Scafell Pike and Great End by the Corridor Route

by Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com ? Sep/2011
This route has been read 6,564 times
Walking

WalkingScafell Pike and Great End by the Corridor Route

Cumbria, ENGLAND

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Voting 4*
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Distance 9.15 miles (14.72 km)

Total ascent 1,046m

Steepest climb 32% (1 in 3)

Time 6 hours (Walking)

Start/finish Road end at Seathwaite - plenty of parking spaces but they still fill up on sunny weekends, NY235122

Summits included en route:
Hill Scafell Pike 978 m
Hill Broad Crag 934 m
Hill Ill Crag 935 m
Hill Great End 910 m

Nearest town Keswick

Terrain Rough stony paths all the way, though there's no scrambling.

Seasonal variations As the highest mountain in the area Scafell Pike naturally gives a superb winter trip. But don't underestimate it. Aside from the obvious challenge of its length a couple of sections may need some care in icy conditions or deep snow, particularly crossing the gills on the Corridor Route and the descent from Scafell Pike towards Broad Crag.

Weather and hill conditions mwis: Lake DistrictMet Office: Lake District

Public transport Regular buses from Keswick to Seatoller.

Guidebooks A variation on this route is covered in Great Mountain Days in the Lake District, Mark Richards, pb. Cicerone
www.cicerone.co.uk

Maps OS Explorer OL6 (1:25,000), OS Explorer OL4 (1:25,000), Harvey/BMC Lake District (1:40,000), OS Landranger 89 (1:50,000)

Accommodation Campsites at Seathwaite, Seatoller and Stonethwaite; Thorneythwaite Farm B&B near Seatoller 017687 77237; Borrowdale YHA 0845 371 9624; plenty more options in Langdale and Wasdale

Find more Classifieds near this route

Tourist info Seatoller (017687 77294); Grasmere (015394 35245); Keswick (017687 72645)

The very highest point in England might be a bit of a dull lump but there's much more to Scafell Pike than its overcrowded summit. This stern, stony mountain sprawls over a large area, its many impressive corners offering some of the grandest mountain scenery in the Lake District. The justifiably popular approach along the Corridor Route takes you through the heart of it all. Close the loop by heading over the mountain's three lesser tops, Broad Crag, Ill Crag and Great End, each as worthwhile as the Pike itself. Nb. This walk ignores the Pike's near neighbour Scafell, the direct route to which is via the notorious rock step of Broad Stand, a serious little scramble best left to climbers.

Close this photo
+Scafell from Scafell Pike, 188 kb
Scafell from Scafell Pike

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Detailed description

1
NY2354712195 From Seathwaite farm in Borrowdale take the main path south, quickly meeting Grains Gill. The path follows its east bank for about 1km. Cross old the stone arch of Stockley Bridge and climb quite steely west on a well laid path to pass above the secretive little gorge of Taylorgill Force. Follow Styhead Gill to Styhead Tarn, a scenic but much over-used wild camping spot. Sty Head itself is a a little further on.

2
NY2193409507 With its pivotal position at the heart of the Lakes this major col is inevitably a Spaghetti Junction of intertwining trails. There's a little rocky knoll on the south side of the pass and paths go either side of this to meet up at the base of Skew Gill, one of several impressive ravines that are such a feature of this flank of the range. You're now on the Corridor Route, a well trodden (in parts quite eroded) trail that makes a spectacular rising traverse across a hillside of cliffy knobbles and deep dark gills. Pass under the little bastion of Round How, and continue above the head of Piers Gill towards the Lingmell Col - in mist the profusion of trails can be confusing. Cairns guide the stony ascent onto Scafell Pike, where you're likely to have company. Because of its domed breadth England's highest summit isn't really its best viewpoint - you'll get better photos if you wander around the plateau a bit.

+Coniston Fells from Scafell Pike, 148 kb
Coniston Fells from Scafell Pike
© Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com, Mar 2010

3
NY2155007199 Heading roughly northeast a stony path descends to a pronounced saddle above Little Narrowcove. From here the main route skirts just right of Broad Crag but it's better climbed than avoided. Bouldery ground then leads into another high col. Again the main path skirts wide of the summit of Ill Crag, but this is definitely worth including for its impressive outlook over wild Eskdale. Continuing north (ish) the rocky ridge narrows a little, before the well-used descent to the col at the head of Calf Cove (not named on some maps). Given the numbers on Scafell Pike comparatively few people seem to bother with Great End, but that's not the only reason it's better to climb it than ignore it. Northwards from this final summit in the chain the ground drops all the way into Borrowdale, making this arguably the best viewpoint of the day.
4
NY2260808394
+Great Gable and Great End from Esk Hause , 136 kb
Great Gable and Great End from Esk Hause
© Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com, Mar 2010


You might descend the southeast flank but it's just as easy to retrace your steps briefly to go down via Calf Cove. Follow the path to Esk Hause, another pivotal pass / motorway interchange. just before the low point of the col cut north on a path that runs below the rambling northeast face of Great End (home of classic winter climbs) to another path junction above Ruddy Gill.

5
NY2293808722 Take the trail on the east bank of this gorge, descending steadily back to Grains Gill and Stockley Bridge (as per stage 1). Return to Seathwaite the way you came.

+Great End, 193 kb
Great End
© Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com, Mar 2010

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