Having climbed two of the UK’s three highest peaks, Damian and I still had Scafell Pike to trek up and so of course, now living in Cumbria, it was about time we finally ticked it off the list.
Originally I had wanted to take a longer route on the journey to Scafell Pike, but with limited time off due to running St Marks Stays and the fact that storm Hannah descended on the date we had planned, our little trip turned out some what different than what was in my head.
Taking the Corridor route up, we left from Seathwaite at early evening to wild camp at Styhead Tarn. With the weather changing, the priority was to get the tent up and it did mean it was too cold to swim in the tarn, knowing we had a windy and potentially wet evening ahead of us.
My vision of being at the top of Scafell for sunrise and hence the point of camping the night before, did not go to plan as we were pretty certain the weather was not going to provide a clear view, so we simply enjoyed the solitude of our chosen camping spot and set off later in the morning.
We walked on paths with no people around and it felt like we had the whole landscapes to ourselves for most of the morning. As we reached the point where our route joins the most popular route up Scafell from Wasdale Head, we found ourselves walking amongst other early morning trekkers heading to the top.
On reaching the top, there was snow, which was a bit of a surprise for the end of April and the view was a tad misty! The weather did change quickly and on our descent, the hail was driving in to our faces and it highlighted just how seriously you have to take these mountains. They seem so accessible with everything you see on social media, but Scafell Pike is the highest mountain in England and not to be taken lightly. So our advice is to be sensible and prepared and therefore save Mountain Rescue having to head out unnecessarily.
Our chosen route down was via Broad Crag and Esk House, passing Sprinkling Tarn, although the non stop rain meant we saw very little of the views on this occasion. I am certain the backdrop views are spectacular and despite saying, “never again” on arriving at the car dripping wet, I am sure we will be back up Scafell Pike on a glorious day with the crowds to see it in a different light.
Having now completed the three peaks of Scafell Pike (970m), Snowdon (1085m) and Ben Nevis (1345m), my personal favourite has been Ben Nevis, but I can recommend all of them as they are quite different.
Patches from The Adventure Patch Company
Postcard by Jo Witherington
You can see Joanne’s photography blog post with images of Ben Nevis and the Scottish Highlands here:
* We always wild camp responsibly and leave no trace.
* Damian always has the appropriate maps and navigation tools, as paths are not always obvious and especially when the weather changes.
* Clothing and footwear is chosen specifically for these treks so we do not run in to problems.
(Despite the fact that Jo always thinks they are so ugly and there is a definite gap in the market for good outdoor gear hee hee.)