Sunday, April 25, 2010

Walking Cumbria.....Scafell Pike

One of the the things I enjoyed most about our trip to Scafell Pike happened as we left the coast road and entered the valley in which Wast Water lies between the steep and forbidding hills to either side. Suddenly we had left pleasant and pretty countryside and we had entered the realm of the dramatic and imposing, simultaneously we all gave a little 'ooh' of anticipation and enjoyment. We were amongst the mountains.

In the photo the natural barrier of Rikes Crag rises, still with snow nestled in its fissures and gullys, above the steep valley where Lingmell Gill tumbles its clear and cold waters down to the lake. Behind Rikes Crag is the peak of Scafell Pike itself.

We had come here because nephew Joseph, aka Mountain Goat Boy, had asked to climb Scafell Pike when he came down from Ingleborough and so finished his set of Yorkshire 3 Peaks. The hiking team was made up of Alex & Johnny, Liz & Kevin, Jo, Ellie, Diane and myself.

Squirt, Ellie, Kevin and Diane on the climb up from Wast Water.

Johnny and Alex by Lingmell Gill.

Looking across Rikes Crag to Mickledore and Lord's Rake. These are proper mountains, I must admit that as wonderful as my home hills of Yorkshire are, the mountains here have that extra touch of drama, it's magical up here. I can't help when looking at this shot but to hear a voice saying "One does not simply walk into Mordor."

Despite the heat of the day there were still fields of ice and snow on the upper slopes, snowball fights on a hot sunny day are brilliant. In photo, Jo about to launch a missile, Kevin, and Flossie the dog.

On the summit cairn, Johnny, Kevin and Jo, and one of the hundreds of other people who has chosen to summit Scafell Pike on the same day. It was like being in a pub beer garden on the top, with the happy chatter and laughter of contented hikers sounding around us, the sun shining, and the chocolate biscuits with Marmite (not intentional but strangely appealing).

Now this sort of view gets me all excited. The dangerously steep looking hill on the left is Great Gable with Styhead Tarn nestling in its saddle, to the right is Great End, further back are Glaramara and High Raise. I havn't been up Great Gable since I was a Venture Scout when we used to attend to summit Remembrance Day service, but seeing it again makes me want to climb it.

So, we've done the tallest mountain in England, what's next Jo ?

"Er, Snowdon."

OK mate, Wales it is.


  1. the beauty of Snowdon is that there's a railway to the top! ;o)

  2. That view is definitely worth the effort to get to the top. I can't even begin to imagine what it must be like to actually be standing there. How fantastic that the young ones, especially Jo, have the hiking and climbing bug. And aren't they growing up in a hurry!

  3. Dang. So sorry I missed it. Looks like it was a lovely day too.