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Guided walk up Scafell Pike

By 18th August 2020April 7th, 2021Summer, Walking

Introduction

A guided walk up Scafell Pike (perhaps via the Corridor Route) will bring you to the summit of the highest mountain in the Lake District. This is also the highest point in all of England. On a fine day the views are spectacular. But the weather can often be poor or change quickly from good to bad. When the visibility goes, in rain or low cloud, it can be a scary place with dangerous cliffs around. A guide who knows the route can help keep you safe as well as sharing a host of useful tips with you.

You can read more about our other guided walks in the Lake District; our best tips for learning navigation; or the essentials for heading into the mountains in winter.

Booking and Prices

If you want to book a guided walk up Scafell Pike in the Lake District then see our main page for more details and prices; or have a look at the Calendar for forthcoming “Open” events. When you are ready, then get in touch to make an enquiry or a booking. You can also enquire about our winter skills courses,  or a guided winter ascent of Scafell Pike.

We also guide walks in other parts of the Lake District, such as Helvellyn, as well as in Snowdonia and the Scottish highlands.

Guided Walk Scafell Pike

The view from Mickledore down to Wasdale Head during a guided walk up Scafell Pike in the Lake District

The view from Mickledore down to Wasdale Head

There are many walking routes to choose from for a guided walk up Scafell Pike – and that’s not even including the more technical scrambling and climbing routes. First, there is the most popular (and populated) route – the direct route from Wasdale Head as used by the thousands of “Three Peaks” challengers all the time. It does have the advantage of being the shortest route – but what’s the rush?

Then there is long approach from Borrowdale and Seathwaite. This will take you past the amazing Styhead Tarn and then along the convoluted Corridor Route towards Scafell Pike. Another option for a long day, is the walk from Langdale across the very heart of the Lake District fells, over Bowfell and Great End.

Finally, there are a couple of options for approaching from the south. These start in the area of the Roman Fort at Hardknott Pass and skirt the Great Moss before ascending steeply up to Scafell Pike.

‘Tour de Scafell Pike’ Guided Walk

In the same way that the famous Tour de Mont Blanc walk circumnavigates the mountain without summiting it, so too does this ‘Tour de Scafell Pike’. If you’ve already been to the summit then try this tour instead of joining the endless queues of “Three Peakers” on the well-worn path from Wasdale Head. This tour will take you around to the quiet side of Scafell Pike where, believe it or not, you are unlikely to see another person. It will explore the rocky gulf between Scafell Pike and Scafell; and it will stroll along the Corridor Route. The Corridor Route is popular, but not ridiculously busy, and has superb views of many of the Lake District’s other well know peaks.

This is a tough day, though, and not for the faint-hearted. It is likely to take 10-12 hours of walking and includes three significant climbs, any one of which would make a decent ‘normal’ day in the Lakes. It’s well worth the effort, however.

Winter Skills Course on Scafell Pike

Depending on weather and snow conditions, we can combine a winter skills course with a winter ascent of Scafell Pike. A day like this will combine learning with a typical journey in the winter mountains. It will help prepare you for having your own winter mountain adventures.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is Scafell Pike?

Scafell Pike is in the Lake District National Park in Cumbria. It is on the south-western side of the Lake District fells, above the lake of Wastwater.

How high is Scafell Pike?

Scafell Pike is 978 metres high (or 3,209 feet). It is the highest mountain in England. Just next to it is Scafell. Scafell is a separate mountain that is a little lower – 964 metres (or 3,162ft).

Is Scafell Pike one of the Three Peaks?

Scafell Pike is one of the ‘National Three Peaks’. These are the highest mountains in each of Scotland, Wales and England and are Ben Nevis, Snowdon and Scafell Pike respectively.

The National Three Peaks are not the three highest summits in the UK and Scafell Pike is not the third highest in the UK. Scafell Pike is 978 metres high – but in Scotland there are 174 mountains that are higher than that; and in Wales there are a further six.

How long does it take to walk up Scafell Pike?

The most direct and technically easiest route up Scafell Pike is the route from Wasdale Head at the end of Wastwater. Most people take around 5 hours for the round trip up and back down again.

How difficult is it to walk up Scafell Pike?

The route from Wasdale Head is physically quite tough – the ascent starts steeply almost immediately and there are almost no breaks in the climb. It’s quite steep the whole way. However, for anyone who can manage a 5 hour walk in the hills it is quite achievable.

This route is not technically difficult (no climbing or scrambling involved) and a good rock-step path has been laid for much of the way.

However, the path becomes vague in a couple of places and it is easy to lose in poor visibility. You need to know how to navigate just in case, to avoid straying onto dangerous terrain.

How many ways are there up Scafell Pike?

There are several other well-known ways up Scafell Pike, as well as some less frequently used routes too.

The Corridor Route from Styhead is an excellent route. It is appropriate for those who are capable of some short, easy scrambling sections and who can navigate independently. This will be a long day out, however, whichever way you approach Styhead Tarn from.

Another long but excellent day’s walk is to approach Scafell Pike over the other central fells summits. This will take you over the summits of Great End and Broad Crag. There are again various ways in which these two summits can be reached before moving on to Scafell Pike.

Scafell Pike is separated from Scafell by a prominent col or saddle, Mickledore. The way between Mickledore and Scafell Pike is straightforward. But the way from Mickledore to Scafell is guarded by a steep section or cliffs. Only people who are very confident in their climbing ability should attempt this. It has been the scene of numerous accidents and fatalities. For those who consider themselves walkers/hikers, there is no easy way to get from Scafell to Scafell Pike. Unless you are an experienced climber/scrambler then it’s best not to attempt it.

What kit do I need to walk up Scafell Pike?

If you are going to venture up Scafell Pike you should have all of the following:- (1) Good footwear with a grippy rubber sole – either a good walking/hiking boot or, if you are used to them, a good quality trail running shoe. (2) A waterproof jacket (such as Gore-Tex). (3) A map and compass and the knowledge of how to use them. The paths are not signposted and you should not rely on a smartphone alone. (4) A head-torch, in case you are delayed on your walk, or have planned a long walk.

Do I need a map to walk up Scafell Pike?

If you are going up any of the mountains in the UK, including Scafell Pike, you should always take a map and compass and have the knowledge of how to use them. The paths are not signposted and are easy to lose in the mist and cloud.  It is easy to stray onto dangerous terrain once you are off the path. You should not rely on a smartphone alone, though it is a useful additional thing to have.