Scafell and Slight Side

Name of walk Scafell and Slight Side
Date of walk 2019-06-21
Distance walked (miles) 8
Duration of walk 7 hours 50 minutes
Weather Windy, cold on the tops, good visibility.
Peaks on walk Scafell and Slight Side
Walked with Ged
Parking NT car park, Brackenclose, Wasdale Head.

On Friday Ged and I drove to the NT car Park at Brackenclose, Wasdale Head, to climb up Scafell via the Green How route……straight up the front. Then walk on to Slight Side returning beneath the slopes of Scafell, skirting the top of Hardrigg Gill and back down to the double bridge. The walk is seven and a half miles. The car park is much improved, there is now a cafe and toilet block.

01

View from Wastwater of Yewbarrow, Kirk Fell, Great Gable and Lingmell.

03

We take the path to Burnmoor Tarn, stopping at the double pitched stone bridge over Hollow and Groove Gill. Here we go up beside the gill. There is no path.

04

View back to the car park and to Wasdale, as we try and avoid the bracken.

05

View back to Wastwater.

06

We just go straight up the grass of Green How, veering to the left.

07

Scafell summit can now be seen, it keeps being enveloped in cloud, but the weather is due to improve by midday, so we are in no rush.

08

The steepness levels off before the final steep ascent up scree and rock.

09

Veering to the left has taken us to Rakehead Crag with views into Mosedale.

10

It is windy, with gusts forecast of 30mph, so we don't keep to the edge as we had planned, but head inwards. Looking to Burnmoor Tarn and Illgill Head.

12

When the sun shines there are good views out to Yewbarrow and Middle Fell

14

Great views over to Pillar and Red Pike.

15

The way ahead.

16

Ged takes a breather.

17

I'm on the summit ridge looking up at the summit.

18

But we defer our visit to the true summit in favour of a walk across to Symonds Knott and the dramatic views of the Crags.

19

Deep Gill which leads down to Lords Rake (now closed as unsafe).

20

Looking through towards Mosedale.

21

Looking down on the main tourist path up to Scafell Pike (right), and across Lingmell to Great Gable. Skiddaw right at the back and a tiny bit of Derwent Water can be seen.

22

View across to Scafell Pike. Those 48 feet difference in height between Scafell and Scafell Pike means a difference of literally thousands in the number of visitors each fell receives. But there is no direct access. Between the two is the inaccessible (to walkers) Broad Stand and Mickledore and a descent and re-ascent of nearly 500 feet via Foxes Tarn. The route I have used on my two previous ascents of Scafell.

23

We retrace our steps and gain the summit. Unlike the crowded Scafell Pike summit, we are alone!

24

View to Kirk Fell and Great Gable.

25

Looking from Scafell summit to Scafell Pike summit.

26

Panorama that includes both Red Pikes. Left click to enlarge, click again to return.

27

View down Wastwater.

28

We traverse the summit to the second cairn. Just to its left is Slight Side summit, a mile and a quarter away.

29

Looking down on Burnmoor Tarn and Miterdale. To the left, Eel Tarn and Boot, a recent walk.

30

Awkward walking! The wind makes it rather cold too. It is the longest day and I'm wishing I'd brought my gloves!

31

Panorama of the wilderness of Upper Eskdale. Scafell Pike, Ill Crag, Esk PIke, Bowfell and Crinkle Crags. Left click to enlarge, click again to return.

32

Looking back up to Scafell from our lunch spot out of the wind. The two people give a sense of scale.

33

Slight Side ahead.

34

Looking over Hard Knott to the Coniston Fells from Long Green.

35

36

View of the 'back' of Scafell and Scafell Pike.

37

Summit of Slight Side. Harter Fell on the right. It was very windy up here. We had to be careful not to be blown over.

38

Looking across to the other rocky summit, which I also climbed.

39

View out to Whin Rigg and Illgill Head.

40

Looking back to where we had walked from. Scafell far left.

41

A shame to leave such wonderful views.

42

We head on a diagonal across the slopes of Scafell.

43

If you are vigilant you will spot the memorial to two Polish Airmen, killed in 1941 when both their Hurricane aircraft struck the mountainside in poor weather

44

Wreckage from the aircraft still remains on the mountainside.

45

We keep to our diagonal across field of boulders, aiming to skirt the top of Hardrigg Gill.

46

Heading back down beside the gill we came up.

47

Yewbarrow on the right.

48

In the sun it is now quite warm.

49

We are just above the double bridge and the path back to Brackenclose. Views into Wasdale and Kirk Fell.

50

The path is just below.

51

Kirk Fell. Great Gable and Lingmell.

52

Almost back at the car park looking back up to Scafell and Rakehead Crag.

53

We stop on the shores of Wastwater, a bit of a contrast weather-wise, from this morning.

The walk had taken us seven hours and fifty minutes, including lunch and stops to admire the views. The way up was actually easier than I thought it would be, and so quiet compared to Scafell Pike. We met only a few people. I now only have one walk to do to have completed all the Wainwrights a minimum of three times….Rossett Pike, Esk Pike and Allen Crags from Great Langdale, I shall wait for a nice warm day!

Jo.

 

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