Scafell Pike, and a return to blogging

IMG_1028-0.JPG Ok so I’ve decided to share my walking experiences via a blog again. Please take them for what they are…….a little insight in to my walking routes, with accompanying pics. I had the Grammar police on my case last time over shoddy punctuation haha!! Anyway I thought I’d start to share again as I enjoy writing about my days out. Read if you will. If you don’t then please ignore all of the above 😉 I intended to start this again last week after being joined in the mountains by Owen and Jack. For those who know me well will know how much this pleases me. They are older now, and have their own social lives but I hope last weekend has whetted their appetites again? We will see 😉 My favourite pic of that day……

IMG_1285.JPG Ok so back on to yesterday….. I’ve been to the Lake District many times, but had never climbed Scafell Pike before. Although it’s England’s highest mountain I think there are some far superior climbs around that area…..Great Gable springs to mind. However, as I am embarking on a 71km challenge pretty soon, that involves summiting Scafell Pike I thought I best tick it off the to do list. I must say I have underestimated it in the past. It’s a fantastic climb with loads of points of interest. Waterfalls, deep gullies, rocky crags….the lot. My aim was to be at the start of the route for 8am as I envisaged around 8 hours of walking. I arrived at 9.02am due to a technical glitch involving my alarm clock😮 I had already plotted my route the evening before(yes I really am that boring) It would begin and end at Seathwaite Farm……17.5km in total. Not sure of total ascent as I forgot to turn my tracker on(with me being late and all that) Route map below…..

IMG_1378-0.PNG The main parking area was already full when I got there(damn alarm clock)so I had to park quite a way down the route! I knew it was going to be a busy day due to all the cars, and also there was a fell race taking place too…..Nutters!! The start of the walk is quite flat and a good time to get the pulse racing and the muscles working by adopting a brisk pace. The path snakes alongside Styhead Gill

IMG_1425.JPG At the point just after Styhead Gill and Grains Gill meet is the gorgeous Stockley bridge. There is something quite romantic about this bridge. It belongs in a fairy tale where a dashing prince saves the damsel in distress from an angry sheep..No such thing as a dragon guys!! Anyway here it is…..create your own magical story 😉

IMG_1474.JPG Once across the bridge you have two options. To follow Styhead Gill or Grains Gill. The latter is the easier of the two routes but I’d already decided to come back that way, so Styhead it was. After a steep climb up Greenhow Knot you come to the impressive Taylorgill Force, an impressive waterfall as you will find in the lakes. Pic doesn’t do it justice…

IMG_1475.JPG Once you pass the falls the ground evens out to a flat rocky plateau with Seathwaite Fell to your left and Green Gable to your right, leading to a pleasant walk up to Styhead Tarn. Approaching Styhead Tarn

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IMG_1431.JPG Just on from the tarn is the Styhead stretcher box, widely regarded as the very centre of the Lake District National Park

IMG_1473.JPG The stretcher box contains emergency medical equipment for injured outdoor pursuit type people. Up until the 60’s it also contained morphine, but had to be removed due to misuse by some happy energetic walkers!!! I stopped for a quick coffee break here as it’s the start of the steep climb up on to Scafell Pike. I double checked my map and was good to go. The start of the Corridor Route

IMG_1411.JPG If you zoom in on the above photo you’ll see some tiny specks……otherwise known as people. Just to give a bit of scale!! It’s a bit of a slog up there and you certainly feel it in your calves, but the views are to die for. Following some fellow walkers

IMG_1404.JPG Looking back on Styhead Tarn

IMG_1399.JPG Great Gable in the shadow of Scafell

IMG_1397.JPG The corridor route is a hell of a slog, twisting and turning around the gullies and crags up the side of the mountain, each turn bringing a new vista to marvel at. Alas though, all good things come to and end. And that end is the crossroads at Lingmell Col. This is the point where the path up from Wasdale meets. The most used and most direct up Scafell Pike. People were scurrying up here like ants and the silence of my walk was over for now!! The Wasdale ants

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IMG_1439.JPG From this point it’s just a direct walk up to the summit across loose rock which can be quite uncomfortable under foot. Almost there 😉

IMG_1392.JPG Made it 👍

IMG_1376.JPG There’s something about standing on the very top of a mountain that you’ve spent hours climbing that I can’t explain. It’s there though, and it’s an adrenalin rush that I can’t get enough of. It was very busy on the top of Scafell Pike, as it often is. I don’t particularly like the crowds if I’m honest. I prefer to have the mountain to myself but that’s just me being selfish. The brummie bloke sat next to me at the stone shelter munching on his sarnies didn’t nothing to change this opinion!!! The crowds 😁

IMG_1409.JPG Looking across Mickledore to Scafell with Wastwater below

IMG_1406.JPG I sat and ate my lunch and had a munch off with the brummie guy 😉 Washed it down with another coffee and was on my way again. Heading to Broad Crag

IMG_1441.JPG The footpath drops down to Esk Hause from here but a slight detour on to Great End gives some gorgeous views… Looking across to the Langdale Pikes and Windemere

IMG_1467.JPG Looking back to Keswick and Derwent Water

IMG_1469.JPG Heading back down to Esk Hause the crowds were swelling again

IMG_1412.JPG The mountain in the background was catching my eye on the walk down in to Esk Valley. It was calling out to be climbed. No crowds heading that way so up I went. Felt it in the legs again heading up this one. Lots of scrambling needed at the rocky summit. Again great views though…. Bowfell with a smidgen of Coniston Water on view

IMG_1464.JPG Back towards Keswick with Skiddaw and Blencathra in the distance

IMG_1465.JPG Reluctantly it was time to start heading back down now. I had a quick bimble along to Sprinkling tarn before backtracking on to the Grain Gill footpath. A choppy Sprinkling Tarn with Great Gable as a backdrop

IMG_1466.JPG There is a reason I chose to return via Grains Gill and here’s why….. Colourful path

IMG_1457.JPG Rugged nature

IMG_1458.JPG Natures water features

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IMG_1460.JPG It’s that bridge again 😉 Have you a story yet?

IMG_1471-0.JPG Time to soothe my aching feet

IMG_1421.JPG I stopped at the bridge and got chatting to a small group of first time walkers. They were totally blown away by what they had seen and experienced that day. “Something quite mystical” one said. “Can’t wait to come again” said another. It reminded me of an article I read once in an outdoor magazine…. Us humans as a race have spent more of our existence living outdoors. Even though we have evolved and have home comforts and technology all around us, when we are out in the wild our brains tap into our primal instincts and release a chemical that draws us back again and again. Try it, it’s science 😉 All in all a cracking day out in the fells. As I mentioned right back at the start of this blog, I am doing a charity challenge in June raising money for Children with Cancer UK Please follow the links if you would like to sponsor me. Thank you. Scotty out 😄 The Lakes Biggest and Longest: 24 hours for Children with Cancer UK because Children with Cancer UK http://www.justgiving.com/scott-mcalister1 https://www.facebook.com/pages/Scotts-24-hours-across-the-Lakes/471991612953452 http://www.childrenwithcancer.org.uk/

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