The classic and well trodden ascent of Scafell Pike from Seathwaite in Borrowdale. Ascending via Grains Gill to Great End and then Esk Hause and Broad Crag. The descent is via the 'Corridor Route' to Styhead Tarn and then back to Seathwaite.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
Park at Seathwaite in Borrowdale. There is a lot of parking on the grass verge beside the road but on a busy day, you may be a kilometre or so from the farm. Please park sensibly and do not block the road. (Alternatively, spend the night at the campsite beside the farm and make an early start.)
(D/A) From the parking, walk along the road to the farm. This is a working farm and you will pass onto the fells where there will be livestock. Make sure you close all gates behind you and keeps dogs on leads.
(1) From the farm, take the track with the river on the right to a stone bridge called Stockley Bridge.
(2) Cross the bridge, go through a gate and immediately take the path on the left. Make the gradual ascent beside Grains Gill. It gets a little steeper towards the end before flattening out in front of Great End. There, the path is joined by another from Sty Head to Esk Hause.
(3) Turn left and take the path ascending to Esk Hause with Esk Pike in front of you and views of the Langdale Pikes.
(4) At Esk Hause, turn right and follow the stony path uphill to a shallow col, passing an X shaped shelter wall on the right. At the col keep following the path up and over a boulder field, descend a little and then ascend again on the flanks of Broad Crag. The path passes over more boulders to the south of the summit, make the short detour and scramble up easily to the top. You will need to use your hands.
(5) From the top, head directly towards Scafell Pike and scramble down over more boulders. There is a short crag which is avoided on the right as you descend. Again, you will need to use your hands. Rejoin the path, descend into the gap between Broad Crag and Scafell Pike and then tackle the final uphill section to the summit.
(6) From the summit, walk past the square trig point and take the obvious cairned path heading west-north- west. This path does split and the left hand curves around towards Mickledore. Remember to take the right hand path and descend to Lingmell Col and the junction with the path coming up from Hollow Stones on the left.
(7) Turn abruptly right at the col onto a smaller path which leads above the deep cut gash of Piers Gill. You are now on the 'Corridor Route' and the path descends gently, passing through impressive scenery. Just after Round How, the path crosses a stream and turns a corner. It narrows, becomes rocky and seems to end. Look out for an arrow scratched onto to rock.
(8) The arrows points diagonally upwards, scramble up easily with your hands for about 3 meters, and continue along the path, descending more steeply the bottom of Skew Gill. There is a small section here where you need to take care with some loose rock. The path then ascends to a junction with the Sty Head to Esk Hause path.
(9) Turn left and follow the path to Sty Head.
(10) Turn right and take the obvious path down towards Styhead Tarn, pass the tarn on its left and arrive at a footbridge.
(11) Cross the footbridge and follow the path beside the stream. The path can be vague as it is near the stream and crosses boulders. After the rain, the section can be flooded so keep an eye out on the right as it eventually contours away from the stream and rounds the hillside to descend to the edge of a wood. From here, the path descends further to the gate at (2) and Stockley Bridge.
(2) Cross the bridge and follow the track back to the parking (D/A)
D/A : mi 0 - alt. mi 0
1 : mi 0.45 - alt. mi 0.45 - Seathwaite Farm Campsite
2 : mi 1.24 - alt. mi 1.24 - Bridge
3 : mi 2.73 - alt. mi 2.73
4 : mi 3.16 - alt. mi 3.16 - Esk Hause
5 : mi 4.18 - alt. mi 4.18 - Broad Crag
6 : mi 4.5 - alt. mi 4.5 - Scafell Pike
7 : mi 4.98 - alt. mi 4.98 - Corridor Route
8 : mi 5.81 - alt. mi 5.81
9 : mi 6.45 - alt. mi 6.45
10 : mi 6.62 - alt. mi 6.62 - Sty Head
11 : mi 7.16 - alt. mi 7.16 - Footbridge
D/A : mi 9.36 - alt. mi 9.36
This is the highest mountain in England and because of this, it suffers from popularity. In the summer there will be many attempting charity events and on a day with a good weather forecast, there will be hundreds of people making their way up and down. Get to Seathwaite early in order to get parked. Despite the crowds, it is still worthwhile for the views.
You are walking across a variety of terrain and you whilst the paths are generally well maintained there are sections which will be wet, there are streams to cross using stepping stones and the boulder fields at Broad Crag could sprain or break the ankle of the person who is not looking where they are placing their feet. I recommend a good walking boot for traction and ankle support.
Check the weather and even on a no rain day make sure you have a windproof, it can get cold when you stop on the summit to take your photos.
Whilst the paths are well trodden and easy to follow, I recommend taking an OS map and a compass and that you know how to use them. If the mist descends on the summit, it would be easy to find yourself heading down into Wasdale by mistake.
You will need to take food and water with you, but the farm does sell ice creams in the summer months.
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
This walk can be done in either direction. I prefer the way described for the way that the views unfold.
You can always choose to miss out the summit of Broad Crag by continuing along the path.
At point (11), there is also the option to take a faint path (not obvious at first but it does get better) descending with the stream on your right. This path goes to the far side of the campsite and then passes through it to the road. It is narrower, less well maintained and less well trodden than the main path described above.
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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.