- Wednesday 15th May 2019
- The Lake District
I’ve always said my ideal job could be a farmer. I like the idea of working outdoors, working the land, being at one with nature and animals…maybe not so much anymore!
Sheep are so noisy, especially when one is trying to get some much earned rest for another hard day on the hills.
I joke…kind off…we were not kept awake all night by Mary’s little black lambs but the sheep did wake us around 4.30am whilst the birds sang in the trees, loudly, right around our yurt! I guess you would adapt, bed being slightly earlier if you were rising with the birds and cattle!
So today we were off to hike Scafell Pike!
This was on our hit list after summiting Ben Nevis (highest mountain in Scotland) in the summer of last year, Snowdon (highest mountain in Wales) March this year, which would see us completing the UK’s 3 highest peaks today…woo hoo!!!
Scafell Pike is the highest mountain in England at 978m high.
So as mentioned before we are in the ideal spot in Barrowdale to climb Scafell Pike which is literally a mile down the road.
By that I mean as far as a car could get you then your on your feet from there on in. From here it’s a slightly longer walk in but I would much prefer that to a longer drive.
The walk starts from a lovely farm, which takes you to Stockley Bridge, a very beautiful ‘listed’ bridge to be photographed apart from the 50 people that decided to just stop on the bridge to chat, eat, sit…so sorry guys no photograph of that very beautiful bridge!!!
As soon as your over the bridge the walk is fairly steep. Much of it is up a staircase of rock which has been provided by the National Trust, its very well done.
Thousands of visitors each year visit Scafell Pike, so these kind of footpaths are essential to protect such a natural, fragile environment from serious erosion to ensure our future generations continue to enjoy these much-loved mountains.
This takes you up the classic Corridor Route to Lingmell Col before your on to the peak of Scafell Pike.
Views once again are beautiful, we stop, we admire, we walk on…its so important to pause and take in your surroundings – walk your own walk as I always say!
For a good bit up, Scafell Pike is hidden from view and in order to reach the summit you need to go up and down peaks which are similar in height.
The Lakes have their very own Nepali Flat…”a little bit up, a little bit down” as our guide used to tell us in Nepal.
To walk up Scafell Pike also means clambering over boulders, its nice though.
Once you see the summit of Scafell Pike there is still a long way to go before reaching that steep final climb to the top!
Our approach along the corridor route was the quieter less touristy route up, think of it like approaching it along a quiet country lane…and then we merged onto a motorway!
For the last couple of hundred metres we were on the tourist path…and boy was it busy!
There is a stone platform on the summit of the peak so its obvious when you reach the top…and then there is the hoard of people! And I mean hoard – every man, woman and dog was on that summit, even the sheep joined in – I was speechless, and I am not speechless often (just ask Andy!).
We hit the summit and then we hit the ground running…away from the crowds.
We got our own secluded spot, had lunch and then started to make our own way back down.
But of course the highest mountain in England wasn’t enough and so there was another plan and another mountain or two that we were now going to summit.
The first one being the summit of Great End which was a slight detour on our route. It was a pretty quick and easy hike up. On reaching the summit as per usual we did our whole taking in the views then photography routine.
Andy went over to the top of some cliffs and spotted a sheep literally cliff hanging! It had somehow managed to descend to a grassy ledge and it appeared that there was only one way out for this sheep…this involved a long way down!
We never brought our rope with us, like we usually do, so we felt guilty having to leave the sheep without attempting a rescue, knowing what the likely outcome of the sheep would be.
And boy did I hear about it the whole way back to the car. Now considering after this mountain we did a third mountain then we had a very very long walk out and back to the car, this sheep took up the whole conversation.
Every time we looked back that sheep would be mentioned, every time we saw a sheep or heard a sheep that sheep would be mentioned.
When I spoke about the amazing views, yip you guessed, it reverted back to that sheep!!!
Then we hit our third summit of the day which was going to be Glaramara, this was the summit and ridge we could see from our yurt. And of course, what goes up and down, must go down and up again!
We never met a soul on this hill until halfway along when we met an elderly gentleman and his dog. We said hello and asked where he had come from, he had done the summit we were heading to but rather than continue along he came back the same way as his ‘guide book’ said it was a tricky decent and he wouldn’t advise going down that way…he said if Alfred Wainwright was alive today he would sue him for giving false information! We laughed and said our goodbyes.
After what seemed like an eternity of up and down we made it to the summit. Now to find a way down!
We looked at the map which showed a track down a gully and decided to follow this, it was slow going with tired feet but it was safe and eventually we were down on flat ground and boy did it feel good!
This walk had been long, 18 mountainous miles long in fact, it had been hot but it had been exhilarating, beautiful and breath-taking.
I say I go to ‘therapy’ at least once a week, the hills being my therapy. It ‘fixes’ me, keeps me sane or some might say insane but its my thing. I love the solitude, being alone, sometimes feeling lost but not lost at all, my mind wonders, most of the time it switches off, I feel happy – go where you most feel alive!