This week on Scafell Pike

I’ve been lucky to be out enjoying the amazingly good weather in the beautiful Lake District over the past week rock climbing, running and walking with friends and family.  On top of this I’ve been working with three ascents up Scafell Pike, two of them in one day with the first one starting in the early hours of the morning.  This time of day is an incredible time to be out in the mountains – quiet and peaceful, and watching the sun appear on the mountains is a very uplifting experience. 

I was guiding a group of 6, part of a large team of several groups from MV Kelly doing a National Three Peaks Challenge, organised by Activus Outdoors.  The only downside was that we set of too late to see sunrise from the summit of the mountain – this is an awesome sight and something you should aim to see at least once in a lifetime.  So we started off, going at good pace but for two of the guys with us it wasn’t fast enough – they were on an agenda to get under their previous time and had been on the mountain several times before, so after staying with us for a short while and after consulting with me they decided to head off up the mountain on their own.  As it was the rest of the group were on the summit in a very respectable two hours and down again in another hour and three-quarters before heading down south for their last peak of the challenge, Snowdon.


Gemma and Lauryn with Scafell Pike behind

With an hour to spare before meeting my next clients I stopped on the shores of Wastwater – the deepest lake in England (79m) – for a quick nap and to enjoy the views.  The view down Wastwater with Yewbarrow, Great Gable, Lingmell, Scafell Pike and Scafell at its head and with the steep slopes of the Wastwater Screes on its right is probably one of the finest and most photographed views in the Lake District and certainly one of my favourite scenes.

Rejuvenated by my short nap I headed over to the Bower House Inn to collect my next clients Gemma and her daughter Lauryn.  This was not only a birthday weekend for Lauryn who’s 12th birthday was on the following day but it was also time for some important mother daughter time.  There’s not many 12 year olds who ask to walk up England’s highest mountain for their birthday but what a great way to celebrate! Lauryn was a great walker and ascended the mountain easily with just a few stops along the way for snacks, photos and later on, lunch.  It was quite chilly as we neared the summit as it was a windy day but we all had sufficient clothing with us and just layered up as we got higher.  We had planned to take a different route back down via Lingmell but during one of our stops Gemma had unfortunately dropped one of her favourite tops.  As it turned out it was fairly near the start of our walk and some kind person had picked it up and placed it on a rock.  We were relieved to find it on our return even though many other walkers had passed by!

Wasdale-head-and-mosedale-from-lingmell-guided walk-lake-district

Lookin down to Wasdale Head and Mosedale from the grassy shoulder of Lingmell.

My next client was Kevin, a New Zealander now living in Australia and over in England on holiday.  Kevin was a keen walker but having heard how unpredictable the weather can be in the Lakes decided to be guided…just in case the cloud was down.  As it was, the weather was perfect but I was able to point out all the mountains and landmarks to him on the walk which he had either seen on TV thanks to Julia Bradbury or read all about them thanks to Wainwright!  We took a quiet route down from Scafell Pike via Lingmell – a less frequented route and much easier on the feet and legs as most of it is on grassy paths.  It’s also good to see slightly different views – those down to Wasdale Head and the Inn where we had started, and also over to Mosedale.  However, the best view has to be that looking straight down Wastwater whilst descending the green, grassy shoulder and we took our time, stopping every now and then for photos and to soak up all the scenery.
Many thanks to all who came with me on these walks this week, Gemma, Lauryn, Kevin and the group from MV Kelly. Also to Richie for swapping groups with me so that I was off the mountain earlier and to Tony for the work!


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