Early Summer Walks 2014 - Sunday May 4th - Scafell Pike

Reporter: Iain Macintosh

Well, it had started raining before arriving at the meeting point. It was only light at this point...but it would turn out to be a constant for the day.

The weather didn't get much better on our ascent.

The group had got a bit dispersed as we approached the footpath junction in the shadow of Great End (grid ref 229087). As we regrouped, I decided that I was too wet and cold to continue up into the mist and rain. For me, walking is a lot like golf. Its great in the right weather...but it just does not float my goat when it is too wet and windy.

After some discussions and getting a little bit colder and wetter, it was time to say goodbye to the main group and head down the mountain. As it turned out, there was a cracking route back down to the parking location that passed Sprinkling Tarn and Styhead Tarn. After seeing if anyone else wanted to drop back down at this point, the decent commenced.

During the decent, the weather seem to be following me down. At Sprinkling Tarn, (grid ref 227091), there was a family that had missed their intended footpath who asked where they were. After pointing out their current location on their now soggy map, they headed upwards, much to the distress of the three soggy children.

Just before arriving at Sty Head, (grid ref 221096), a group of lads emerged out of the mist. One of them was wearing shorts and turned out to be quite chatty. After a good chinwag about the weather and how great the area was, undaunted by the wind, rain and mist, he headed off after his mates up the mountain.

The route down went past a geocache, (grid ref 221099). This was duly grabbed and after a few slips and slides on the wet footpath, the car parking location (grid ref 237125) was in sight.

The wet and cold was soon forgotten when I returned to my digs at the Royal Oak, helped mostly with the best bath I’ve had in a long time. Despite cutting the walk shorter than the planned route, it was a really enjoyable day. I had decided that the mountain would still be there for me on another day when kinder weather was available... and at dinner that evening, some more hardy members of the group suggested that I had made the right decision.

Thanks to Dave Miller for facilitating the weekend. Without people like Dave taking the initiative and volunteering to sort out this sort of thing... it simply just wouldn't happen.

The weekend has rekindled a lost love of the Lake District... I need to get back up here again soon.