Hills: Scafell and Slight Side
Date: Tuesday 12th November 2013
Company: Myself, Dave and Tilly
Distance: 14.6km, Ascent: 1000m
Time: 5Hrs 35Mins

Following an excellent walk up St. Sunday Crag and Fairfield on Sunday, I met back up with Dave again today for an ascent of Scafell and Slight Side.

To get to the starting point today I drove from Ambleside to Brotherikeld via Wrynose Pass and Hardknott Pass. This road is one of the steepest roads in the UK. As well as being steep, it is narrow, has numerous hairpin bends, lots of potholes and sheep on the road. If you want to test your driving skills, tryout this road. Hill Descent Control came in handy .

Hardknott Pass :

On arriving at Brotherikeld it was a pleasant surprise to find that the parking there was free of charge.

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

From the car park, we walked a short distance down the road before turning onto the track beside a red phone box.

Start of track at Brotherikeld:

After walking a few hundred metres we crossed over the River Esk and made our way towards Taw House.

Bridge over the River Esk at Brotherikeld:

Once beyond Taw House, the walking was pleasant. We passed numerous sheep as we walked along the track.

Track beyond Taw House:

After climbing over a stile we soon arrived at a nice waterfall. Beyond the waterfall we left the main track, which runs alongside the River Esk, to take the upper path which runs between High Scarth Crag and Silverybield Crag.

Looking back towards Harter Fell:

It was excellent walking with Dave who is very knowledgeable of the Lakeland fells. During the walk, Dave pointed out the various hills and crags including Bowfell, Crinkle Crags, etc.

Looking East:

A short distance before reaching Cam Spout we passed a number of massive boulders. These boulders are apparently known as Sampson’s Stones.

Sampson’s Stones:

Skirting below Cam Spout Crag:

On reaching the base of Cam Spout we met an Australian tourist who was intent on ascending Scafell Pike.

Cam Spout:

From the base of Cam Spout, instead of taking the path, we scrambled up the rocks directly next to the waterfall. This was a nice easy scramble with lots of holds on good rock.

Cam Spout (zoom):

On reaching the top of Cam Spout it was nice to stop for a wee rest before progressing on towards Mickledore, the col between Scafell and Scafell Pike.

Looking back to Great Moss and River Esk from top of Cam Spout:

Heading from top of Cam Spout towards Mickledore:

Scafell and Scafell Pike:

Scafell East Buttress:

Circa 100m below Mickledore we made our way across to the base of the rake leading up to Foxes Tarn.

Foxes Tarn route up Scafell:

The ascent up the rake, known as Foxes Tarn, was straight-forward albeit a bit wet in places. In the next photo, the people at the base of the rake give an idea of scale. I would guess the ascent to be around 50m.

Looking back down Foxes Tarn route:

Dave ascending Foxes Tarn route:

As expected, from previous research, Foxes Tarn is not much more than a puddle.

Foxes Tarn:

After having a swift bite to eat at the tarn, we made our way up a steep eroded path towards the summit of Scafell.

Looking back towards Foxes Tarn:

It was a touch disappointing to reach the summit whilst it was covered in cloud. However at the same time it was great to reach the summit of England’s second highest mountain – an arguably finer mountain than its higher neighbour Scafell Pike.

At the summit of Scafell:

Kirk Fell and Great Gable from Scafell summit:

Burnmoor Tarn:

From the summit of Scafell, we made our way down towards an unnamed 850m top.

Descent from Scafell towards 850m top and Slight Side:

Looking back to Scafell from 850m top:

From the 850m top we continued onto Slight Side.

Approaching Slight Side:

At the summit of Slight Side:

The descent from Slight Side was fairly pleasant compared with the steep ascent of Scafell, especially once off the hard track and onto grass.

Descent from Slight Side:

Looking back to Slight Side:

During the walk out, we opted to leave the main path leading back towards Wha House and instead went cross-country for a short distance to get back onto our in-bound track.

Looking back to Slight Side:

On returning to our cars we drove a short distance down the road to the Woolpack Inn for a nice pint of real ale. This is a really nice pub.

Woolpack Inn, Eskdale:

Another excellent day out on the hill. Thanks again Dave .