Scafell from Wha House

Scafell from Wha House This is probably the easiest way up Scafell, and is a comparatively gentle climb for most of the route, following a delightful terrace at first, before crossing a grassy bowl in the middle of dramatic scenery. The steepest part of the walk is the ascent of Slight Side, which brings us onto a long ridge that leads us up to the summit of Scafell.

Ascent: 3,000ft
Length: 8 miles
Map: Lakes South West
Last Walked: August 2012

We start from the small NT car park opposite Wha House Farm.

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A footpath leaves the car park from the right-hand corner (facing away from the road). Take this path and follow it as it climbs up and to the right (getting much clearer very quickly). This path runs along a scenic terrace lined by small crags, climbing slowly but steadily, with higher ground to the left and the upper reaches of Esk Dale to the right.
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The terrace section of the walk ends as we reach Cat Crag, which faces us across the top of Catcove Beck. The next section of the walk begins gently, as we cross a wide grassy expanse. It then gets more difficult as the path begins to climb up towards the Slight Side.
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Eventually our path reaches something of a ridge, and merges with another path coming from the south-west. Remember this junction, which is marked by a cairn. We now begin the steepest section of the walk, the final climb up to Slight Side. Towards the top the path splits in two - one branch heads up a steeper path while a right-hand branch avoids that, then turns back to the left. There is also an awkward gap filled with a chock stone, but that can also be bypassed on either side.

A clear path runs up from Slight Side up to the summit of Scafell, running along the top of the eastern crags, with a gentle slope to the left. There are two small steep climbs before the summit - one to reach the top of Long Green and the second to reach the actual summit (this second climb is in two sections).

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The summit of Scafell is an interesting place, well worth exploring. The highest point is at the southern end of the summit ridge, which then drops down before climbing back up to Symonds Knott, and the top of a dramatic ravine. Beware of the path that appears to lead down a gentle slope towards Mickledore - this is actually the climbers path to the top of Broad Stand, and a dead-end of walkers.

After exploring the summit retrace your steps back to Wha House. It is quite tempting to divert right to avoid the short climb up Long Green, but the going is difficult under-foot, so I don't recommend it. Don't forget the junction in the path from step 3, remembering to take the left-hand branch.

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