The morning was dry and overcast, so rather nice for walking. I was with Jane and her friends from the flatlands of Rutland. By the time we had reached Hollowstones, the clouds had lifted and were parting rapidly, we took our time to enjoy the ever improving views in front of us towards the Scafells and behind us to Wasdale.
The summit of Scafell Pike was quite busy and chilly, but we managed to find a quiet spot out of the breeze to enjoy lunch with a view :-)
We descended via the Lingmell Col route, again being sure to stop and enjoy the impressive views. Once back into Wasdale I waved the girls off towards their take-away, red wine, and hot-tub evening. What a great plan after a mountain walk.
For me it was a quick nap before meeting sisters Polly & Jess. Completing the 3 Peaks challenge, they had enjoyed reasonable conditions on Ben Nevis, and as is normal, were feeling a little tired after the 10 mile round trip up and down the Big Ben. Both were super keen for Scafell Pike and off we set. Unfortunately the rain had set in and was by now falling very heavily. As height was gained the wind began to drive the rain through our waterproofs, thus making us all feel pretty chilly. By the time we reached the slabs between Lingmell Col and the summit, it was clear the cold was becoming too much of a feature of this walk. Even with decent waterproofs, we were all soaked to the skin. With this in mind and deteriorating conditions, a team decision to turn back was made. Always a shame to do this and never easy. But very necessary. This is never a decision we take lightly and will often feel awkward, but as a group leader we can be tasked to do this. Keeping people safe is our number one priority and always will remain so.
Polly & Jess headed off for Snowdon and I sincerely hope they enjoyed better conditions for that one. Big thanks for the Chilli before you headed off :-)
After another short rest, I met up with fellow instructor Iain whom I would be working with for my next Scafell Pike ascent of the day, yes that's 3!
We were working with a group from Advocate Events. Advocate provide well organised and fun challenge events including 3 and 5 Peaks challenges.
A 12 strong group of walkers all determined to get a good time on this challenge, we set off and kept a steady pace throughout the ascent. Dry and benign conditions the whole way. It was busy up there with a lot of staff from Costa Coffee (thanks to Costa for the many cakes we enjoyed). These late night ascents are never overly chatty events, we're all pretty tired, but there was good banter and some really nice conversations. Always a good way to while away the time when it's dark in the hills.
So what's it like to climb Scafell Pike 3 times in the day? Exhausting and rewarding. It's been a pleasure to help so many people enjoy the mountain today, thank you all.
My total walking time was 14 hours 15 minutes.
If you're thinking of walking to Scafell Pike and would like the benefit of a guide, please get in touch anytime.