against us, but still keen for more, we continued down to the col and began our ascent to Broad Crag. Just short of the summit the wind began to blow us around almost uncontrollably. It was time to call it a day and turn back. Elizabeth realised this too and took no convincing.

So far we had experienced almost no view of our surroundings, such a shame, or was it. For suddenly the cloud lifted to reveal Eskdale, Esk Pike, Great Gable, Wasdale, and Great End. The scene was sublime, and then it was gone again. It's moments like this that make climbing mountains so worthwhile. We were soaked through and a little chilly, being blown around and could hardly hear each other over the sound of the wind and rain. But there was nowhere or nothing I would have preferred to have been or doing, this place is magical and days like this remind us of it.

The more we descended so the more the views opened up, allowing Elizabeth to see this beautiful land in all its wild and dramatic glory.

Another brief stop in the Esk Hause shelter and we met a fellow walker who had camped in the mountains last night! After a very quick lunch break it was back on the track, all too soon arriving in Langdale and the end of another wonderful day in the mountains.
We didn't make it to the summit of Scafell Pike. But the mountains gave us a wonderful experience, washing us in their waters, and entertaining us with their sounds.

I'll always stick by, the atmospheric days are the best. But yes, we like the sun too 🙂

Lovely to meet you Elizabeth.



Elizabeth on Ill Crag

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