Guide to Climbing Scafell Pike

Climbing Scafell Pike - Introduction

If you are looking to Climb Scafell Pike then this is the Blog for You... This Blog on Scafell Pike have been provided to give you every bit of information you will need to know when climbing Scafell Pike.

Where is Scafell Pike?

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Scafell Pike is a Mountain that is located in the UK specifically England within the Lake District. Scafell Pike is found in the Southern fells of the Lake District. It forms 1 of the 214 wainwrights and is the Tallest mountain in England.

Above is an image that locates where Scafell Pike is in the UK.  You can check on google Maps how long it will take you to get to Scafell Pike from your location.  

How can I get to Scafell Pike?

There are Many ways you can get to Scafell Pike, however it all depends on where you are based. if you live within the UK and are not immediately local to Scafell Pike the easiest option would be to drive. Below are the different transport options on how to get to the base of the mountain.

Car 

The Nearest Locations you can get to climbing Scafell Pike by car is Wasdale Car park - CA20 1EX, the Old Dungeon Ghyll Car park - LA22 9JY, Seathwaite Farm - CA12 5XJ or Eskdale - CA19 1TH (Approx Location) depending on which route you are planning on climbing.  

Train 

If you are travelling by train to Scafell Pike it will be quite difficult to travel as there are  4 start points from each side of the mountain.  The West Coast mainline runs to the east of the Lake District, connecting Oxenholme, Penrith and Carlisle with London and Glasgow. A direct train runs from Manchester to Windermere. Local trains call at Kendal, Staveley and WindermereYour best option would be to get the train to Windermere and then get a coach or taxi to one of the start points. (some of the start points are a lot more rural).

- Plane 

If you are coming from over seas the best option would be to get a plane to Manchester airport, which is 80 Miles from the lake district. From the airport you will be able to get a coach into the Lake District and then further transport to the begining of your desired walking route.

How High is Scafell Pike?

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978m

📸@kyle_legweak

Scafell Pike is the Highest Mountain in England and the third Highest mountain in the UK 3 peaks challange standing at 978m (3,209 ft). 

How long does it take to walk up and down Scafell Pike?

The time it will take you to climb Scafell Pike will vary depending on your level of fitness and which route you decide to take  up the mountain. 

Route from Wasdale

📸 @justin_grimwood

Distance - 8.7km / 4.5 miles

Time - 3 - 4  hours 

Ascent - 910m

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scafell-pike-corridor-route-apex-international
Corridor route from seathwaite

📸 @tricksatthebar

Distance - 7.3km / 4.5 miles

Time - 3.5 to 4.5 hours

Ascent - 876m  

Route from Great Langdale

📸 @dan_telfer

Distance - 9.3km / 5.8 miles

Time - 4 to 5 hours

Ascent - 1026m  

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scafell-pike-eskdale-route-apex-international
Route from Eskdale

📸 @edgell.tom

Distance - 8.6km / 5.3 miles

Time - 4 to 5 hours

Ascent - 948m  

How Many Routes are there up Scafell?

As Mentioned above their are four main routes up Scafell Pike,. Detailed below are the stages of routes up Scafell Pike.

Route from Wasdale

This is the popular walk up Scafell Pike from Wasdale head, and is the usual three peaks route up Scafell pike. It starts from the National Trust car park by Wastwater. 

Stage 1 - The walk starts from the National Trust Car Park at Wastwater, next to the Campsite. The path begins to travel uphill alongside a stream, After 1.5km, the path fords Lingmell Beck, with the crossing not overly obvious, but straightforward.

Stage 2 - Once you’ve crossed Lingmell Beck, there is an even steeper ascent up Brown Tongue to follow. It’s the steepest part of the whole route and only half a kilometre. After Brown Tongue, the route relents, but the path begins threading and the route ahead may not be clear especially in mist.  

Stage 3 - Veer left towards a large cairn at the top of Brown Tongue across Hollow Stones. There are plans to modify the maps in order to make the route here clearer and easier to follow.  The next section of path is steady to Lingmel Col, the path here is a lot clearer and should not pose any problems. 

Stage 4 - After around 1.5km, you should reach Lingmel Col where the Path turns right. It is joined here by the Corridor Route. (make sure you do not turn left down the corridor route) The final ascent has a clear path that zig zags it’s way up the final 200m of ascent. The summit plateau is finally reached, with the summit itself being a slight climb. 

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Route from Wasdale

Corridor Route from Seathwaite

This route up Scafell Pike from Seathwaite is arguably one of the most popular. However, unlike Wasdale, Seathwaite is a much easier location to get to and has proximity to Keswick.

The Corridor Route is one of the best routes up Scafell Pike and one of the best in the Lake District altogether, This is due to the relatively easy gradients and amazing scenery. 

