Scafell is a mountain in the English Lake District
height of 964 metres
makes it the second
highest mountain in England after Scafell
Pike, from which it is separated by the pass of Mickledore.
once believed that Scafell was the highest mountain in this part of the
Lake District -
it is much more prominent in views from many directions
than its higher neighbour
with the three apparently inferior peaks to
the north (those now known as Scafell Pike, Ill Crag and Broad Crag)
being known collectively as the "Pikes of Scafell".
Scafell stands between Wasdale in the west and upper Eskdale to the
east. The highest part of the fell is a ridge running south from
Mickledore as far as Slight Side, which is counted as a separate fell by
opposing flanks of Scafell are entirely different in character. Smooth
slopes, lacking vegetation at higher levels but also devoid of any real
interest, run down toward the head of Wastwater. On the east and north
all is rock, walls of crag looming impressively over Eskdale.
the narrow ridge of Mickledore the northern face of Scafell rises
precipitously, an unusually complete barrier to progress along a
Lakeland ridge. At the top of the rise is Symonds Knott (3,146 ft), the
northern top. The wall of crags
Scafell Crag to the west and the East
Butress above the Eskdale side of Mickledore
has two main weaknesses.
Running laterally across Scafell Crag is Lord's Rake, a scree filled
chute with several intermediate cols. It has two upper entrances onto
the saddle separating Symonds Knott from the main summit. Formerly
passable as a scramble, it suffered from a serious rock fall in 2002
with subsequent further falls
and recent guidebooks do not consider it
a viable route, although it is gradually becoming more stable.
second breach in the crags is Broad Stand, a series of sloping steps
which drop down from Symonds Knott almost to Mickledore; however, these
steepen immediately above Mickledore and cannot be negotiated safely
except by rock-climbers.
main summit stands a little to the south of the saddle, all around being
a sea of stones. An easy ridge then steps down southward over Long Green
to Slight Side. On the east are Cam Spout Crag and the fine high
waterfall after which it is named.
Slight Side is a rough upland with many craggy tops and a number of
tarns, before the southward descent finally ends in Lower Eskdale.
West of Scafell, below the scarp of Great How, is Burnmoor Tarn, one of
the largest in Lakeland. Around 40 ft deep it holds trout, perch and
pike but is prevented from following what would appear the natural
line of drainage into Miterdale by rock ridges, and empties southward,
reaching the Esk at Beckfoot. Near the southern shore stands Burnmoor
Lodge, once a keeper's cottage and a dwelling two miles from the nearest
main summit bears a large cairn on a short rocky ridge. Northward is a
saddle, marked by a large cross of stones and then the bouldery climb to
Symonds Knott, the north top. This gives views straight down to
Scafell gives a very different view to that from its higher neighbour
with Wastwater and the coastal plain given great prominence. There is a
fine vista of the Western Fells, together with Bowfell and the Coniston
known to lack some of its neighbour's elevation, Scafell is still the
more difficult peak to climb, especially from the precipitous northern
and eastern sides. The traverse of the ridge between Scafell Pike and
Scafell is especially difficult because steep cliffs prevent a direct
walking route, entailing a considerable loss of height to get round the
obstacle. The direct route up the crags, known as Broad Stand, is a
dangerous and exposed scramble that has caused many accidents and
injuries; it is usually treated as a rock climb, with appropriate
classic ascent via Lord's Rake path from Wastwater is now threatened by
unstable rocks following a rock fall in 2001. A pleasant but lengthy
alternative begins from Boot in Eskdale, following the River Esk
upstream, and scrambling up to the summit by way of Foxes Tarn. A
gentler return can be made across moorland, by way of the Burnmoor Tarn.
Also starting in Eskdale, the Terrace route can be followed from Wha
House, first ascending Slight Side.
Scafell Crag, the massive north buttress of Scafell, is one of England's
largest cliffs and has many famous rock climbs.