This walk uses a familiar route to reach an unfamiliar destination. The Corridor Route is normally used for the ascent of Scafell Pike, but is a delightful walk in its own right. This walk uses the same route to reach Lingmell, in many ways a more dramatic summit than Scafell Pike, but inevitably a much quieter one.
Length: 6.2 miles
Map: The English Lakes - South Western Area (OS Explorer Map Active)
Last Walked: Spring 2011
We start from the village green car park at Wasdale Head
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Take the track that leaves the car park from the corner furthest from the road, heading past Wasdale Head's tiny church and up to Burnthwaite
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At Burnthwaite follow the signposts through the farm. Once through the farm turn right onto the path that runs east up the valley. Follow this path across the footbridge over Gable Beck, and continue on up the valley until the main path begins to climb up the southern flank of Great Gable
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At this point the Valley Path leaves the main tourist route, and continues to follow Lingmell Beck up the bottom of the valley. Follow this path for the next two-thirds of a mile, until it reaches the point where Piers Gill flows into Lingmell Beck. We now need to cross Lingmell Beck to reach the tongue of land between the two becks. After dry weather this is very straightforward, but after heavy rain it can take some time to find a suitable crossing point. On the far side of Lingmell Beck a clear path follows an easy zig-zag route up an increasingly steep slope, climbing up towards a waterfall that sits very clearly on the skyline.
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This waterfall is located at the edge of a bowl in the hills, lined to the north by the last crags below Sty Head and to the east and south-east by the crags of Great End
. The corridor route runs across the base of these eastern crags. Look out for the ravine of Skew Gill, clearly identified by the red rocks exposed by generations of fell walkers. Leave the Sty Head path and follow the grassy bank that runs up the right hand side of Skew Gill
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Keep climbing until you reach a very obvious well maintained footpath, first seen as it climbs up towards the Gill from the left. This is the Corridor Route. Turn right onto this path, and follow it as it climbs diagonally across the hill side, heading almost due south at first. This path is very clear almost all of the way to Lingmell Col, and is generally an easy path, with only one difficult moment as it cuts across the head of one of the dramatic ravines that cut into the slope.
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We follow the Corridor Route all the way to Piers Gill, which it passes rather easily. Soon after we pass the top of the gill, the main path begins to climb up a rocky slope, heading for Scafell Pike. We don't want to head this way, which will take us in the wrong direction. Instead head right, looking for a stone wall that runs up to Lingmell Col. Follow the line of this wall until you reach the coll itself, and then turn right, crossing the wall, and follow a path that climbs up to the summit of Lingmell.
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From the very highest point continue along the summit area, heading towards the front of Great Gable. This brings us to some great viewpoints, but also loses some altitude. Turn left and cut across a large grassy plateau that runs between the dramatic northern slopes of the fell and a rocky outcropping to the left. Curve gently around to the left as you go, until eventually you pass the end of the rocks and join a path running across the grassy shoulder of the fell. Follow this path as it runs west, down the western ridge of Lingmell, becoming increasingly steep as it goes.
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We follow this path down the steep ridge, over a tall stile over a stone wall and down to a crossroads. Turn right here and follow this path as it heads down towards Wasdale Head. We then cross a bridge over a normally dry beck, then cut straight across some very flat fields back to the road. Turn right at the road to return to the village green.