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24 March 2016

Almost up Scafell Pike...


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.
I'm super pleased with my fitbit stats for the weekend though. Almost 30 miles of walking, not bad at all. The left hand side is Saturday, this was a longer walk slightly but a lot flatter, look at the number of floors it thinks I climbed on Sunday, 257! hehe.

Have you been up Scafell Pike? Which mountain in the lakes should I tackle next?

6 comments:

  1. Ah I'm so glad you've blogged about this, because I've been thinking about doing Scafell Pike but was worried about how hard it might be, I think I'd maybe give it a go now. We're off walking somewhere tomorrow, but might start with something a little easier xx

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    1. Hi Caroline, I had this very same worry! Mark tends to suggest these things and then says 'its easy' whilst thinking of his levels of fear and fitness only! hehe. I had no idea what it was going to be like and I was really surprised. There are steep sections, but it is not all steep. But the main thing for me is there are no 'edges' and no scrambling bits, I DO not like those. If the snow and ice had not been there it would have been a fantastic walk. The bits I did do I enjoyed very much. x

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  2. These photos are STUNNING Jo!!! I'd love to climb it - not sure I'd be up to it mind you - like you i think I'd have turned back when you did - i know it's an obvious thing but i cannot believe the difference in weather!

    Looks like you had a lovely day for it though!

    Sal xxx

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    1. HI Sally, thanks for the comment. I never really thought I was much of a mountain climber, but now I've tackled the biggest we have and (mostly) got to the top, I'm ready for some more. If I can do it then I'm always convinced everyone else would be able to! x

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  3. Amazing views and I love the shot of the tarn with the reflections, just beautiful. I've not climbed Scafell yet but having now moved to the Lakes I really should as it's only an hour away from me now! Loved this post. - Tasha

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    1. Hi Natasha, thanks so much for your comment. I can highly recommend the walk, it really is beautiful. I hope you will have more success than me in getting to the very top! x

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