Stage 1 - From the end of the lane, head between the buildings of Seathwaite Farm. Make your way through a gate and keep to the track as it follows the course of Grains Gill. After some gradual climbing you will reach Stockley Bridge that crosses Grains Gill. Pass through a gate in the drystone wall, Here the path begins to climb more steeply, zigzagging up the hillside. The gradient eases shortly after you pass through another gate. The path heads towards Styhead Gill before it turns southwest to follow the edge of the valley. 

Stage 2 - Eventually you will be right alongside a stream. Keep following the stream as you climb to Styhead Tarn.  Styhead Tarn is a meeting place of paths. To reach the beginning of the Corridor Route, follow the path along the shore of the tarn as it climbs, eventually leaving the tarn behind. You will reach a Mountain Rescue Stretcher box, take a left here and follow a path as it crosses some boggy ground and then over a rocky outcrop. Keep following this path until a cairn is reached with a path heading off to the right. This is the start of the Corridor Route.  

Stage 3 - Firstly the path along the Corridor Route dips downhill for a couple hundred metres to cross Skew Gill before a short, rocky clamber out of the gill. As you ascend, the path swings left, gaining height alongside the gill. Upon reaching a cairn, the path turns right to continue its traverse of the fell side. Keep following the pitched path as it winds between rocky outcrops to reach a rocky section close to Greta Gill. This requires some very easy scrambling down before returning to the path as it crosses the gill itself. 

Stage 4 - After crossing the Gill, the path passes beneath, climbing across the more exposed fellside. keep to the right and keep following the path to bring Piers Gill into view. Pass around the head of the Piers Gill ravine, giving a view down the gulley. Follow the Corridor Route as it climbs up some rocky outcrops to reach Lingmell Col. Here, the path from Hollow Stones arrives. You’re on the final stretch now. Follow the main path left, as it zig-zags through the scree to the summit plateau of Scafell Pike.

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Corridor route from Seathwaite

Route from Great Langdale

The route up Scafell Pike from Langdale is a long walk. It’s just shy of 20km and It presents one of the longest routes to England’s highest peak.

Stage 1 -  The route begins to the rear of the ODG. Here lies the Cumbria Way, a long distance path. Pass around the hotel to access it via a gate and start heading west along the wide track.The bridleway path is fairly level and easy to follow as it passes beneath the towering Langdale Pikes into the depths of Mickleden, one of the two valleys which join to form Great Langdale.

Stage 2 - After around 2 miles, cross the footbridge over Stake Gill and bear left as the path forks. The right-hand fork takes the Cumbria Way over the Stake Pass and into Borrowdale. The route begins to climb up to the Rossett Pass alongside Rossett Gill via a series of wide zig-zags. At the top follow the path as it drops briefly to Angle Tarn and then climbs up a series of paved steps at Tongue Head.   

Stage 3 - Eventually, you will reach a cross shelter, built from stone. This is a meeting point of several major routes and the highest foot pass in the national park. In poor weather, navigation here can be tricky as the network of paths all converge on the shelter. From the shelter, head south-west up to the summit of the pass between Esk Pike and Great End.  

Stage 4 - From the top of the pass, a well established route marked intermittently with cairns takes you up onto the high ridge of the Scafells. Once on the other side of the col, the summit will slowly begin to creep into sight. You will eventually reach the plateau at the summit. The path makes its way between the two minor summits of Ill Crag and Broad Crag, towards the final obstacle before the summit.

 

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Route from Great Langdale

Route from Eskdale

There is no quieter approach than that of Eskdale. This is one of the longer routes to the summit through the remote confines of Eskdale. This is not a good route to do if it is your first time climbing Scafell Pike.

Stage 1 -  Parking can be found close to Jubilee Bridge  or in a couple of laybys along the valley road. Start off by heading north along the track located next to the old phone box at the western footings of the Hardknott Pass. Follow the River Esk to Great Moss in Upper Eskdale. This can be done on either side of the river.  The track leads to Scale Bridge and the follows a drystone wall down to the river Esk. The section beneath Heron Crag can be wet and boggy in places. As you approach what appears to be the head of the valley, the path veers left and begins to climb. Below you will see thel Lingcove Bridge. 

Stage 2 - Next you climb up alongside the rocky gorge that carries the River Esk over Esk Falls. The valley narrows as you reach the top where the great range of the Scafells makes a sudden, dramatic appearance across the skyline.  At Green Crag the path becomes fairly indistinct as it crosses an area of marshy ground. Keep following the river until you reach a drystone wall and an old sheepfold where a path will reappear once again. Above you are the immense southern crags of the Scafells.

Stage 3 - Follow the path north as it passes through Sampson’s Stones. The peaked summit of Pen will begin to emerge, topping off the immense Central Pillar and Dow Crag. The route of ascent also becomes more noticeable, following a fan of scree to the left of the buttress.  From Cam Spout Crag, cross How Beck. A small cairn marks the location to deviate from the main path  and begin following a stream as it climbs alongside Pen. The summit will now be hidden behind Dow Crag. A faint path skirts the side of the stream. The path steepens further and reaches a broad, rocky gully. From here, You follow the gully to the top and turn right towards the summit. 

