Grabbing Life By The Balls

8 08 2013

It’s been a while since the last blog post. I’ve either neglected it for editing the website, or simply haven’t got around to it, but today that changes!

Climbing the Brown Tongue Path

Today myself, Steve and Dave climbed Scafell Pike & Scafell from Wasdale, and what a good day we had.

We set off from the Wasdale Head and traversed around the hillside to join the main Brown Tongue (motorway) path that makes it’s way up to Hollow Stones. This was Steve’s third day in a row, and Dave’s second, so we took it easy as the going got steeper, but even then we still made great progress. We stopped and enjoyed the views when we got to Hollow Stones, but soon enough we were on our way again. An hour later we reached the bustling summit of Scafell Pike. Steve had climbed the Pike with me a couple of months ago but the weather was far from desirable, so at least today he got some views!

Views from Scafell Pike

We stopped on the summit and had a leisurely bite to eat and soaked up some rays! From the summit we descended to Mickeldore, the pass between Scafell Pike and Scafell. There are numerous fantastic routes up Scafell, some more extreme than others. All but one of them have a level of descent to start them, and the easiest one, Foxes Tarn, requires the most descent and subsequently re-ascent. We started to make our way towards this route and then I remembered the East Buttress Terrace route. This route is a traverse with a couple of delicate points on it, but the overriding point is the huge level of exposure as the mountain falls away below you. 2013-08-08 13.32.40After scrambling with the guys yesterday on Helvellyn & Striding Edge (and them enjoying it) I asked if they wanted a bit more ‘daring do’ to mix up this walk. I think it was the thought of having to descend even further and then make up the height again that pushed them towards saying yes, well for Dave anyway. We made good progress across the terrace as it was mostly dry. Steve did feel a little unsure a couple of times but he still managed to conquer the traverse, something I’m sure he will be pretty happy with when he’s thinking about it in the safety of his bed tonight.

Final moves on the EBTIt was this moment when I thought about how Steve had ‘grabbed life by the balls’. Not the fact that he had just been taken out of his comfort zone and come out the other end smiling (kinda!) but the fact that in the last 3 days he had climbed the four highest mountains in England. Some of you may be reading this thinking ‘and?’. But as I said previously a couple of months ago Steve came and climbed Scafell Pike with me, and being a man from the flatlands of Norwich he had no mountain experience, and he struggled, a lot. Steve has since been up and done other routes with me, plus a navigation course, and been working on his fitness at home. What Steve is achieving now compared to where he was back then is truly inspirational and great to see, he has ‘grabbed life by the balls’ and is now able to climb any mountain in the Lake District! Nice one, Steve!

From the summit of Scafell we enjoyed a nice descent down Green How. The Isle of Man looked like a floating island in the sky and Wastwater was twinkling in the afternoon sunshine, it was lovely.

Shortly after 4pm we were back at the car after yet another fine day in the hills.

The Scafell Massif

A full album of pics can be found on this link.