Scafell – 4th September 2001

A walk up Scafell

We (my girlfriend and I) started walking from the car park at Brotherikeld at 8:00am. Anyone who knows me understands how unusual it is for me to be up that early! The weather was not too good, overcast, with the cloud fairly low. We decided to press on nontheless. From Brotherikeld we walked along the East coast of the River Esk, through fields and below Heron Crag,until we arrived at Lingcove Bridge. By this time it had started raining lightly, enough to justify waterproof trousers. At Lingcove Bridge we crossed Lingcove Beck, and continued upstream and uphill towards Scar Lathing, following the bank of the Esk. The plan had been to cross the Esk here, ascend Little Narrowcove, then Scafell Pike, then cross to Scafell, then down over Slight Side to Cat Crag. However, by this point we were faced with very soggy, boggy ground in Great Moss, rain, crossing the Esk, the unknown of the route between Scafell Pike and Scafell, and worst of all, low cloud. The cloud was around the 500 metre mark, which meant that we could see the bottom of the Scafells, but they simply dissappeared into the cloud. The feeling of isolation in Great Moss was quite exciting, it felt miles from anywhere. We decided at this point that rather than risk life and limb for a view of the cloud, we would call it a day at this point. We crossed the river below Cam Spout Crag, passed Sampson's Stones, and headed along the path towards Scale Gill.

Great Moss, with Scafell and Scafell Pike on the left, in the cloud.

The path was indistinct in places, but it did make a relatively relaxing stroll. The descent into Scale Gill meant our feet were lulled into a sense of being near the end. We stopped for a minute to look at the falls from Scale Bridge, and continued through the fields to Taw House. From there, a footbridge crosses the Esk to take you back to Brotherikeld, and the last 50 metres along the road were steep uphill and felt like agony! We had walked over 10km, for several hours, and hadn't seen another person all day.

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