3rd May 2014

Scafell Pike from Dunmail Raise


Walk Overview
Time 7:25am to 7:20pm
Duration 11 hr 55 min
Distance 16.8 mile
Ascent 5,800 ft
Walking with Paul Sharkey
Dunmail Raise - Steel Fell - Steelfell Tarn - Calf Crag - Brownrigg Tarn - Codale Head - Sergeant Man - Thunacar Knott - Pavey Ark - Harrison Stickle - Pike O'Stickle - Martcrag Moor - Stake Pass - Rossett Pike - Angle Tarn - Esk Hause - Calf Cove - Great End - Broad Crag Col - Scafell Pike - Corridor Route - Styhead - Styhead Gill - Stockley Bridge - Seathwaite
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Roadside, top of Dunmail Raise

There is lots of available parking along this stretch of road, and just as well. Anyone who has driven over Dunmail Raise will have noticed how many cars form the line on each side of the road. I'm tempted to say that this is somewhere you'll never fail to get a space. Simply leave your car at the end of the line.


Weather Readings

The Gadget
All readings were taken using a Kestrel 2000 Weather Meter
Live temperature recorded at the time I press the hold key
Maximum Wind Speed Maximum wind speed since the weather meter was turned on at each location Average Wind Speed
Average wind speed since the weather meter was turned on at each location
Wind Chill
Combination of wind speed and temperature. The gadget does the calculations not me.

Route Map


I was asked a few weeks ago if I'd like to join Paul on a walk from Dunmail Raise to Scafell Pike. My immediate reaction was to say yes without really thinking about it, and then, it struck me what I'd actually agreed to. Right, I said to myself, I don't exactly want to get out of it but lets see what I've 'signed myself up for'. The distance is high but perfectly manageable. The ascent, although higher than a normal was nothing I haven't done before. And even though the second half of the route would be on tough slow ground, the beginning of the walk would be quite easy to be honest. So, after the doubts were brushed away and the date / time were agreed, here we are at the top of Dunmail Raise ready to set out on what could well be the walk of the year.

From the car we could have headed straight up the side of Steel Fell but it made sense to warm up the legs at least a little bit first. So, we headed along the side of the fell gaining height at a slower rate. Before too long, Thirlmere came into view, along with Lonscale Fell and Great Calva in the far distance. We knew at some point we'd need to make a 'run' for the ridge but human nature kept us on the easier line. That was until we reached the gill running steeply down the face of the fell. "Ah well, I guess we might as well head up hill"

And here's a picture looking back down what was the steepest part of the whole walk. I made a remark on here that "I wouldn't fancy walking up here if it were wet and slippery"


We're on the ridge now and ahead of us is Steel Fell.

Steel Fell summit in front of Nethermost Pike, Dollywaggon Pike (behind the cairn) and Seat Sandal.

We leave Steel Fell and take full advantage of the easier terrain between us and Calf Crag.

A close up of valley just outside Grasmere. Helm Crag is on the right hand side of the picture.

Steel Fell Tarn.

Looking back to Steel Fell.

Calf Crag.

As I look back to Calf Crag I see a guy heading in our direction, sometimes walking, sometimes running and making very quick progress indeed. When he catches up we all strike up conversation where it soon becomes evident that he'd also parked at Dunmail Raise and was also heading for Scafell Pike. Only ten minutes earlier we'd suggested to each other that few, if any other folk would be aiming for Scafell Pike after setting off from here today, , , and then, the first person we see was doing just that. We had expected to see him again on his return route but I guess he must have taken a different route back from the one he'd told us about.

Sergeant Man. Blimey, Great End and Scafell Pike look a heck of a long way from here !!! (the darker fells in the far distance on the right)

Sergeant Man summit.

Mmmmm, nice soft grass and peaty ground to walk on. In eight hours time this would have been a luxury we'd have paid good money to enjoy.
Ahead of us are the next four fells on the walk. Thunacar Knott, Pavey Ark, Harrison Stickle and Pike O'Stickle, although, at this point we still hadn't decided which ones to include on the walk.

Thunacar Knott Tarn.

and the summit cairn, in front of Harrison Stickle.

There are quite a lot of tarns and pools in the area around Pavey Ark. For obvious reasons this is number eight on the list.

The view from Pavey Ark. Stickle Tarn is right below us, the valley is Great Langdale and the bulky fell in front is Lingmoor Fell.

The next fell is Harrison Stickle which, despite not being very far from Pavey Ark, generally seems to be a time consuming walk.

We stood for a few minutes picking out the people on the side of Pavey Ark.
Here's a close up showing some people at the top of the picture and some near the bottom.

A close up of Pike O'Stickle taken from Harrison Stickle summit.

and not so close up.


We make our way across the lower end of Harrison Combe to reach Pike O'Stickle.

Looking back to Harrison Stickle.