Stage 4 - As the steepness subsides, Pen’s summit will come into view, From Pen, a further climb up Rough Crag is required to reach Scafell Pike’s summit. Head in a northwesterly direction over pathless ground, climbing through a series of rock terraces to reach an area of grass. Scafell Pike lies dead ahead. 

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Route from Eskdale

How hard is it to climb up Scafell Pike?

All Routes up Scafell Pike are reasonably difficult and it really depends on which route you take that will determine how hard it is to climb, above is a detailed description of all the routes up Scafell Pike. Generally the Corridor Route and the route from Eskdale would be the most difficult,. and one of the more easier routes up Scafell Pike would be the route from Wasdale. 

What Is The Weather Like On Scafell Pike?

The Weather conditions on Scafell Pike can be unpredictable, you should be aware that weather conditions on Scafell Pike can change rapidly and often for the worst. A good day at sea level is no guarantee of good weather on the mountain! You should Be safe and prepared before climbing. 

Before going to climb Scafell Pike you can check the forecast on the Met Office, (make sure you check the weather for Scafell Pike and not the surrounding area)

Although the weather may chop and change, Scafell Pike Does get hotter in the summer and colder in the winter, Below is a table of the average temperature on Scafell Pike during the year. The Top numbers are the highest average and the bottom are the lowest.

Average Temperature

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun
1°C 1°C 3°C 6°C 10°C 12°C
-5°C -5°C -4°C -3°C -1°C 2°C
Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
14°C 13°C 11°C 7°C 4°C 2°C
4°C 4°C 2°C 0°C -3°C -5°C
This Table is a rough Guide for Pre planning, Please check the weather before you start your climb on Scafell Pike.

What is the best month to climb Scafell Pike?

The Best Month to climb Scafell Pike depends on what you want to experience when climbing Scafell Pike.  For example If you would like to climb Scafell Pike on a hotter/clearer day then in the Mid summer would be the best time to climb, you can locate the tables on the average sunlight hours and  the average temperature during the year on Scafell PIke, These two tables may give you a rough idea on what month you will want to climb Scafell Pike.

You may also want to know what the most popular month is to climb Scafell Pike to either avoid or join the many people who climb the mountain each year. The most popular time to climb Scafell Pike is usually during the summer, With the Winter being the more quieter times due to the worse conditions on the mountain.  

What is the best time to Climb Scafell Pike?

The best time to climb Scafell Pike will depend on the season you are climbing in and what you want to experience when climbing. Below is a table on the average sunrise and sunset times during the year.  When you go to book your trip please check the weather. The table is a rough guide so you can estimate what time you would like to climb.

Average Total Sunlight

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun
08:15 07:30 06:30 05:20 05:10 04:40
16:25 17:20 19:30 20:20 21:10 21:45
8h 00m 9h 45m 12h 00m 14h 05m 15h 50m 17h 10m
Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
05.00 05:50 06:50 07:15 07:40 08:25
21:20 20:30 19:25 17:45 16:20 15:55
16h 30m 14h 45m 12h 35m 10h 30m 8h 30m 7h 30m
This Table is a rough Guide for Pre planning, Please check the weather before you start your climb on Scafell Pike.

What do i need to bring up Scafell Pike?

The ideal kit list when climbing Scafell Pike will vary slightly depending on what season you are climbing in, in the winter you will need warmer clothes and base layers etc, however the essentials will pretty much stay the same.

Warm and waterproof clothing

These items are essential all year round due to the temperamental conditions on Scafell Pike, in the summer it may be hot at the base the the conditions will get slightly cooler and could become drastically worse at the the top, due to this make sure you bring waterproofs and warm clothing up with you.

A pair of good walking boots

You will need a pair of decent walking boots regardless of the weather or temperature when climbing Scafell Pike.

Useful Hiking Equipment

You will need to bring essential bits of hiking equipment when climbing Scafell Pike. These items consist of a map, compass, torch, whistle and first Aid Kit. You can also bring trekking poles, however they are not essential.

Food and Water

Scafell Pike is a long days hike regardless of which route you are taking so it is a must that you bring plenty of food and drink with you when climbing. you MUST take your litter down the mountain with you!

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Day Kit

Is Scafell Pike suitable for children to climb?

Scafell Pike is suitable for children, as long as they are prepared for all weather conditions and keen for a challenge. The Corridor route is the most trickiest however it is still suitable for children.

Is Scafell Pike suitable for dogs to climb?

Scafell Pike is suitable for dogs if your dog enjoys long walks. It is advised to keep your dog on a lead especially when paths get busy.. There are some parts of Scafell Pike that have uneven terrain and this may be tricky for some dogs. 

Guide to Climbing Scafell Pike Created

22/06/2020

Check out our Guide to climbing Snowdon

04/06/2020 

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