Scafell Pike & Great End - Monday 15 September 2014
(Wainwright Completion Day)
Seathwaite Farm - Stockley Bridge - Sty Head - Corridor Route - Lingmell Col - Scafell Pike - Broad Crag Col - Broad Crag - Great End - Esk Hause - Ruddy Gill - Grains Gill - Stockley Bridge - Seathwaite Farm
Seathwaite Farm (Free) - Grid Ref NY236123
Good mountain paths throughout although Lingmell Col can be very confusing in mist. Care needs to be taken on the steep descent to Broad Crag Col.
Overcast with low cloud giving reduced visibility above 2000 feet
OL6 - The English Lakes (South Western Area)
Up nice and early to try and get up Scafell Pike and Great End before the crowds, therefore we set off from Seathwaite Farm just before 0730. Unfortunately the weather did not look too promising, despite a reasonable forecast, with low cloud sitting below the summits. Undeterred, we carried on along the good path towards Stockley Bridge - there was nobody else about.
Passing Stockley Bridge, we took the popular path following the gill up to Sty Head - we were on this path a few months ago as it is one of the routes up Seathwaite Fell. The path makes its way gently up to Sty Head Tarn and from here we walked around to the back of the tarn to search out the Corridor Route path. The Corridor is one of the more popular routes up to the summit of Scafell Pike but was quiet today - we saw one person coming down from Lingmell Col and that was it.
On reaching Lingmell Col the visibility was still pretty dire therefore it took a fair bit of navigating from both GPS and compass in order to make sure we took the right path up to the top of the Pike. Once we were sure of our position we headed up the stony ascent to the summit and as we were almost there we were greeted with a break in the cloud as the neighboring summit of Scafell came into view to the right across Mickledore. The summit is a sea of loose stone and large boulders therefore this needed careful negotiation before it was reached.
Arriving at the huge summit cairn and trig point we were the only ones there therefore we could take our time at the top. We had only seen 3 people all day therefore it was good to be able to be there without the crowds and summit hoggers. We had no views to speak of but this did not matter as we now had an excuse to come up here again! Photographs duly taken, the path to Broad Crag Col was easy to find and we made the precarious descent down to the bottom of the Col just as the mist was clearing - this gave us a glorious view down Little Narrowcove. There then began a steep climb up Broad Crag in a claggy, horrible mist and it took several peers at the map and GPS to make sure we were on the right track.
Once we had reached Broad Crag we made our way to the Esk Hause path and by this time the visibility had reduced to less than 15 yards which made for even more interesting navigation however the path is good therefore we were never in danger of erring off the route. We reached the branch off path to Great End and were hoping that the viz would improve before we reached our 214th and final Wainwright. By the time we reached the top the mist was clearing and we had a great view over the summit where both cairns were seen clearly. It was a great feeling to complete all 214 of these superb fells and we can now pick and choose to do our favourites again.
Leaving Great End, we picked our way down the fell to the large mountain pass of Esk Hause and took the left hand path to head for Sprinkling Tarn, which in turn would lead us to Ruddy Gill and ultimately the path down Grains Gill. This is an exhilarating descent and the mist had cleared enough to give us views firstly over the Langdale Pikes and secondly over to Great Gable. Reaching Stockley Bridge again, we made our way down the pleasant path back to the car at Seathwaite.
Despite the weather this was a fantastic walk, full of interest despite the cloud base being low for the majority of the day.
The parking area at Seathwaite Farm
On the path to Stockley Bridge - Seathwaite Fell is to the right
Heading up to Sty Head
Sty Head Tarn
Start of the Corridor Route up to Lingmell Col
Continuing along the Corridor Route - looks like the visibility up top is not getting any better
Looking down Lingmell Beck to Wasdale
Looking back down the Corridor to Sty Head
Piers Gill does not look too inviting today
A break in the cloud reveals Scafell
Not for long though - approaching the summit of Scafell Pike
Another break in the cloud - Scafell again
Made it - Fudge and Dave on the Roof of England
The Trig Point and Summit Cairn on Scafell Pike
The descent to Broad Crag Col - care needs to be taken here
Looking down Little Narrowcove
Ascending Broad Crag
Claggy again as we near the summit of Broad Crag
Looking down one of the many gullies on Great End
214 Wainwright's complete - the three of us on the summit of Great End. Fudge still has a few more to do - he is now on 177
The two summit cairns on Great End
Where to now - I know, Esk Hause and then down
Descending to Esk Hause from Great End - it does not look like it but the visibility was improving
Esk Hause - the route over to Esk Pike is to the right
Looking back to Great End
Ill Crag from Esk Hause
The Langdale Pikes
Esk Pike from Esk Hause
Leaving Esk Hause, Great Gable comes into view with Windy Gap and Green Gable to the right.
The path coming down from Windy Gap is Aaron Slack
The path coming down from Windy Gap is Aaron Slack
Looking down Grains Gill back towards Seathwaite - Derwent Water can just be seen
After a long journey down Grains Gill we arrived back at Stockley Bidge
It wasn't wet today though!
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