Scafell & Slight Side from Eskdale

20 09 2013

When I got the phone call weeks ago from John requesting two days of Private Hire I was already over the moon, but when he requested that on one day we walk Pillar from Wasdale (as we did last week) and then said he wanted to climb Scafell from Eskdale, I almost jumped out of my chair! I even remember saying ‘Scafell?? Not Scafell Pike??’

Damas Dubs

We set off from Brotherikeld at about 9.45 and started making our way up the valley. The cloud was currently sitting on the tops, but the forecast was for it to clear through, with perhaps a few showers beforehand. The intended route, and possibly most commonly taken route is via Great Moss. To do this we would follow the River Esk on it’s right hand side and cross it below the Scafells. With all the rain we have had recently, and a river fording issue fresh in my mind from Sunday’s walk above Mungrisedale, we studied the map for an alternative, and we found a good one.  Instead of following the river we would take a higher route over Damas Dubs and then drop down to Cam Spout Crag below Scafell.

Upper Eskdale

We made great progress and Damas Dubs was very enjoyable. the map  implied it would be a bit of a bog fest but we only had to hop a few bogs. The showers did come and go as we walked along these few kilometers, but nothing major.

Sampson's Stones

The impressive Cam Spout Crags came into view, and we stopped to soak it all up. The subsidiary summit of Pen was also clear, and now so was Esk Pike and Bowfell at the head of the valley. We made our way through the Sampson’s Stones, past Cam Spout Crag, to the waterfalls that would lead us up to the start of the Foxes Tarn route, our chosen path up onto Scafell.

We scrambled up past the impressive waterfalls and when we got to the top of them we took the opportunity to have a bite to eat. We admired the Crinkle Crags and Bowfell sitting opposite us, as well as the vast boggy expanse of Great Moss sitting below. After lunch we continued upwards alongside a picturesque beck until we were standing underneath the first part of the path that led to Foxes Tarn.

Looking towards Mickledore

This scramble is is always fun, and even more so today with the amount of water coming down. We quickly made up the ground and got to Foxes Tarn. All that was left from the tarn was a steep walk up onto the plateau, and then a short hop onto the summit of Scafell. Unfortunately just before we reached the plateau the cloud that had previously cleared all the summits decided to drop, and so our view from the summit was restricted to about 50 metres.

Slight Side from Scafell

From the summit we headed South, South West along the ridge, at first picking our way over boulders, and then picking up a much easier path which soon turned to grass. We ambled on over the easy terrain to Slight Side, a rocky little top that sits on the southern slopes of Scafell. From Scafell Slight Side looks very ordinary, but looking up at it from the south gives it a very impressive, and imposing appearance!

We continued our descent over easy grassy terrain. This section was quite boggy so our feet got pretty damp! We cut off of the path by Cat Crag and got off of the fell via a bracken covered slope. A short walk brought us back to the car at Brotherikeld. Once back at the car the cloud had once again lifted completely and it was looking quite bright. We couldn’t help but stand for a while and admire the fine fells we had just walked, and the epic valley we used to get to them. What a trmendous part of the Lake District!!

Scafell and Ill Crag

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

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