Sunday 12 June 2011

Walk 56
8.5m / 4000' ascent
Time Taken 6 Hrs 45 mins

205. Lingmell 2648'
206. Scafell 3163'
207. Slight Side 2500'

Route taken by Phil G4OBK and friend Geoff on 12th June 2011
Day 3 and the last day of our Ennerdale and Wasdale tour and our chance to clear up the last few Wainwrights I needed to climb in the Southern Fells Group.  We knew that Steve M6MNT, Derek 2E0MIX, Heather M6UXH and Bob M3XJV would also be on the Lakeland Fells and it was to be interesting day ahead.  We didn't want a long day - with me having a 160 mile drive home to North Yorkshire and Geoff returning to Malvern 220 miles, we needed to be leaving Wasdale before 4.00pm.
Looking back to Wastwater from the Lingmell path

The Wasdale Head Inn below us on the climb to Lingmell
Driving the short distance from Bowderdale Farm down to the NT Car Park at Brackenclose was when we realised we were among a fleet of minibuses, realising that these were groups of walkers who were tackling the Three Peaks of Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon within the 24 hours allowed.  Most of them looked like university students. It was quite a melee as several groups had set up feeding stations on the NT Car Park, without paying the fee at the machine!  The NT Wardens know the score and there they were at 0830am collecting the parking tariffs directly from the drivers! We were walking soon after that and immediately went wrong by missing the path shown on the map as a dotted line forking left up to Lingmell just after the footbridge. This was the first of two mistakes made on the day.... We paid for my error this time by having to climb an extremely steep grass bank after the next stone wall to take us on to the route we wanted.  The view from this steep grass path down to Wastwater is breathtaking on the sort of day we had. 

The climb to Lingmell took a shade under 90 minutes from the car park and this took us within shouting distance of Scafell Pike which we had climbed earlier in the year. The beauty of this route was that we saw no one until we left the summit of Lingmell and popped over to Scafell Pike without stopping off  to reach Mickledore and Scafell itself, a new one for both of us. 

The writer at the cairn on Lingmell 
My activation of Lingmell produced 14 contacts on the 2m VHF band including contacts with stations on Latrigg, and The Knott. We stayed for 20 minutes, took a drink and then moved off.  
As you cross Mickledore Broad Stand looks "doable", however once get close and you stand against it you realise that without climbing equipment and the necessary ability it could not be climbed without great risk. 
The col of Mickledore seen as we approached it from Scafell Pike.
 Broad Stand is straight ahead

The path we took up to Scafell - a bad route and not recommended - continue further down the gully and look for a more defined path up to Foxes Tarn which will be  much safer than this route was
We headed south east walking against the side of Broad Stand looking for a way up to Scafell - the second highest Wainwright Fell.  MISTAKE - we would have been better continuing down the valley, losing more height before then turning back to walk up to the minute Foxes Tarn.  You could say we "half climbed" Broad Stand and went up far too early. No damage done and we our Mojo was still intact, we havn't lost it yet! 
Once it got easier towards the top of Scafell I started striding out reaching the shelter at 1208pm. Geoff had dropped back, but only because he had lost one of his contact lenses whilst scrambling over some rocks.  No chance of finding it, and I offered my apologies for going ahead. 
The activation commenced and lunch was taken. 18 contacts were completed and we moved off after a 30 minute stop down to our last one of the day Slight Side LDW-057, which is rather screened off to the north by the Scafells.  It's a 35 minute walk to Slight Side from Scafell and the weather was blowing up with drizzle starting to fall.  
Geoff less one contact lens - looking scary on Slight Side - we needed  to be well wrapped up
We stayed 20 minutes, qualified the summit with a surprising 19 contacts, the path being very good to the south and then moved off towards the land above Burnmoor Tarn.  We reached the Brackenclose car park within 100 minutes at 3.13pm to say our goodbyes and head back to our wives and our dogs. 

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