Scrambling & Mountaineering Routes on Scafell and Surrounding Mountains

Broad Stand: diff' rock climb

This route to the summit of Scafell had previously been given the grade of 'Moderate' or even 'grade 3' scramble! This was a severe under-grading and thankfully the FRCC (Fell and Rock Climbing Club) have re-graded the route to reflect the serious nature of the terrain, for this is far more than a scramble, this is rock climbing through challenging territory and needs respect.

Let's have a look at what the route entails.


It begins about 25 metres down the East (Eskdale) side of Mickledore and starts with a squeeze through 'Fat mans agony' which is particularly challenging should you be wearing a large rucksack. Once through this the route goes left on polished holds that lead to a sloping platform.

The crux wall follows and can be quite un-elegant. Just pray the good handholds aren't filled with ice cold water! Once above this easier terrain follows but the scrambling remains fun and the atmosphere is outstanding. All too soon the summit of Scafell will be reached. On a clear day the views are unsurpassed in all of England.

Lords Rake and the West Wall Traverse: grade 1

This route to the summit of Scafell had previously been given the grade of 'Moderate' or even 'grade 3' scramble! This was a severe under-grading and thankfully the FRCC (Fell and Rock Climbing Club) have re-graded the route to reflect the serious nature of the terrain, for this is far more than a scramble, this is rock climbing through challenging territory and needs respect.

Let's have a look at what the route entails.


It begins about 25 metres down the East (Eskdale) side of Mickledore and starts with a squeeze through 'Fat mans agony' which is particularly challenging should you be wearing a large rucksack. Once through this the route goes left on polished holds that lead to a sloping platform.

The crux wall follows and can be quite un-elegant. Just pray the good handholds aren't filled with ice cold water! Once above this easier terrain follows but the scrambling remains fun and the atmosphere is outstanding. All too soon the summit of Scafell will be reached. On a clear day the views are unsurpassed in all of England.

Broad Stand & Other Scrambles
Broad Stand & Other Scrambles

Broad Stand & Other Scrambles

Cockley Pike Ridge, Ill Crag: grade 1 up to 3

This route is on the Scafell massif rather than on Scafell itself, although it is easy to link up with the main summits. For anyone staying in the South Lakes (Ambleside / Windermere) area, this makes for a really handy and adventurous day out on the Scafells.


Start in Langdale at the Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel and take the path to Esk Hause, continuing along this path towards Scafell Pike until just beyond a grassy tongue and descend  on a vague path next to Calfcove Gill. After a few hundred metres look over to your right and locate a suitable place to join the rocky ridge.


You are now on one of the longest scrambles in the Lake District. The route is mostly obvious and can be varied to give pitches of grade 3 scrambling, but should you be looking for solid grade 1 fun the whole way that's possible too, keep an eye on the easiest way and go for it. The rock is rough and superb throughout, but do watch out for the odd loose bit! There are a couple of disjointed sections along the way, thankfully these are short lived and worth persevering with as the route as a whole gives a high quality scramble that finishes right on the summit of Ill Crag.


At around 400 metres of height gain this is probably the longest scramble in England, with the added bonus of finishing on a high mountain summit that can offer absolutely gobsmacking views. If all this isn't enough, why not consider linking this route with either of the other routes mentioned here, or for a very fit & determined team linking all 3 would provide a HUGE day out.  


A 30m rope and helmet are useful kit to have for this route. 


North West Spur of Esk Pike: grade 2

Whilst this isn't quite part of the main Scafell massif, it's pretty close and can form the beginnings of a fine mountaineering day out in the area.

We would approach this route from the Old Dungeon Ghyll in Langdale and follow the Rossett Ghyll path up to Angle Tarn. Then some off-piste walking follows to get us to the Ore Gap path and on to the base of this prominent rocky spur.

We pick our way up the lowest rocks, considering route finding and getting used to being on rock. The difficulties are easy to avoid and we will offer a variety of route choices as we ascend. Eventually the angle eases, curving onto the summit plateau. The summit lies to the West. From here and depending on time and energy levels we may seek out further scrambles in the area

But even as a stand alone route, this offers fine scenery on a less trodden path to a beautiful summit, well worth it.


These are just a tiny selection of the scrambling and mountaineering routes we can offer here in the Lake District. If you have a particular route or objective in mind please do let us know. We will do our best to help.

Broad Stand & Other Scrambles

Hire a Guide

For those not wishing to tackle these fine routes solely under their own steam, we can tailor a day of mountain scrambling to suit. Our extensive knowledge of the area enables us to provide you with a first class day out whatever your chosen goal may be. For more technical scrambles our maximum ratio is 2:1.

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