Glaramara to Scafell
- What's involved
- The route
This challenge starts in Borrowdale and ends in Wasdale on the oppiste side of the district. It takes you to the summit of four mountains in between, including THE highest, Scafell Pike - Glaramara, Allen Crags, Scafell Pike and Scafell.
You'll climb about 1,418 metres (4,670 feet)
You'll walk about 13 km (8 miles)
This is a committing challenge which begins in the beautiful Borrowdale Valley amongst rich green cultivated fields and culminates on the highest land in England amongst the most rugged and unwelcoming terrain you are ever likely to encounter in Great Britain.
This is a 'linear' route as we descend not back to our starting point but to the remote valley of Wasdale where our transport awaits. This avoids us retracing our steps and significantly reduces the amount of climbing and distance walked. We can, however provide an alternative of retracing our route and returning to Borrowdale on foot if you wish.
To book tel: 07584 177506 or 01228 573513
The route for this challenge starts at Seathwaite at the Southern end of the Borrowdale valley and ascends the first of our hills, Glaramara, via Hind Gill. It's a steep ascent initially but eventually relents as we approach Glaramara summit over grassy terrain. The summit is a surpise being rocky and with various approaches to it including a mild scramble up a series of rock steps.
Seathwaite farm Borrowdale - the start of out route
Above the rock steps below Glaramara summit looking North East towards Combe Head
From Glaramara we traverse the ridge, passing over our second summit, Allen Crags, until we descend slightly before arrivng at Esk Hause.
Allen Crags on a wintry morning over Esk Hause shelter
From Esk Hause the terrain changes dramatically as you climb onto the plateau of the Scafell Pikes. This area is littered with rocks and boulders of all sizes and care is needed crossing them.
Early morning view East towards Bowfell from Scafell Pike summit
At 3,210 feet above sea level the summit of Scafell Pike is the highest land in all England and the most rugged terrain you're ever likely to encounter in Great Britain. It can sometimes be the busiest as well!
Scafell Pike summit can be extremely busy
Weather conditions here can be extreme and can change in the blink of an eye. Navigation on 'the Pike' is notoriously difficult and it's the one hill on the National 3 peaks challenge that is guaranteed to highlight any weaknesses in the inexperienced or ill-prepared. The statistics of the Wasdale Mountain Rescue team tell their own story!
Fortunately you'll be guided by our experienced mountain leaders who know this mountain extremely well.
Scafell is next which, from the summit of Scafell Pike looks tantalisingly close. Unfortunately direct access to the summit is barred by precipitous cliffs and a considerable descent and re-ascent is necessary.
From Mickledore, the narrow ridge connecting Scafell Pike to Scafell, you're presented with what can only be described as a cathedral of rock! The sight is truly awesome and you can only marvel at the forces of nature that crafted such a place.
Mickledore and Scafell
From Mickledore we descend steep loose ground to our left and hug the base of Scafell's East buttress until we arrive at the point where we start the re-ascent. This takes us up a boulder filled gorge involving a little mild scrambling until we arrive at Foxes Tarn, which is more of a puddle really! Then it's another steep climb up loose ground and to the summit.
Scrambling up the boulder filled gully to Foxes Tarn
The actual summit of Scafell is a little disappointing after what you will have seen on the journey to get here. But a couple of hundred metres or so to the North and it's a different story. You're above the deep gills that cut deeply into the vertical cliffs with jaw dropping views into them. Deep Gill Buttress rises to your left from the depths below. Scafell Pinnacle and Pisgah rise in front of you - Rock archtiecture at it's best!
It's possible to scramble onto Deep Gill Buttress and onto Pisgah for an amazing photo opportunity.
Scafell summit cairn a bit of an anti-climax after what you've gone through to get here!
But this makes up for it! On top of Deep Gill Buttress
And so does this! On top of Pisgah
Pisgah & Scafell Pinnacle rising before you from the depths below
From Scafell we descend towards Wasdale and head for Brackenclose where out transport awaits to whisk us a short distance to the Wasdale Head hotel for celebrations and well earned refreshments.
To book tel: 01228 573513
mob: 07584 177506