Scoat Fell is one of the fells that separates Ennerdale from Wasdale. Despite being surrounded by impressive crags it is best known for Steeple, a high peak on a ridge running north into Ennerdale.
Scoat Fell is in the middle of a high ridge that runs from Haycock in the west to Pillar in the east. The fell has two summits - Great Scoat Fell is the lower western summit, gaining its name from the larger area of this part of the fell. Little Scoat Fell is the higher eastern summit.
Little Scoat Fell is connected to high ground in four directions - to the west is the pass that leads to Haycock over Great Scoat Fell, to the north is the ridge that peaks at Steeple, to the south is Wasdale Red Pike. To the east is a rare example of an unnamed summit - the ridge that runs to Pillar has a clear summit of its own, but Black Crag is actually the name of the crags on the Ennerdale face. Great Scoat Fell also has a northern ridge, leading to Tewit How.
To the north the fell sits above three big coves. Great Cover is shared with Haycock (and contains some interesting archeology in its upper reaches). To the east is Windgap Cove, between the Steeple ridge and Pillar. Mirk Cove sits at the south-western side of Windgap Cover, between Little Scoat Fell and Black Crag. Finally Mirklin Cove belongs entirely to Scoat Fell, sitting between the ridges of Steeple and Tewit How.
To the east is the equally dramatic valley of Black Comb, the upper reaches of Wasdale's Mosedale. From a distance this appears to be a dead-end, but a fairly simple route actually runs up this valley taking advantage of the only weakness in the line of crags.
To the south is the gentlest approach to the fell, up the valley of Nether Beck, which runs up to Scoat Tarn. Scoat Tarn is bordered by crags to the east, but an easy if rather rocky slope runs up to Scoat Fell.
The summit is split by a stone wall which splits the view in half. The final approaches are across a boulder field with grassy gaps
Grid Reference of Summit: NY 159 116
Height: 828m/ 2,760ft
Routes of Ascent
There are four main routes onto the summit, some of which can be reached from several directions.
The second route uses the path from Haycock, which drops down to a clear col before climbing up Great Scoat Fell. This col can be reached from every direction - a right of way approaches over Tewit How. A clear path climbs up from the valley of Nether Beck (normally used for Haycock), or the Tongue End ridge can be used to get from Ennerdale onto the Haycock ridge, with Scoat Fell as a second target.
The third route comes from Wind Gap and the general direction of Pillar. Once again this can be reached from three directions, but with varying degrees of practicality. The best path comes from Pillar. The climb from Mosedale in the south is a long unpleasantly steep slog. Finally the path from Windgap Cove starts more gently but steepens at the end.
The fourth route comes up from the Red Pike ridge. There isn't really a clear path up from this direction, as the main path curves around to head for Pillar, but the slope is fairly gentle. There are three ways up to the Red Pike path - over Red Pike itself, up a path from Scoat Fell and finally (and best) the pathless route up from Mosedale and Black Comb.
Two of our walks visit Scoat Fell.
Little Scoat Fell is very clearly the true summit of the fell. The highest point is at the eastern end of a short summit ridge, with a gentle slope to the south and dramatic crags to the north. The link to Steeple is at the north-western end of the summit ridge. The area around the summit is covered in boulders, making most approaching awkward but not difficult.
Streams and Tarns
To the north each of the coves has its stream, with Deep Gill coming out of Great Cove, Low Beck from Mirklin Cover and High Beck from Windgap Cove. Low Beck is the only one of these streams that belongs entirely to Scoat Fell, with the other two acting as boundaries. To the east Mosedale Beck starts in Black Comb. To the south the fell is bounded by Nether Beck, which emerges from Scoat Tarn, and an unnamed beck that runs in the gap between Scoat Fell and Haycock.
The fell has two tarns. Scoat Tarn is the most obvious, sitting below the southern slopes of the fell in a large bowl in the fells. The second is Moss Dub, a small artificial tarn that sits in the forestry in the bottom of Ennerdale, just above the River Liza, and that doesn't really feel connected to the fells above.
Scoat Fell features on two famous walks - the Mosedale Horseshoe (not always visited) and the Ennerdale Horseshoe - but is perhaps rarely a target in its own right.