Because a month had gone by since my previous fell walk, and because I will be away overseas for a week or two in the near future, I decided to go an outing on this occasion that I hoped would compensate for these absences. I therefore chose the highest and one of the longest, that is, Scafell Pike from Langdale. (I was also curious to see if our little dog Sooty would be able to make it, and am pleased to report he came through with flying colours, though he seems to be taking even longer than me to recover fully!).The ascent was from the Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel, along Mickleden, up to Rossett Pike and from there to Esk Hause. At this point, because the Scafell massif was still in could, a diversion was made to Allen Crags, where conditions were more promising. Then after descending back down to Esk Hause, the rough, stony switchback path to Scafell Pike summit was undertaken.Views along the way and at the top were unfortunately still only intermittent, but gradually improved on the return, especially when the summit of Great End was reached. Here, in contrast to the droves of fellow walkers on the main summit, I had the whole place to myself! This was all the more piquant because the views north - especially of Great Gable and down to Seathwaite and over to the Glaramara massif - are much better than from the main peak, even in clear weather. There are also fine views to be had of the ‘backs’ of Esk Pike, Bow Fell and Crinkle Crags.Descent was then back down by the same route as the ascent, the one unavoidable defect, as both Wainwright and Mark Richards note, of this otherwise excellent route (though the young/superstrong/foolhardy can vary the first part of it by returning via, e.g., Cam Spout, Great Moss and then back up to Esk Hause, and the remainder by then diverting via Esk Pike and Bow Fell to Three Tarns, and then back down from there via The Band!!).A great day out to tide me over, and a very notable achievement by young Sooty!(Highest point - Scafell Pike: 3206 ft./977 m. Distance: 11.6 miles/ 18.7 km. Ascent: 3934 ft./ 1199 m. Time: 11 hours.)FURTHER INFORMATIONFor further details of this walk, see the following:Richards, M. (2009) Lakeland Fellranger series - The Mid-Western Fells. Cicerone. Scafell Pike Section. Wainwright, A. (1960) A Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells, Book 4: The Southern Fells. Westmorland Gazette. Relevant parts of section on Scafell Pike, esp. nos. 18 & 19Ordnance Survey Explorer Maps OL6 and OL7 (1: 25 000) The Lake District: SW & SE Areas [or equivalent].
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