Harrison Stickle, taken just before we begin the short, but very steep climb up Pike O'Stickle.

Not very long.
Easier to get up than down. and, , ,
unless you're a bit taller than me, you'll probably need to use you're backside on the return journey.

The view from Pike O'Stickle.

On the way up and then again on the way down Pike O'Stickle we passed by this nick in the rocks where you get a view across to Bow Fell. I should imagine it'll have a name but I've no idea what it might be. If I'd took a couple of steps forward from here I'd have been airborne.

Now we're at the top of Stake Pass.

Zooming in on Esk Hause and Great End.

Rossett Pike in front of the Langdale Pikes. The small pointed bit on the left of the picture is Sergeant Man.

A close up of the Great Slab.

Angle Tarn.

Sergeant Man, the Langdales and Rossett Pike seen from the route to Esk Hause. It was here that I said the day was changing and I reckoned it was going to rain.

Great End seen from lower Esk Hause. We had two options to get onto Great End from here. Straight up through the scree and rocks or, the longer but easier route around the edge of Calf Cove. Longer and easier took priority over the shorter route today.

Looking across to Great and Green Gable.

Esk Pike fills the scene to the right of Esk Hause and again, the Langdale Pikes can be seen in the picture.

"Do you fancy a sit down for five minutes"
"Yeah, lets get to the top of the path and sit on the grass up there"

Passing by the shelter in Calf Cove.

A view back to Esk Hause.

Scafell Pike was slowly but surely getting closer. Actually, it was us that was getting close but you know what I mean. Anyway: before making our way over there, we walked over to Great End. During the week when we were discussing the route for today we had a basic route in mind, but because of the distance and ascent, we'd decided to add or miss off fells depending on how we felt at the time. Great End however, was the one fell that Paul had said he didn't want to miss off the walk. Unfortunately, this was the one fell where we had rain / heavy drizzle. To say the drizzle didn't dampen our spirits would be a lie. But, it didn't last long and although we were both feeling the distance we'd walked, as soon as it cleared up, normal service was resumed.

As I walked across England's highest ground I couldn't help think that anyone setting up a business here offering foot and leg massages would make an absolute killing.

A view down Little Narrowcove to Upper Eskdale.

Scafell Pike shelter. Before getting to the top, we had a sit down for a few minutes in here.

I suspect Scafell Pike summit had had hundreds of visitors today but most of them had been a gone before we arrived. Apart from us two there were only 7 other people at the summit.

There's still quite a distance to walk from the start of the Corridor route to Seathwaite but for us, this marked the final leg of today's journey. Now, we both feel like we've walked a long way.

Lingmell seen above Piers Gill.

Great Gable seen from Middleboot Knotts Tarn.

The Corridor Route has very easy to follow path for it's entire length but surprisingly, it's quite difficult to spot from anywhere other than the route itself. That's Great Gable behind.

Walking along the rocky bit with a view across to Kirk Fell and Pillar. I should say that unless you're standing still, you're better off watching where you put your feet than admiring the surroundings.

Styhead Tarn. It's all down hill from here.

From Styhead Tarn we looked back at Great End, Broad Crag, Scafell Pike and Lingmell. I made some remark about how nice it would have been up here at this time of day if it had been sunny and warm. We both agreed that if it had have been really hot day we'd have been really struggling by this point. Paul described today as "a bad day for cameras but a good day for a long hard walk".

Styhead Gill.

If someone would only cut down the trees and remove some of the crags people walking down here could see their cars parked at Seathwaite from here.

Seathwaite is well within sight now and after spending just short of 50% of an entire day on the fells we reflected what we'd just done. For a fell walk I'd have to described this as an odd route but definitely a very rewarding one.

Grains Gill, taken from Stockley Bridge.


The day was almost over and Seathwaite was slowly beginning it's daily ritual of turning back into a quiet, sleepy hamlet once more. No more chattering fell walkers, fresh at the start of their walks would pass through here today and all that remained was for the last of them to return to their cars; tired, less talkative than earlier and no doubt aching after a hard day. Only then, would the farmers have the place to themselves, the dogs would have no one to bark at, and the hamlet reputed to be the wettest inhabited place in England, would have peacefulness most visitors never experience.

Okay, we'd finished our walk but my car was still at Dunmail Raise and Paul now had the job of reuniting me with my transport to get home. As I flopped into the passenger seat I was presented with a bag of Haribo sweets. Not wanting to appear greedy, I politely took one out of the bag, , , ,then another, , , , then another, and then I noticed Paul had his own supply. When I questioned this he said "I've got two bags, those are for you". Excellent, as if the day couldn't get any better, I was given a bag of sweets for good behaviour.
We talked our way through Borrowdale, through Keswick and past Thirlmere and when we arrived at Dunmail Raise it was hardly surprising that mine was the only car there.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks