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Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England at 978 metres/3209 feet high. Did this scare me? No it did not! It only encouraged me to reach the top even more and what better day than New Years Day, I had gone on so many hikes and climbed 'mini mountains' that I stupidly thought - How hard can it be? Hmm well a lot harder than I thought actually.
We had booked a cottage at the bottom of Scafell Pike and woke up bright and early on New Years day ready to conquer the Mountain. With my new hiking boots at the ready (they were a Christmas present off my other half and I was in love with them) we headed out. I wasn't exactly 'dressed for the occasion' with my hiking boots, hiking socks, leggings, jumper dress and leather jacket - I would not advice anyone to do this! After setting off from the cottage we head over towards the base of Wast Water began our route there.
We didn't have a route in mind as we are the kind of couple who like to 'go with the flow' we had our rucksack on hand with all our essentials including food as we knew we would get hungry half way up. It is really important that you make sure you have certain items to hand especially when climbing a mountain like Scafell Pike, this includes a map, torch, food and water and definitely the correct footwear, I can imagine this walk could cause serious problems if the correct footwear isn't worn.
The views from the ground I feel are as astonishing as the views from the top. I was so excited to reach the top but it looked much easier to reach than it actually was. It takes roughly 5-6 hours to complete the walk up Scafell Pike, I would say that all people who are reasonably fit can complete it in this time with just a couple of rest points.
The weather on New Years day wasn't the best and the rain for a couple of days beforehand made the climb slightly more difficult. The walk to the top has the most stunning views, every angle looks different and the landscape appears to change every couple of hundred metres. It was misty the day that we hiked up Scafell and the top of the mountain looked like a gateway to heaven - it was out of this world!
Unfortunately as stunning as this walk was I found it was more difficult than I first expected, as a reasonably fit young women I thought that this would be challenging and that it was, every hour or so I had to have a break and grab a drink. The challenge of conquering Scafell Pike is difficult and not one that should be done without training.
It wasn't the warmest day of the year, in fact it was freezing! The closer we got to reaching the top the colder it was (obviously) but the wind hit you like a block of ice. I couldn't believe how cold it was when you reach the top but all this aside when I finally reached the top the hours of walking, stumbling over rocks, almost freezing and even walking past a lamb that had been killed by a fox it was all worth it!
The views were like something off a postcard or out of a dream, the thought of being on top of the highest mountain in England gets your adrenaline pumping and the sense of achievement takes over. It was more beautiful than I can ever put into words and it finally hits you - You've done it!
We were the only people climbing the mountain on New Years, or so it seemed but at one point a rescue helicopter came circling the area which put my mind at ease slightly in case anything did happen. Luckily for us it didn't but I imagine it could easily go wrong.
The mountain can easily be conquered with the correct training and equipment. This should be on everyone's bucket list as it is inspiring and beautiful and the hard work definitely pays off.
Maps and all information relating to Scafell Pike is easily is available from www.Scafellpike.org.uk. This includes information such as different routes around Scafell Pike and equipment needed etc.
Scafell Pike was an experience that will stay with me for a very long time and next on my list is the Three Peaks Challege which includes climbing, Scafell Pike, Ben Nevis and Snowdon - this is one of the most popular ways to climb Scafell Pike, I am actually excited to see this second time round!
No-one can explain the feeling of being on top of England.
At 3210 feet (977m), Scafell Pike is one of only four 'three-thousanders' (mountains over 3000 feet) in England. It is also the highest mountain in England. Not too grand a height, when you think of the Alps of Switzerland, France and the like - or even closer to home Scotland - but if you ever do scale this mountain, believe you me, you will know that you have climbed a mountain!
Scafell Pike is situated in the mid to southern end of the English Lake District. Millions flock here every year and walking in general has become more popular over the last few years. It is nestled between other grand mountains, with equally grand names, such as Great Gable and Pillar - names that spur on thoughts of adventure and action.
