This rather fine walk came about due to a spell of hot weather and the need to join up water sources for Jessie to drink or cool down in. So we joined up Sty Head, Sprinkling Tarn, and Calf Cove, before heading over Great End, Scafell Pike, and Lingmell. Then we took the easy route down to Lingmell Gill for water again. It was a lovely way to join up remote places and fells with stunning views, not necessarily taking the direct line.
Great End is often passed by rather than trodden by people who are mainly heading for Scafell Pike. As the name suggests, Great End is situated on the end of the Scafell Massif's north west ridge which comes to an abrupt halt in dark shattered crags - a great end indeed. A small continuation swings north to Sty Head, a broken ridge of crags, riven by Skew Gill, it can be ascended by keen walkers. Much of the fell is covered in large boulders, thought to be the product of frost breaking up even larger boulders! Only the route described here is largely clear with just a scattering on the summit plateau. However, we cannot avoid the boulders on the way to the Pike.
Scafell Pike arguably needs little introduction, England's highest mountain and consequently the most busy.
Lingmell, west of Great End, north west of Scafell Pike and joined by Lingmell Col, otherwise bounded by gills and becks. The craggy eastern face falls to Piers Gill: a huge and dramatic zigzag gash scoured out along fault lines in the rock by glacial ice.
This walk also includes Esk Hause. Everyone should pass through Esk Hause sometime when the conditions and visibility are good. It is a wonderfully remote spot, a good 3 to 4 miles from the valleys of Langdale, Wasdale, or Borrowdale. Below Esk Hause, beside the path from Langdale, is a large cross shelter. Apparently quite a few people confuse the top of this path with the hause. It is the path above the shelter, between Esk Pike and Great End, where the top of the pass lays and where stunning views to all points of the compass can be found.
The walk starts from Wasdale Head village green where there is currently free parking. This may change in 2014.
This walk takes you to the top of the following hills: Scafell Pike, Lingmell, and Great End; and includes 1 Furth, 3 Wainwrights, 3 Birketts, 1 Marilyn, 3 Hewitts, 3 Nuttalls, 1 HuMP, 1 County Top - Administrative, 1 County Top - Historic, and 1 County Top - Current County and Unitary Authority.
Walk height profile
note that gradients are usually grossly exaggerated
At the back of the the parking area on the green at Wasdale Head take the rough lane alongside Lingmell House B&B, passing St Olaf's Church and heading north east to Burnthwaite Farm. At the farm, bear left and then right through the yard and exit via the gate on the left. Turn right and follow the path through the enclosure, this is "Mosses Trod" an ancient bridleway. Go through a gate into another enclosure. Bear right to cross the footbridge over Gable Beck and continue along the bridleway.
In approx 200m (220 yards) do not continue ahead but bear left heading for the path rising across the flank of Great Gable. At the gate in the wall coming down the fell side, go through, and continue the traverse amongst yet more bracken. There are a number of small rocky steps on the way to Sty Head just to provide a little interest. The views from a grass knoll back down the valley are particularly fine.
Rounding the crags the path bears left to the top of the pass.
Beside the stretcher box on Sty Head turn right. Cross the boggy patch by the stepping stones and continue on the path. Ignore the turning on the right for the Corridor Route - many folk may be taking this route, don't follow them. Continue on the path to Sprinkling Tarn.
Beyond Sprinkling Tarn the path drops to a small ford before climbing alongside a ravine. At the head of the ravine bear right at a clear 'Y' junction to climb more steeply mostly on a stone pitched path. Meander up to the the crossroads of Esk Hause.
At Esk Hause turn right. The path is now rough and rather wide. Great End is ahead but follow the path around to the left and into Calf Cove. A direct assault would be over or through vast fields of ankle breaking boulders.
Just before the crest out of Calf Cove, bear right on a narrow trod along the edge of the cove, then bearing left to continue climbing on grass to avoid as many boulders as possible. Join the main path from the col and bear right. There are three likely contenders for the summit all only a matter of inches, or millimetres, between them. A cairn directly ahead, the middle one, looks highest, but it is the cairn on the right which is the official summit.
Retrace your steps back towards the col, a few small cairns mark passage, bear right across the depression and rejoin the main path from Esk Hause to Scafell Pike.
Bear left to climb up to the first of the proper boulder fields. Cross the boulders carefully following the cairned path; stray at your peril. Continue across the small col, the soil here is ruddy red, and traverse the slopes of Ill Crag to your left. Next is the small depression of Ill Crag col. Continue on the path to another boulder field along the slopes of Broad Crag to your right. Cross the boulders carefully, again follow the cairned route marking the easiest way through.
Above Broad Crag col the path bears right slightly before plunging left to the col itself with Scafell Pike just ahead. Climb the well worn path up the other side, it is not too steep or loose. In no time you find yourself at the busy summit of Scafell Pike.
From the large squat cairn on Scafell Pike bear right to pass the trig point, aim for the large cairn on the right hand side of the ridge running north west. Approaching the cairn Lingmell should be in view ahead.
Drop down the well cairned path, bear right onto a section of sloping slab. Lingmell col is ahead.
Just off the bottom of the slabs no more than a few paces to the right of the corner, is a tiny pool of water no bigger than a bucket suitable for a thirsty dog.
Before the main path swings left, where the Corridor Route is off to the right, a faint path marked by an occasional small cairn may be found dropping to the actual col. Cross the wall and climb the well defined path to the tall cairn on Lingmell's summit.
Electing to descend via Hollow Stones gives excellent views of the massive crags of Scafell, climbers high on the buttresses just tiny dots giving some scale.
Return back towards Lingmell col. The broken down wall can be crossed anywhere so bearing right, cut off the corner crossing grass to rejoin the main Scafell Pike path. Drop down the zigzags and across the broken ground of Hollow Stones. Join the stone pitched path and descend easily alongside Brown Tongue. Cross Lingmell Gill and bear left.
Go through the kissing gate in the intake wall and within a few metres bear right on a path crossing the shoulder of Lingmell's western ridge. Around the shoulder the path descends across the flank of Lingmell in rough cattle pastures. Go through the gate in the wall, and continue down to the footbridge over Lingmell Beck. Cross the fields on the wide path marked by fence posts to the road. Turn right back to the car park.
If you like this walk then why not try one of our other nearby walks:
|Scafell Pike via the Corridor Route from Wasdale||31m (34 yards) away|
|Kirk Fell and Great Gable||64m (70 yards) away|
|Scafell Pike - The Easy Way||420m (462 yards) away|
|A Mosedale Horseshoe||1.1km (0.7 miles) away|
|Illgill Head and Whin Rigg||1.2km (0.7 miles) away|
|Scafell Pike - Via Mickledore||1.2km (0.7 miles) away|
|Scafell Pike and Scafell via Foxes Tarn||1.2km (0.7 miles) away|
|Yewbarrow||2.6km (1.6 miles) away|
Unless otherwise stated the text in this walk is the copyright of Hug Solutions Ltd trading as The Hug and the photographs are the copyright of Elizabeth Oldham. Hill data is derived from Database of British and Irish hills which is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. Maps contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2011 and paths © OpenStreetMap Contributors,CC-BY-SA, 2011