Scafell Pike via Mickledore

Undoubtedly a lot of people take the path to England's highest mountain from Wasdale Head but probably rather fewer enjoy the experience which is a shame as it is a wonderful fell with fantastic views as you would expect. This much more interesting route climbs it via a steep and rough gully to the col of Mickledore between the Pike and Scafell. The approach to Mickledore across Hollow Stones looks intimidating, rock walls close in, and the way ahead impenetrable. Just as it looks like a desperate scramble up the headwall will be required a simple gully appears. Atmospheric, loose, and narrow. What better way to a summit than to put hands on the rock, to feel its character.

Scafell Pike is mainly comprised of Borrowdale Volcanic rock, the summit a shattered and jumbled boulder field. Mickledore is an intrusion, that is magma pushed through a weakened seam in the underlying rock, stained red from iron oxides. It has weathered less well than the older rock either side and so has become a pass between the valleys of Eskdale to its south east and Wasdale to the west.

Our walk starts at Brackenclose at the head of Wast Water. There is a National Trust campsite here, and a pay and display car park just over the bridge on the left beyond the campsite entrance.