3 Peaks - Day 7 - Scafell Pike
August 17, 2023
The usual 8am start with Baconators for breakfast. The weather’s looking great, so it’s promising to be a good day.
We have a long way to go today and get moving by 9:30. 5 minutes along the road from the camp site we realise we’d forgotten Einy’s harness, which would make the climb down a nightmare, so I ran back to get it. We pass the park and ride for the shuttle to Wastdale Head, hoping there might be some activity, but unfortunately not!
It’s fairly easy going to begin with apart from a short section where the farmer has unofficially redirected the footpath, so the maps out of date.
We arrive at Wast Water lake and start to walk along the south side as planned. We passed a chap coming back in the other direction who warned us about taking the dog along the route, we thanked him but kept going. It turns out his warning was fair, not just for the dog but all of us! When we reached the scree I realised my error. It was a hugh bolder field with no discernible path and large voids between the rocks. I ventured in a few hundred meters to see what the going was like, and it was hard. I suspected we might spend all day traversing this route and not even make it to the base of Scafell.
We decided to turn back and walk along the road on the north side of the lake. We walk back the way we came and over a bridge to the other side. The detour has lost us about an hour, and we’re still nowhere near the base of Scafell - it’s time to go with the other option of Hitch Hiking!
We walk along the road towards Wasdale Head and stick our thumbs out. Quite a few cars pass, mostly completely full and no room for 4 plus a dog, but after about 1km a nice guy out for the day paddle boarding picked us up. He kindly drives us to the pub at the end of the lake chatting all the way, it turns out he’s never picked up hitch-hikers before and is wondering if we do this kind of thing all the time. It’s a first for us too, but needs must, and it will be a good story to tell!
Finally, we are at the base of Scafell Pike and it’s already after 12pm! We get going for 30 minutes and then stop for lunch on the hillside. After lunch, we keep climbing and join the main path from the car park - lots of others climbing up and down with the usual selection of people wearing jeans and fashion trainers.
The climb seems to go on for ever and is hard going with sharp abrasive rocks all the way. After a few false summits, we make it to the top for a photo, there’s no flag waiting like in Scotland but stunning views!
We descend a short way, finding a patch of grass for Einy and have some soup. Einy’s paws are raw, the rocks have been tough, poor thing. We carry him for a while, but he is eager to walk himself, so we walk on the grass where we can, so it’s softer for him.
Get back to the pub just before 5pm for many lime and sodas and hunt for a taxi. We sit at the front of the hotel with our drinks while I arrange a taxi, not an easy thing to do in this part of the world. No mobile reception and one busy taxi company. Finally, with the help of the hotel reception, I arrange taxi for 8pm and go get some dinner in the pub.
8pm comes and goes - we start to think the taxi isn’t coming and dread the 5-mile walk back to the campsite. Wait until 10 past 8 and call the taxi company. He is on his way but in “traffic”, certainly a different definition of traffic from London! The taxi ride back to the camp site is very swift and only £20!
All exhausted, and Einy is comatose, so showers and straight to bed!
🏴 Ben Nevis: ✅
🏴 Scafell Pike: ✅
🏴 Snowdon: ⏳
Distance Hiked: 19.2 km
Elevation gain: 1257 m