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Climbing Scafell Pike From Wasdale: The Scafell Massif

Liam Hallam is a sports science graduate. He is also a keen cyclist and a lover of the Derbyshire Dales and Peak District.

A father and son climbing up the trail towards the summit of Scafell Pike with the deep blue Wast Water and Wasdale in the distance

A father and son climbing up the trail towards the summit of Scafell Pike with the deep blue Wast Water and Wasdale in the distance

A Walk in Photos up Scafell Pike

Welcome to the wonderful Lake District—home of England's highest mountain, Scafell Pike, as well some dramatic views over the hills and fells of Northern England. On a clear day from the top of Scafell Pike, you can see the beautiful Cumbrian coastline with views out to the Isle of Mann.

The walk starts beside the deepest Lake in England, the impressive Wast Water, before ascending Scafell Pike via a challenging yet achievable scramble over Mickledore, which lies between Sca Fell and Scafell Pike.

There are a number of ways this article will help to direct you as you're climbing Scafell Pike. Use the photo feed as a visual guide with instructions. There is also a full list of directions at the bottom of the page that you could print out and follow.

The Start of the Walk Is the Wasdale NT Car Park

This walk begins at the Wasdale Head National Trust car park beside Wasdale Head campsite (OS Grid Ref NY182074). Follow the gravel road up alongside the car park which runs with Wast Water to your right.

Alternately there are a number of free parking spaces on the main road that runs alongside Wast Water through Wasdale beside the sign for Wasdale Head Hall Farm.

The sign for Wasdale Head Hall Farm is beside the access to the Wasdale National Trust car park

The sign for Wasdale Head Hall Farm is beside the access to the Wasdale National Trust car park

Follow the signs for the Scafell Massif from Wasdale

Follow the signs for the Scafell Massif from Wasdale

The rugged footpath along Lingmell Gill is alive with the noise of rushing water coming down from the Scafell Massif

The rugged footpath along Lingmell Gill is alive with the noise of rushing water coming down from the Scafell Massif

Looking left and upwards to the rugged outcrop of Pikes Crag and Pulpitt Rock on the northern edges of Scafell Pike

Looking left and upwards to the rugged outcrop of Pikes Crag and Pulpitt Rock on the northern edges of Scafell Pike

Walk Instructions Part 2: Heading Up Alongside Lingmell Gill

About 150 m after the climbing club hut cross the bridge over the Lingmell Gill. On the other side of the bridge join the rugged path that runs right and starts to kick up a little steeper. This path follows the northern side of Lingmell Gill for around a kilometre.

Cross Lingmell Gill via a gated footbridge and turn right. Looking back at the bridge across Lingmell Gill which you should have just come across to join the main trail.

Cross Lingmell Gill via a gated footbridge and turn right. Looking back at the bridge across Lingmell Gill which you should have just come across to join the main trail.

Part 3: Heading Further up the Rocky Trail

After a kilometre the path crosses the now much smaller Lingmell Gill where you should take care on the potentially wet stones (pictured below) before heading over Brown Tongue and into the Hollow Stones area. Glance behind you and you'll see some fantastic views back to Wast Water.

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The path crossing the now much narrower Lingmell Gill and heads over Brown Tongue and into Hollow Stones

The path crossing the now much narrower Lingmell Gill and heads over Brown Tongue and into Hollow Stones

Head over Brown Tongue and into Hollow Stones on your way up to Scafell Pike Summit

Head over Brown Tongue and into Hollow Stones on your way up to Scafell Pike Summit

Part 4: Decisions Decisions

After half a kilometre the path splits- the path to the left which heads east is more prominent. However we’re heading right and south-east towards the more rugged scramble up to Mickledore.

Take the right fork towards Mickledore. The path goes left, or right. Both routes lead towards Scafell Pike but the right route is a more rewarding challenging scramble to Mickledore

Take the right fork towards Mickledore. The path goes left, or right. Both routes lead towards Scafell Pike but the right route is a more rewarding challenging scramble to Mickledore

The Path continues up the scramble to Mickledore

The Path continues up the scramble to Mickledore

Walk Instructions Part 5

The path to Mickledore is more of a scramble with loose screes and the possibility of getting your hands dirty so put that camera away for a short while. Follow the rugged following path upwards and you’ll soon be up atop the Mickledore col between Scafell Pike and Sca fell with awesome views of the valleys and rocky crags.

Walk Instructions Part 6

From the Mickledore Col head left in a northeast direction ascending Scafell Pike passing You will pass a mountain rescue point (pictured above) after which the path makes its way over the rocks towards the summit of Scafell Pike where you’ll likely spot people on the top in the distance.