Popular routes to this mountain are from Wasdale Head, Borrowdale, Eskdale and Great Langdale. These villages and areas are easily reached by car. Each walk is not an easy feat for the novice walker and I would not recommend that a novice attempt this mountain unless they are with a skilled walker and map reader and unless they are pretty fit. Better to try a few lesser heights at first, such as Loughrigg near Ambleside. Inexperienced people have attempted the 'Pike' and inexperienced people have perished there. So it is not to be taken lightly.
I first climbed Scafell Pike in early 1994, with a friend. We were both 'quite' experienced, but that day we were planning to climb nearby Great End. It was an adventure though! We set out from Wasdale Head. It was cold, but clear, however as we reached roughly the 2000 feet mark the mist rolled in and somehow, we went wrong. Ask any walker and he will tell you how this can sometimes happen. There were no GPS to help us in those days - even though it is not that long ago, no satellites in the sky to tell us exactly where we were.
We continued upwards and found ourselves on a ridge as the mist began to clear. Great End did not seem to be there. Someone had moved it! But we soon realised, though, that we had missed Great End totally and were heading straight for Scafell Pike! It was snowy under foot and this snow was becoming harder the higher we climbed. We found ourselves in a col where the only way was upwards to the Pike. Unfortunately, this way was thick with very hard snow, snow which was like ten inch thick glass. We did not have crampons or an ice axe (but believe you me, I always have them now in snow!), so we had to 'very carefully,' almost tiptoe to the top without falling...
And to fall would mean to plunge down the side of a steep mountain, to broken bones and probably death! The struggle continued, for what seemed forever, we found other foot steps in the snow and followed those, but they were slippy too. The coldness gripped us, numbing every exposed part of our bodies. I became aware of my own existence then, and I have only ever had a handful of other occasions where I have felt scared on a hill or mountain.
But we got there in the end... adrenaline rush over, the land levelled, then the snow softened... and we were on the highest mountain in England, the roof of our country. It is an extreme joy for a climber to have scaled a high mountain, especially one in his own country. You feel ... well, on top of the world, really...
Since then I have climbed it all weather and from several other routes. The Great Langdale route is quite a strenuous way. This year (2007) I climbed it with a group from Borrowdale, via the Corridor Route and would highly recommend this way!
From the top, on a good day, you can see for miles around. Just about every other fell in the Lake District, plus the lakes of Windermere, Derwent Water, and The Isle of Man (if you are lucky).
Now, I must tell you about what to use if you ever decide to go 'fell walking.' Importantly, you need good boots and waterproof jacket and pants. Then you need sandwiches, liquid and a ruck sack to carry it all in. A good compass and a map, perhaps even a good walker's guidebook, like a Wainwright as well. These are the basics and these are essential. If you are planning walking in winter, best to have crampons and ice axe if you are going to venture high up. (Practice with them first!).If you want to go rock climbing - ask someone else... I don't do that, just too scary for my liking!
I would have to say Scafell Pike is one of my favourites and if anyone were to ask, Hey, fancy doing the Pike this weekend? I would usually say, Yes...
Scafell Pike is the highest mountain in England. Situated in the Lake District, this mountain stands at 3209 feet above sea level. This peak is in the West of the national park and is one of its finest mountains.
I have been up Scafell pike three times. First time it was in a three peaks challenge we did, so most of it was in the dark and it was a real quick up and down. The second time was a stroll up at sunset which was really spectacular and the final time we went the long was round to get a real feel for the mountain and try a more complex route.
Scafell Pike is as I mentioned the highest mountain in England. But it is by no means the most diffucult to climb. It does have dark imposing cliffs that make its rocky peak look inacessable, but in fact there are several ways to get to the summit, most of which are not to diffucult.
Probably the most popular route up the mountain is from the end of Wastwater, known as Wasdale head. There is a carpark there and a nice little pub that welcomes walkers. This is a very simple route, straight up the side. It is very steep but certainly not a long walk and is only about five miles in total.
If your after a longer more rewarding day out, take the route from Seathwaite farm in Borrowdale. This route takes you up past Styhead Tarn and there is a nice long walk along the Western flank. While this route is certainly a lot further and more challenging, it does really show you much more of the mountain and is a far more rewarding day out.
