Pike or not Pike that is the question

Mountain lake view
Mountain lake view

Up just before 8 for our last full day in the Lakes, The plan was to drive over to Wasdale Head then take a walk up the Valley and into a very rugged part of the lakes. We will be following what is the easiest (if not the shortest) route up Scafell. Depending on how we feel when we get up there me may have a go at the summit.

We drove over to Wasdale Head which is a little fertile flood plain at the top of Wasdale Valley, there is a patch work of walls with sheep within. There is a car park near the inn, where we parked it is a close as you can get to the end of the valley. We walked through Burnthwaite along a path called Moses Trod, towards Bursting Knott and Toad How hoping to get up as far as Sty Head. The walking started off pretty flat but slowly got steeper as the metres passed, so we had to loose our top layers. Helen is definitely seeing the benefits of going regularly to the gym, I can’t keep up with her on the up hill bits, where I tend to pace myself. The weather was clearing by the minute, there were clouds on the tops of the peaks but there was plenty of blue sky around to let the sun through, the forecast was that the clouds would clear.

High altitude Mallards

As we got higher we started to become a bit more confident and set our sights on Great End it is 900m with a gentle walk in. We came across a couple of friendly students, and I swapped notes on Lumix camera’ s one of them had an LX5 I have an LX3. We shared the path with them for sometime when it got to the point Right for Great End and left for the Scafell’s, we got even more confident and took the left hand route, towards Scafell and the Pike.

Finally we reached Scafell, we looked ahead and could see Scafell Pike in the distance, but between the two a big drop and another big steep climb, which would have been a challenge to descend. We did consider going to the top and down the other side, but we were tired and it was getting way past our agreed turn round time. Further on the way down we had a conversation with a guy going up and apparently the way down over the top and down the other side would have involved scrambling edient, so this vindicated out decision.

The weather became quite warm on the way down, and we were getting low on water! We chose a slightly different route down the valley, in the hope of dropping down quick and getting on to a flatter section, because we were getting tired of walking on the uneven rocky surface. , not sure if in the end it was a better route, Helen found it particularly tough walking down hill over the uneven ground.

High lakeland view

Eventually we got down to the flatter part, and ended up back at the car after an hard 8 hours walking, and a total ascent of 800m. We did not hang about as we wanted to make sure we could get a table at the Woolpack Inn Hardknot where Helen was keen to try out the Pizzas which  are advertised as being traditional and cooked on a wood fired oven. The menu is quite extensive, and I chose Sea Bass, Monkfish, Mussels in a Tomato Garlic, White wine, Fennel, Sauce with spaghetti, which seems to be quite a long list of ingredients but they all sound good, and lovely it was too, plenty of fish and mussels and the sauce divine. As for beer I tried a half of Pint by Manchester Brewery and a half of Anarchy. The Half of pint was the best one.

So our last day in the lakes, was a good one, and long walk which at the time seemed tough but looking back we both agreed was well worth the effort, followed by some great food. We will sleep well tonight.