Looking out at Scafell Pike from the Mickledore Mountain Rescue Post

Looking out at Scafell Pike from the Mickledore Mountain Rescue Post

Breathtaking Views of the Lakes and Fells

The views from the summit of Scafell Pike are amazing. On a clear day you can look to the West with views out to sea and the Isle of Mann. Today's ascent was on a hazy day which detracted somewhat from the views- but not from the challenge of the climb.

The view out to Ullswater from the top of Scafell Pike

The view out to Ullswater from the top of Scafell Pike

Looking out from the trip point at the to of Scafell Pike with a fitting Union Jack

Looking out from the trip point at the to of Scafell Pike with a fitting Union Jack

Walk Instructions Part 7: The Descent

Head North-west from the summit following the prominent path which continues to follow the cairns towards the Lingmell Col on the main tourist path.

Heading back down following the cairns with breathtaking views of the Lakeland Fells

Heading back down following the cairns with breathtaking views of the Lakeland Fells

Head down the path back towards Wast Water Follow the cairns as these denominate the main trail.

Head down the path back towards Wast Water Follow the cairns as these denominate the main trail.

Walk Instructions Part 8

After the rugged sections on the descent, the path veers off to the left in the grassy valley section. Continue to follow the cairns as the path flows downwards towards Wast Water.

Walk Instructions 9: Follow the Signs

Two-thirds of the way down the trail you’ll pass through a stile and see a small sign for Wasdale National Trust Car Park and Wasdale Head. Make sure you veer left and follow the trail back towards the National Trust Car Park and your car.

The Full List of Instructions for Climbing Scafell Pike From Wasdale

Climbing Scafell Pike from Wasdale

  1. This walk begins at the Wasdale Head National Trust car park beside Wasdale Head campsite. Follow the gravel road up alongside the car park which runs with Wast Water to your right.
  2. About 150 m after the the climbing club hut cross the bridge over the Lingmell Gill. On the other side of the bridge join the rugged path that runs right and starts to kick up a little steeper. This path follows northern side of Lingmell Gill for around a kilometre.
  3. After a kilometre the path crosses the now much smaller Lingmell Gill where you should take care on the potentially wet stones (pictured below) before heading over Brown Tongue and into the Hollow Stones area. Glance behind you and you'll see some fantastic views back to Wast Water.
  4. After half a kilometre the path splits- the path to the left which heads east is more prominent. However we’re heading right and south-east towards the more rugged scramble up to Mickledore
  5. The path to Mickledore is more of a scramble with loose screes and the possibility of getting your hands dirty so put that camera away for a short while. Follow the rugged following path upwards and you’ll soon be up atop the Mickledore col between Scafell Pike and Sca fell with awesome views of the valleys and rocky crags
  6. From the Mickledore col head left in a north east direction ascending Scafell Pike passing You will pass a mountain rescue point after which the path makes its way over the rocks towards the summit of Scafell Pike where you’ll likely spot people on the top in the distance.

Descending from Scafell Pike

  1. Head North-west from the summit following the prominent path which continues to follow the cairns towards the Lingmell Col on the main tourist path.
  2. After the rugged sections on the descent the path veers off to the left in the grassy valley section. Continue to follow the cairns as the path flows downwards towards Wast Water.
  3. Two thirds of the way down the trail you’ll pass through a stile and see a small sign for Wasdale National Trust Car Park and Wasdale Head. Make sure you veer left and follow the trail back towards the National Trust Car Park.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Comments

Liam Hallam (author) from Nottingham UK on August 25, 2012:

Thanks Dan. I thought you would appreciate this. Scafell Pike and the Lake District is a 'Must Do' in the Lake District if you ever get the chance. Isn't not exactly high up to many but it's a constant climb. Hope to see you there some day.

Dan Human from Niagara Falls, NY on August 25, 2012:

Now this looks like a fantastic hike CF. I'll have to put this on my to-do list when I visit England, which hopefully I'll do in a couple of years. Great pictures and directions.

Liam Hallam (author) from Nottingham UK on August 25, 2012:

Thanks Judi Bee. I loved wainwrights Walks. I particularly like Julia Bradbury who really adds enthusiasm to the program and would no doubt be a great walking companion.

You're more than welcome to link to this article of it adds to your works.

@natashalh- thanks for your feedback. Glad you enjoyed

Judi Brown from UK on August 25, 2012:

Beautiful photos - I really enjoyed the Wainwright's Walks series on the BBC a year or so ago. Is it OK if I link to this hub from one of mine - it mentions Scafell Pike in passing.

Natasha from Hawaii on August 25, 2012:

What fantastic photos! I love your complete journey up this hike. Thanks for sharing this.

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