|Our start point on the road
from Eskdale to Hardknott Pass, visible in the distance.
|We kept on the
western side of the Esk river all day, using this little road up to Taw
House Farm. I had just breathed a sigh of relief after leaving
the "main" Eskdale road, which has a fair amount of traffic, when we
had to squeeze ourselves into the hedge to allow not one, but two
vehicles, to pass. So much for quiet country roads...
opening up before us.
Knott, on the other side of the valley.
||Underfoot conditions the
whole day were really wet, not surprising considering the rain we have
had. This is Scale Gill, near valley level.
down Scale Gill towards the valley.
|Sophie coming back to tell
me the news: there's our target for the day. Scafell to the fore,
Scafell Pike behind it, and Ill Crag in the distance.
and Crinkle Crags across the other side of Eskdale.
|The head of
the valley when approaching Cam Spout Crag (on the far left): Esk Pike
on the right, Ill Crag in the centre of the picture - not forgetting
Scafell Pike on the left.
|The waterfall down the side
of Cam Spout Crag. The path to Scafell is up the right hand side.
|The path we
were following is actually that suggested by AW to climb Scafell Pike
from Eskdale, and now you can see why. Our path is up, out of
shot, to the left, but you can cut across to the right, either below or
above Dow Crag. I must say that, having up till now approached
the Pike from either the north or west, this angle definitely seems
more attractive - at least it appears as a mountain all by itself
rather than as part of a ridge. Something to look forward to!
|Cam Spout Crag, from the
bottom of the waterfall.
|The force is
It seems surprising that this waterfall does not seem to have a name; it deserves one!
waterfall all is revealed: Scafell East Buttress looms above the
dreaded Mickledore. The Pike is out of sight up on the
right. You can see two figures (the only two we saw the whole
day) on the path, descending from Mickledore. Soon afterwards I
met up with them, and asked where they were heading. The answer
was "Good question!". They were intending to climb Scafell, but
had missed the Foxes Tarn gully (which is not far from where they were
at the time of the photo). They hadn't enjoyed the Mickledore
conditions one little bit, and after some deliberation chose to carry
on down into Eskdale, at a cost of about 6 extra miles and then a taxi
back to Wasdale, rather than struggle back up to Foxes Tarn. I
guess that is what this part of the world does to you sometimes...
|Here is the
gully they were looking for.
NB It's steeper than it looks...
across to the Crinkles from the entrance to the gully.
|And here, on
the left, is the path they should have followed down from Mickledore.
|This was where
I started thinking that the two on their way down to Eskdale had a
point! The gully is not only steep and rocky, but today it was
slippery from running water, and I made heavy weather of it. I
blame the surfeit of French food we had consumed during our week over
rock-fall in Lord's Rake, Foxes Tarn is now the only way up Scafell
from Wasdale/Mickledore, and the path up from the tarn (down out of
sight to the right) is now badly eroded and quite unpleasant
underfoot. You will note that the weather has closed in - we are
looking north from near the top of Scafell to (promise!) Scafell
Pike. I didn't fancy hanging around in these conditions, so
failed to inspect the famous crags to the north of the summit.
picture, at the summit of Scafell.
|A murky view
across Eskdale to Crinkle Crags
||To the south-west, a battle
between the clouds and the sun.
bathed in sun, for a few seconds.
up at Scafell from near the top of Slight Side.
|The top of
Slight Side - not easy to reach, being part of a massive rock which
necessitated some mild scrambling. Obviously beneath Sophie's
regard, since she didn't want to know.
That's Harter Fell in the distance.
|Back again at
valley level, Sophie posing after a job well done!