This mountain is often confused with its near neighbour Scafell. These are two different mountains that sit close together. To get from one to the other you must pass Mickledore which is a very challenging scrabble or even a climb, this is not a route to be tried by people who don't know what they are doing.
As with most mountains Scafell Pike can be very dangerous. If you take the right gear, good boots, map, compass, whistle, and plenty of supplies, you will have a good fun day out. However if you attempt this without being prepared it can be very dangerous, especially if the weather does a u-turn on you. Another point is that when covered in snow and ice this mountain really shows its teeth. If you are not experienced in winter mountains you should aviod this. A good set of crampons and an ice axe are vital if this mountain has its winter clothes on!
Overall this is a wonderful place in the English countryside. This mountain has so much to offer all standard of walker. I'm sure I will be going up this one again in the non to distant future and with so many different ways up there is no change of ever getting bored. If you fancy a day out and want to get some exercise go and tackle Scafell Pike. When on top you can say your the highest person in England!!
Scafell Pike is England's highest mountain at just under 1,000 metres (around 3,200 feet). It's situated in the Lake District, in Cumbria. Scafell Pike isn't to be confused with Scafell, which is a separate mountain top, although is very close by.
I attempted to walk up this mountain recently, although as I had been walking elsewhere in the area, I wasn't able to reach the top, but came to within just a few hundred feet.
The mountain is incredibly beautiful, as is the whole area, with large valleys, lakes, waterfalls and wonderful views, especially if the weather is good.
If you reasonably fit, you should have no trouble reaching the top of Scafell Pike. However, it is important to remember that it is still a mountain, so can be dangerous, especially in bad weather. The local mountain rescue team place on-line the call-outs which they receive, and some people do try to walk the mountain with minimal protection.
There are a range of routes which you can take to the top. Some involve scrambling a little, some involve quite hard rock climbing and some are most just a long hard slog, involving no mountaineering skills. It is important that you research your route to the top of Scafell Pike carefully, to ensure that you pick the route which is most suitable for you.
Climbing to the top of the mountain takes around five to six hours, including the time to descend from the summit. However, if you're a beginner, it might take longer, especially if you're taking the less strenous routes to the top. Remember that the quickest routes to the top are generally the hardest, the easiest routes are longer as they tend to wend around the mountain rather than go straight up it.
In terms of equipment, ensure that you take good strong walking boots, lots of warm clothing, water, food and just in case your ascent and descent takes longer than expected, take a torch as well. You will quite possibly find that the path to the top is obvious and that there are lots of people walking who you can follow, but it is of course very sensible to take a map so that you are absolutely sure of where you are.
There are a number of different ascents and accesses to the mountain, but especially in peak periods, these are very busy. Driving to the base of Scafell Pike can be time consuming as the roads aren't of course built for the level of traffic which they receive. You may also find that you have to walk as much as a mile each way to park your car, as car parking spaces are generally by the side of the road, and limited in number.
For those more experienced, a big challenge which is currently very popular (to the point of causing difficulties to the authorities trying to cope with the number of people) is the Three Peaks challenge. This involves climbing Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon (Scotland's highest mountain, England's highest mountain and Wales's highest mountain respectively) in 24 hours, including the driving time. This is definitely not something that I, as a beginner in climbing/walking up mountains, am quite ready for yet!
However, for those who like to takes things at a more sedate pace, Scafell Pike, and the whole area, are beautiful spots. The walks are plentiful and interesting, whether you climb to the top, stop half-way or tackle some of the other hills and mountains in the area.
If you can go out of season, you will likely enjoy it more, as the number of other climbers is a bit less, and it makes climbing the mountain a bit more special if you're not watching hundreds walking up and down with you.
Definitely a fun adventure if you have a Sunday free! But always remember that it is a mountain, can be dangerous, and people can, and do, die, especially when their planning is lacking. I'll be back in a couple of months to actually get to the summit!