Scafell Pike - 978 metres
Scafell Pike is the highest mountain in England but the lowest of the National 3 Peaks.
The summit plateau is a huge boulder field set amidst the Volcanic belt of the southern Cumbrian Mountains and provides visible evidence of the mountain's turbulent past.
It is located in a commanding position and
is one of a horseshoe of high fells, open to the south, which surrounds the head of Eskdale. It stands on the western side of the cirque with Sca Fell to the south and Great End to the north.
This ridge forms the watershed between Eskdale and Wasdale, which lies to the west.
Although lower paths are well-defined and gentle, Scafell Pike may surprise walkers with its rocky and rugged paths, becoming very steep and unrelenting towards the top.
The Pike is very often covered by mist and most challenge participants will face part of the descent of this mountain in partial or complete darkness. The rocky plateau around the top can also be disorientating in poor conditions for the weary and tired walker.
We begin our ascent at the National Trust campsite at Wasdale Head which offers the quickest and most direct route to the summit. The path crosses a stream and we continue our approach steadily climbing up a hanging valley whose head is at Mickledore, which is itself ascended via a steep scrambly route before reaching the col and following the short easy path from Sca Fell to the Pike.
On reaching the summit we drop off the summit plateau towards Lingmell col picking up the easier descent path before re-tracing our lower ascent route back to the campsite.
An alternative, more demanding but scenically superior route, begins at Seathwaite Farm at the end of Borrowdale, proceeding via Styhead Tarn, then taking the Corridor Route.
This offers a delightful walk along the western flank of the Sca Fell massif with intimate views of the mountain, before joining the path from Wasdale near the summit.
- Start Point: Wasdale NT Campsite or Seathwaite Farm
- Distance: From Wasdale 7.5km / Seathwaite 14.5km
- Total ascent: 906 metres
- Via Wasdale : Ascent: 2.5 hours / Descent: 1.5 hours
- Via Seathwaite : Ascent: 3 hours / Descent: 2.5 hours
As the highest point in England, Scafell Pike naturally has very extensive panoramic views, affording an excellent vantage point for it's neighbouring fells as well as long range sight of the Mourne Mountains and Snowdonia on a clear day.