Slight Side is a fell in the English Lake
District, stands 25 kilometers east southeast of the town of Whitehaven
and reaches a height of 762 m (2,499 ft).
It lies at the south
western edge of the Scafell Massif, a four kilometre long crescent of
high ground which includes the highest ground in England.
fells name derives from the Old Norse language and means "The mountain
shieling with the level pastures".
It is a combination of the
Norse words "sletta" and "saetr", with a shieling meaning a shepherds
hut or a mountain pasture used in the summer.
When viewed from the valley of Eskdale the fell is
seen as a distinct peak but in reality it is just the terminal point on
Scafell’s southern ridge before it descends steeply to Eskdale.
It only has 14 metres of topographic prominence between itself and
Scafell (the col is at 748 metres) and therefore narrowly fails to
qualify as a Nuttall hill or a Hewitt and it is left to Alfred
Wainwright to give Slight Side the status of a separate fell in his
Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells.
Slight Side is steep and
craggy on all sides except to the north where the ridge runs to Scafell.
The eastern flank falls to the valley of the infant River Esk while
the slopes to the west descend across Eskdale Fell towards Burnmoor
Horn Crag stands to the south of the summit overlooking
Just under a kilometre to the north past the 748m col is
Long Green which is the summit of Cam Spout crags. When viewed from a
distance or even when walking, Long Green can be mistaken for the summit
of Slight Side.
Cam Spout Crag is a rock climbing location,
although not a particularly busy one, with 12 climbs including Cam Spout
Buttress and Eskdale Grooves.
The summit of Slight Side is a fine rocky peak and is listed
by Alfred Wainwright as one of the six best summits in the Lake
District, calling it “rocky, shapely and well defined and can be
attained only by a rough final scramble”.
The highlight of the
view from the summit is the vista westward towards the sea.
Ascent of Slight Side is started from Eskdale and is usually done in
conjunction with the ascent of Scafell and possibly Scafell Pike.
The ascent starts from the hamlet of Boot and takes the path which
passes Eel Tarn and Stony Tarn before crossing bouldery ground to climb
the broad ridge to the summit.
Scafell stands two kilometres to
the north and is reached by a vertical ascent of 230 metres.
fell can be bagged with little effort while descending to Eskdale from
Scafell by the southern ridge.