So this past weekend we spent time in the wonderful Borrowdale valley in Cumbria. You can see my post here all about where we stayed.
On Sunday Mark and I decided to be adventurous and climb Scafell Pike. You may have heard of this mountain, it being England's highest and all! A perfect one to start me off this type of walking! lol! I do a lot of walking but not really a lot of walking up mountains (I prefer riding up them on my bike!) but I was excited to take on the challenge.
The walk was beautiful starting off. We went the more challenging way setting off from Seathwaite and the little farm. You then follow the lovely river as it slowly climbs up towards a cute old stone bridge.
At the bridge you then pass through a gate in the wall and you have two choices, up a ridiculously steep path ahead and to the right or follow the wall and river to the left.
We went up the ridiculously steep path up to the right... and I am SO glad we did... The path was really well marked and kept, it was more like just climbing stairs, a lot of stairs! But I found it no bother at all going up this side.
A beautiful view behind us down back into Seathwaite as we climbed up and up...
I didn't expect the path to be so clearly marked out, it was a really good path.
Posing on another little bridge...
A lovely sweaty selfie after making it up to the top of the first steep bit!
The best bit about going up this way, well the best bit of the whole walk for me was this view... Styhead Tarn, it was beautiful. Such an awesome place, so calm... I would love to come back here in summer and camp and swim!
I couldn't stop snapping this beautiful place. It's so funny to think when you look up at the mountains that these beautiful tarns and flat bits exist up there.
The next bit of the path got steep again as we went round the end of the tarn and up.
At the top though was another tarn, this one is Sprinkling tarn, not quite as pretty as Styhead in my opinion, but the duck seems to like it!
At the top of this section it began to get a bit colder and there was snow on the ground.
Once we went up further there was a LOT of snow! It was about 2 feet when you put the stick in, or fell through! But it wasn't fresh beautiful fluffy snow, it had obviously been there a while and was rather icy and slippy so not a lot of fun to walk on.
I must admit I got a bit nervous and anxious as we reached this point. The path had vanished due to the snow and we couldn't figure out the best route, the snow and ice were very slippy and I didn't enjoy walking on them, so I wasn't sure I wanted to carry on.
We got to the top of Ill Cragg (I believe it was!?) and we looked over and Scafell Pike summit was about 20 minutes away! But to get there you had to go down and then back up again and the whole way was thick ice. At this point I decided to give up. A little disappointing not to reach the final summit but the sensible decision I feel.
For my first proper mountain walk in a long while I was pleased with how far I reached. I was getting a bit anxious and I just knew I would get worse if we carried on. I'm fine and happy walking, and will go fell walking as long as I don't have to scramble, climb up ice or go on any steep edges where you can fall off! The actual hours of walking upwards are no bother and I think I am fit enough to tackle these I just don't want to be scared of falling off!
Google the likes of Sharp Edge or Striding Edge to see what I am most afraid of! These are both in the lakes, but not this mountain. But I would never do anything like these!!! Not in a million years. I get dizzy when I'm up high and trying to negotiate a thin edge, NO!
So the only way really to get back down all that snow and ice was on our bums! Mark went first and I followed, it's just sledging without the sledge really! haha. Wet, cold bums were a LOT of fun on the walk back to the car. hehe.
Back down we go....
So we went back down a slightly different way. Remember I said at the beginning at the bridge you had two choices, well we came back along that other path. I must admit I didn't love the top of this other path, it was pretty steep and right on the edge of a sheer drop. I was a lot happier once it flattened out and there wasn't so much a risk of death falling off the side.
The river all the way along had such pretty pools! It would be fab in summer to stop here for a paddle.
So if I were to do it again I would go up and back down the Styhead Tarn route and tackle Scafell summit on warmer weather when there won't be any ice. I believe when there isn't ice it is a good path all the way, and no steep sides to fall off so I am confident I can do it if we try again.