Where is this walk?

Scafell from Wasdale

July 26, 2017

Scafell Pike and Scafell from Wasdale involves a steep and relentless climb from the valley and a tricky crossing between the Scafells. The descent from Scafell is lovely.

The Walk

The circuit of Scafell Pike and Scafell from Wasdale is a well deserved classic. This is particularly so if the ascent is via Lingmell and not the eroded path where the hordes completing the National 3 Peaks clutter up. The highest point of England (3210′) is eventually reached but it is on the crossing to Scafell that the walk comes in to its own.

The col at Mickledore is a place of legend and requires sensible decision making. There are three options here. My preferred option is Lords Rake, a 200 foot drop to the north side finds an opening in to a shattered rake of loose rock which bends steeply through the Scafell rock face at a point just before the ‘unstable’ boulder (it will fall at some stage so the risk is yours!). I did Broad Stand (the direct and quickest route) when I was young. However the 12 foot slab scares me a little now and I would avoid it, particularly in the wet or on a descent. The third option is a 500 foot descent on the southern side of Scafell to Foxes Tarn. It is particularly appealing, a bit dull but safe. However it is spectacular stuff around the Scafells and most seem to complete the crossing safely even if they do have a story to tell!

The descent from Scafell is safe and pleasant with great views over the Wasdale valley.


Take the track up the shoulder of Lingmell rather than the more obvious one up the Gill.

Navigation Tips on Scafell from Wasdale

The summit of Scafell Pike is a confusing place in bad weather. There is steep land on all sides and the descent to Mickledore from the summit needs care. The bearing is 240 degrees but take a compass and check yourself. On arrival at Mickledore go left towards 3 Tarns or right to a gap/ladder in the rock face which is Lords Rake.

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