Scafell (via Eskdale)

This outing was occasioned by a longing to revisit the impressive scenery involved - among the Lake District's finest - and a curiousity to experience the route up via Cam Spout Crag (rather than, as on previous occasions, by Foxes Tarn Gully). 

The walk began from near Brotherilkeld Farm, near the western foot of Hardknott Pass, proceeding by and above the western side of the Esk via Cowcove zig-zags to Great Moss.  Here 'hallowed ground' was reached, for there can be fewer better panoramas than the sight of the Esk winding its way through this broad but high-sided valley, with the two great massifs of Scafell and Scafell Pike looming to the west, and to the north and east the lofty peaks of Esk Pike, Bow Fell and the Crinkles in view.

From here, once the base of the jetting waterfall that is Cam Spout was reached, the main part of the ascent began, up beside the first section of Cam Spout, and then over and slantwise up the pathless flank of Cam Spout Buttress, turning towards the end to ascend its final 'arĂȘte'.  This was tough going, but then all routes up Scafell at this stage are!  Anyway, from here the summit area was reached, and after lunch near the exit to Lord's Rake, the summit area was once again traversed, this time continuing on towards its southern tip at Slight Side.  From here the long and rather boggy path to Wha House Farm was followed, and from there back briefly along the main road to near Brotherilkeld once again.

Unfortunately, the weather clouded over somewhat once the highest parts of the walk were reached, but there was still reasonable visibility, and many other parts of this 'grand tour' made very fine viewing, as the video and photos below hopefully indicate.  Also, as someone I met on descent said to me, still slogging his way up to the summit, 'This seemed like a good idea at breakfast!', i.e., this outing, because of its length and steepness, is definitely among the bigger 'asks' of the fell-walker.  But the real question is whether it seems like it was a good idea once safely back down at supper time, and in my view, the answer is an unequivocal 'yes!' - this is unquestionably among the grandest of all Lake District fell-walks!

(Highest point (Scafell): 3163 ft/ 964 m. Distance: 10.1 miles/ 16.2 km. Ascent: 3454 ft./ 1053 m.)


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