Want a long route passing lots of high mountain terrain? Start from either Seathwaite or the Old Dungeon Ghyll. During dry spells in the summer you can add in Eskdale to this, just be prepared for some rougher terrain with this one.
But for many, starting in the Wasdale valley is going to make most sense. The scenery is continuously wonderful, the route is fairly short, and there are options to extend if wanted.
It is from Wasdale we started from this week. But on a less trodden path, in fact the path is occasionally non-existent. Initially the Moses Trod path is good and clear, but to stay on this is to go to Styhead, so we venture off the well trodden path, deep in the Wasdale valley and aiming for the huge cleft of Piers Gill. A vague path tries to follow the water course but it is only occasionally successful.
Peering through the mist we catch a glimpse of a huge waterfall - it has been raining a lot - this is Greta Gill. Soon we will have to cross this river as it is Piers Gill that we will follow, this is an even more dramatic sight. Once across the river a small path clings to the side of Piers Gill, we negotiate rocky outcrops to gain height and marvel at the wonderful landscape surrounding us.
Soon our tiny path joins up with the Corridor route from Styhead, we stay on this for all of about 100 metres. Keeping in theme for the day, we turn off the main track and forge a route up below Dropping Crag. This ascends steeply to a col where we turn right for the final pull to the summit.
It is the middle of October half term week and we are yet to pass or see another walker on what is one of the most popular mountains in the Lake District.
A few fellow walkers huddle at the summit. It is cool and breezy, thick mist obscures the view, but overall we have enjoyed fantastic scenery today. At this point, if unfamiliar with the mountain a map & compass will prove to be vital pieces of equipment as all the terrain looks the same. I have walked up Scafell Pike hundreds of times and still always carry map & compass. If you choose not to, prepare to walk in the wrong direction because it's very likely to happen.
We follow the masses on the Lingmell Col route into the Wasdale valley. Easy, if rather rocky walking takes us back down out of the mist for those splendid views over Wast Water.
There has been some wind and rain today, lots of low cloud too. But we were well equipped and prepared for all this, so a wonderful day could still be enjoyed. Thanks to Ian for the top banter and good company.
If wanting to walk up Scafell Pike and would like any help / advice we are happy to offer this. We can offer route advice, equipment suggestions and more. Lots of people choose to walk without a guide and this is of course completely fine. We are happy to help you too, just ask. If not hiring a guide, please please please take a map & compass and know how to use them, this will save the volunteers at Wasdale Mountain Rescue from un-necessary callouts.
Thanks for reading