So, last weekend we finally went to the Lake District to climb Scafell Pike; that’s right the highest mountain in England. This isn’t the first time we planned to do this, but this time we actually went! Myself , Lou, Jamie, Josh & Peter drove up from Stratford-upon-Avon and met up with Claire, Sim, Dan and Ros to camp at the Wasdale Head campsite in the shadow of Scafell itself.
We arrived late on friday night after a 5 hour drive (thanks for driving Jamie) fueled up on KFC and Burger King to find that Peter and Claire had put up my tent for me what was awesome! (they arrived much earlier) and we then spent what was left of the evening nattering.
The next day we woke early (some earlier than others) and I cooked up some bacon and eggs on my New Bulin T4 Stove (available from www.dingoesgoods.co.uk ) and packed for the day ahead.
The sky was a crisp blue and the sun was beaming… now you would be forgiven for thinking that was a good thing but hillwalking in the hot sun is a nightmare and we where all suffering very early on in the walk due to the early morning heat. Thankfully a few hours later the clouds rolled in and the wind picked up making the day much cooler. Dipping of our heads in the cold mountain waterfalls also helped.
As the weather was so nice and the paths quite clear we had been quite relaxed about the navigation and safety of the team…. this was the big mistake of the day. Around 400m there was a fork in the path (in a area we had noted as a potential ‘getting lost’ point) and we made a right turn, but 2 of our team where taking photos and did not notice we had gone this way, with another large group of strangers turning the other way, Jamie and Josh finished snapping away and turned to see what looked like us on the left track an walked after the wrong group.
2 minutes later, over a small crest, we had stopped, concerned they where not in sight behind us, we sent Peter back to look for them but alas they where nowhere in sight (even after his shouting). After half an hour we decided they must of carried on the other path (which did go to Scafell summit… eventually) and so we moved on (incidentally they did come back but we where long gone by then… bad us).
We took lunch perched on some rocks overlooking Great Gable and the valley below and then headed to the top of Scafell Pike. We reached the top quite soon after lunch, almost by surprise and to be honest I think we were all a bit underwhelmed with it all. A mass of boulders covers the top and and a mass of people stood upon them, all yapping away on there phones. Many of the surrounding peaks look much more inviting, but hey, we wanted to bag the highest mountain so I guess this is what you have to live with.
The walk down was quite fun, we enjoyed watching the rock climbers scaling the cliffs of Broad Stand and then scrambled down the treacherous path down to the green valley we were camped in. It was at this point that we met up with Josh and Jamie who had been about half an hour behind us for much of the day.
We reached our tents 7 hours after we had left and feeling very tired. A pub dinner was our reward and we soon went to bed, exhausted after the days walking. It was a great walking trip and I’m looking forward to our next visit to the Lake District.