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3 Peaks Part Two: Scafell Pike

Post 1


As you may remember from my last journal (F104967?thread=7634097) if you need a recap smiley - smiley) I am trying to complete the 3 Peaks Challenge. Not in 24 hours, because those people are crazy, but within a year.

Having climbed Snowdon in July, we set about organising the trip to Scafell Pike. There were several more people interested this time and we had enormous trouble booking a hostel. They either didn't have room for all of us or they were too far away. Eventually we found a farmhouse for rent for the weekend for £330, which split between 6 of us worked out as £55 for two nights. It also meant that we cooked our own food so worked out cheaper than the hostel last time anyway (you can cook at the hostels but we hose not to) and was much nicer!

We drove up on the Friday after work. Pete, the driver, didn't have a map or directions so we had no problem getting to the Lake District but once we got there we had a bit of a nightmare trying to find the place! We ended up trying to navigate by GPS on our phones, but there was no data connection in the hills so it wasn't easy! We were driving in the dark down narrow, twisty roads and often came around the corner to find sheep in the road, supremely unbothered by an enormous piece of metal with bright lights bearing down on them, and often unaffected by the horn either.

My friend Jim really wanted to come, but he had tickets for a gig in Wolverhampton that night. He decided he would come, but drove up after the gig and so didn't arrive till three in the morning! A vital piece of information was left out of the text message explaining where we'd left the key so he was hunting around the yard in the dark and had to ring three people before he got through and woke someone up.

Anyway, the weather on Saturday morning was glorious - bright and sunny and a complete contrast to the Snowdon trip. As we climbed, the view back over Wastwater was superb and we could even make out the Irish Sea and the Isle of Man behind.

We climbed up the Mickledore route, which involves some scrambling but when we got to the top of the ridge the view was completely worth it. Absolutely stunning. though it looked even better in real life.

It clouded over a bit as we reached the summit (which I was surprised to find was heaving with people) but we still had panoramic views as we ate lunch.

On the way down, we passed a long line of fell runners who were RUNNING up and down the mountain. The tallest mountain in England. 978 metres high. We found out later that the record for running up and down again is 49 minutes. The fell runners looked considerably more tired than we felt, which was nice I suppose!

On reaching the Farmhouse again, we showered, which is marvellously restorative after a tiring walk, then headed 350 yards up the road to the pub for dinner and some well-earned drinks.

Now we just need to plan our Ben Nevis trip for next year!

3 Peaks Part Two: Scafell Pike

Post 2


I am pleased you had a good trip, it sounded lovely. I am away to look at the pix in a minute. Perhaps it was just as well you weren't using SatNav - heaven knows where you might have ended up smiley - biggrin

I look forward to the next instalment smiley - smiley

Websailor smiley - dragon

3 Peaks Part Two: Scafell Pike

Post 3


Glad you enjoyed it. Ben Nevis will be the toughest challenge. With it's own localised weather systems even during the summer it can be a test of fitness and stamina even on the standard 'tourist path'. I wouldn't recommend the North East route via Tower Ridge and the north cliffs(which includes the infamous Tower Gap). Unless you're prepared and trained in ropework its not a route for novices or ramblers. June, July, August and through to mid September is probably the best times to try and get the better weather with a higher chance of some decent views from the summit. It'll be pure luck though. If you are lucky and it's clear on the summit the views are out of this world.
From mid Sept. through to May winter conditions apply and winters on and around Ben Nevis are severe to put it mildly. I've been on the summit sitting in a snow storm at the end of September, beginning October, before now. smiley - biggrin

smiley - cat

3 Peaks Part Two: Scafell Pike

Post 4


Oh really? smiley - erm We were thinking May half-term as one of my friends is a teacher.

3 Peaks Part Two: Scafell Pike

Post 5


Chances are in May there will still be a 'thaw' ongoing so there will still be the possibility of snow and ice above the 3000ft mark. If you were to come in say from Aonach Mor or the North East Tower Ridge then even in May there's still an avalanche risk from thawing ice and snow. The tourist path could still have ice and snow near the summit too. Snow can remain in gully's all year round but usually out of normal walk/climb routes. It'll almost certainly be wet and cold above the 1500 to 2000ft mark. smiley - smiley

smiley - cat

3 Peaks Part Two: Scafell Pike

Post 6


Hmm. That's definitely given us something to think about. Thanks!

3 Peaks Part Two: Scafell Pike

Post 7

Skankyrich [?]

Wastwater is one of my favourite places in the world. I'm well overdue a visit, but that's true of so many places smiley - smiley

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