Monday, 21 May 2012

Walking close to heaven on Scafell PIke

What a day it turned out to be!!
Every now and again, you get a day on the fells which takes your breath away, if this had been my last day on this earth, I'd have gone a happy man. Enjoy

I set off from Brackenclose at the top of the lake, and there were signs of spring along the path. Lingmell is shrouded in low cloud beyond, I hoped it wasn't going to be one of those days.
A steady climb up gives glimpses into a murky and misty Wastwater. Thankfully there was no wind, so it was quite pleasant walking.
A look at where we are going, and it isn't looking much better!! We take the RH fork at the waterfall up Brown Toungue.
A final last look into Wastwater as we approach the low cloud. It was beginning to feel quite chilly now, so time for my jacket and hat.
Into a thick clag now, thank goodness for these cairns. I had intended on climbing up through the saddle at Mickeldore, but in these conditions I stayed on the main path.
A few hundred feet from the top and there was some brightness through the mist, as I climbed higher glimpses of blue sky began to break through.
Oh yes, it was certainly looking very good now. A haunting look across the crags as the mist swirls around them
Emerging through the cloud I spotted my Brochen Spectre! This is an phenomonen that happens when the sun, mist and temp are all in a certain condition it produces a halo around your shadow (or Glory Ring). Quite rare to see one, 2nd I've witnessed in 4 years. Use google if you want to know more.
I shared the BS experience with a fell runner on his way down (you can just see him below). We were above the clouds now, simply stunning as we look towards Broad Crag.
Only the highest peaks were managing to poke their heads above the clouds. Great Gable closest and Grasmoor near Keswick in the far distance. Amazing.
Another view towards Broad Crag and Great End in the distance, my last peak of the today.
Great Gable over a cairn and you can just make aout a break below exposing Lingmell.
I didn't head straight to the top, instead I wandered over towards Scafell. This is the route I had intended to come up, in the saddle below the cloud that was rolling over. Quite spectacular, I sat here for half an hour watching.
The same view from further back..
and a close up of Scafell crags holding back the cloud. The last time I was up here I went across here via Lords Rake which is just under the cloud here and then climbs up at the far end. Now that would have been spectacular today!!
A deserted summit of England. For anyone who has been here, you know how rare that is. I had teh place to myself for a good half hour, just amazing.
Looking across the summit trig point at Great Gable
The way we're going next - Broad Crag, a detour to Ill Crag on the right and Great End in the distance.
The highest boots in England :-)
Finally it's time to leave (reluctantly) and as we drop down to the col between Scafell Piek and Broad Crag, it almost seems like we are below the clouds.
Gable still standing proud..
Ill Crag is not a true summit, but well worth a visit for great views onto Scafell Pike and Broad Crag on the right.
A wider angled view, look at that sky!!
Horizon from Ill Crag. The Crinkle Crags can just be seen on the left.
Bowfell looks like a crocodile on a hunt through water..
Heading back from Ill Crag to pick the path up towards Great End and spotted these little cairns all in a row. Gable behind.
As I approached Great end, the cloud seem to be rising getting ready to engulf it.
Unfortunately that was the last of the sun, so it was a case of jumper back on and follow the cairns down. Sad but exhilerated.
We head towards Esk Hause and join the path down which follows Ruddy Gill.
We pass a couple of tarns on teh way down, the first is Sprinkling Tarn, and I was expecting to see an arm cald in the purest shimmering samite hold forth excalibur.... no such luck, just a few ducks!!
Sty Head tarn located at a pass of the same name. Left up from here takes you to Great Gable and straight on heads into Borrowdale. Our path is left from here...
.... back into Wasdale, still looking as murky as it did before!!
Back on the valley floor and I passed these herdies at a feeding station. The one on the top had a look in it's eye as if to say "it seemed a good idea at the time!"
St Olafs, the parish church of Wasdale. The roof beams are thought to be from a Viking long boat from settlers quite a few years ago! More info here http://www.wasdaleweb.co.uk/stoafs1.html
Signs of a recent wedding inside the small church.
A window pane dedicated to members of the Furness Rock Climbing Club who lost their lives in WW1.
A look back over St Olafs with Great Gable behind.
Wasdale Head Inn with locals dining in the foreground. The area is currently being run via generators as the power line which feeds the area and runs through the lake has broken. rather than repair it they are currently digging up the access roads into the valley to replace it was an fixed line. The steep flank of Pillar dominates behind.

1 comment:

  1. hey Ian didn't realise you had a blog! Great stuff x

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