Scafell Pike and Scafell via Foxes Tarn

On the map Scafell and Scafell Pike are just a stone's throw apart. There is, however, a slight problem trying to walk between them in the shape of Broad Stand. A wall of rock standing across the ridge of Mickledore from Scafell Pike makes an impossible obstacle for the walker. The Lakeland poet Samuel Coleridge famously down climbed Broad Stand, or rather he dropped down some of it only to realise he couldn't climb back up, so had to go on. Wainwright gave up ever climbing it.

The two usual walkers' routes both involve a drop in height from Mickledore: Lord's Rake is a desperate loose gully scramble with a precarious chockstone, and not recommended. Foxes Tarn(1), the way described here, is itself a tiny pool hardly bigger than the outfall it feeds. Set in a small rocky, glacial, amphitheatre which echoes to the bleating of sheep and the rocks skittering down dislodged by their cloven hooves. It has a delightful setting, friendly when the sun shines, atmospheric when the mist and cloud inevitably blows in.

After a slither in the scree from Mickledore above, the way to Foxes Tarn is to climb the gully of its outfall. Distinctive, and with a cairn confirming the entrance the way is unmistakable. It is simply straight up, a bit of loose rock, slippery mosses, boulders to clamber over or around. Nothing too tricky and often choices can be made to mitigate or enhance the scramble. Jessie was having fun, plenty of water for her in tiny pools, and no difficulties for four-paw-drive. She got to the tarn first, as usual. From there the path is up a scree riven slope, where somewhere underneath is a pitched path. Straightforward and not too steep the climb is helped by the summit being close by. The rest of the route too is straightforward: the usual route to Scafell Pike via Lingmell col - otherwise it would be a bit of an out and back - and the descent from Scafell is initially through loose stone and then wide grass ridge to join the bridleway back to Brackenclose.

The National Trust pay and display car park at Brackenclose near the campsite is the obvious starting point for this walk. The currently free parking at Wasdale Head green could also be used and there is a small amount of informal parking on the 'main' road.