Saturday, 4 November 2017

A Path Less Travelled

On Wednesday I was up early and determined to make the most of the relatively fine weather. After a three hour drive I arrived at the National Trust carpark below Scafell Pike determined to get myself up. I was unsure how my  knees would cope but  fairly confident that I was fit enough to manage the hike despite the short daylight hours.  My route up was not unusual but I definitely came down by a way less travelled.
Looking back down Lingmell Gill

My walk started at the top of Wastwater and headed up the well defined path through Lingmell Gill. At the first of the cairns I headed right under Lord's Rake and had a hard and steep scramble up to Mickledore. By this point the clouds had descended and visibility was just a few metres. At the top of Mickledore I have to admit I missed the path and spent some time working my way over a boulder field, keeping myself on track through the simple process of heading up hill. Eventually the summit appeared through the gloom and I took a moment to take a quick snap. 

My original intention was to return down the corridor route but the path was nigh on impossible to spot. Taking a bearing from my approach I set off in roughly the right direction hoping to come across the path. Unfortunately I went a bit astray and had an interesting descent down a vague scree covered route which had me on my arse a couple of times. I ended up at the top of Piers Gill and was treated to the sight of the waterfall that drops down into the gully. I opted to follow the path along the top of the gully and at times found myself down climbing the steeper parts. The effort was worth it though as the  clouds parted and revealed the evening light on Styhead Tarn across the valley. I couldn't help but think the route through the gully would have made for an amazing gorge walk in better weather. 

By this point I was getting concerned about the light and I quick marched down to Lingmell Beck and followed the valley floor down through Wasdale head.  I was treated to some spectacular views across the valley and I couldn't help but be a bit envious of the group heading in the opposite direction with overnight gear. Definitely an adventure for another time. 

In all I was out about 5/6 hours and can't imagine I covered more that 8 or 9 km. The good news is that my knees seemed to have survived  and I wasn't too  stiff the following day. I definitely had to take things slow but it was a lovely day only over shadowed by the visibility on the top. 

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