I’ll be honest, I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve stood on the summit of Scafell Pike, but I have done so at least once a year since I first passed through Wasdale 25 years ago. It has become something of a pilgrimage for me, and this time I thought what better way to celebrate my 45th birthday than to return again to the highest point in England.
I have climbed the mountain by a number of different routes, including the scramble up Piers Gill, Corridor Route and my favourite is the long loop from Wasdale Head via Sty Head, Esk Hause and across the massif of Broad Crag, Ill Crag and then Scafell Pike. However, recently I have been using the simple and much trod route of Lingmell Gill and Hollowstones.
It’s quite short, quite steep and direct, and remains popular. Some mountains and some routes are about remoteness, and isolation, and space. Others, like this, are often about the people you share the climb with. On this particular climb I shared the trip with, among others, a gymnast who was part of the team that qualified for the Olympics in Sydney, the first gymnastics team we’d had in the Olympics for a very long time, and someone I was at school with who I’d not seen for at least 27 years, and what a fantastic surprise!
The only thing to add to this report is that the National Trust were out in force as the helicopter was ferrying huge bags of rocks to repair the path as part of the ‘Fix the Fells‘ work. I thought it was nice of them to arrange a helicopter fly-past for my birthday but apparently it wasn’t entirely for me.
Total ascent: 903m / 2,962 feet
Cumulative total: 6612m / 21692ft