Bob Graham Round: 3 Dunmail to Wasdale Trail running

Often considered the main part of the Bob Graham Round, the second half of this route takes in much of the roughest ground in the Lake District and you need the fell craft of a goat to keep up a good pace.
It's the longest section of the round and many would consider it as two good days' walking out on the fells. It is easily split at either Langdale Combe or Bowfell. If split at Bowfell then starting from Cockley Beck you can traverse the main tops round to Scafell and only need miss the descent in to Wasdale. This is my favourite part of the Bob Graham Round, I've supported on it numerous times both summer and winter. The photo above was taken on a scorching day when it was 17C at 4am, despite the heat there was enough snow on the summit of Scafell Pike for a snowball fight! Just five months earlier on a winter attempt we'd watched the sun rise whilst climbing Bowfell in temperatures of -14C. Perhaps the saddest time on this section was supporting a relay that took Fred Rogerson's ashes round the BGR. The weather was apocalyptic with strong gales making even standing difficult and becks appearing where there should be none. There were only fell runners out that day, paying homage to the man who, with Harry Griffin, co-founded the Bob Graham Club.

Heading towards Ill Crag at 6:30am!  © Bob
Heading towards Ill Crag at 6:30am!
Fetching Map

Detailed description

NY3279411504 A severe start! From the stile next to the road the way is direct up the shallow gully leading to the skyline. Turn left and follow easy ground to the summit at the corner of the fence.

NY3195911127 The going is now much easier if a little boggy at times on the way round the head of Greenburn Bottom before a slight rise to Calf Crag. A good path leads to the pass at the head of Far Easedale. There are now two alternatives but the clearer on the ground follows Ferngill Beck past Coledale Head to the rocky summit of Sergeant Crag. More easy ground leads to High Raise, the top at the centre of the Lake District.

NY2808509551 A fast path leads to Thunacar Knott. The next section to Harrison Stickle can be confusing in mist but is generally south in direction. From Harrison Stickle keep on grassy ground to the north of the main path until boggy ground forces you to join it just short of Pike o'Stickle. Scramble up to the summit.

NY2740807313 Scramble back down from the pike and take the path leading towards Martcrag Moor but rather than follow the walker's path cut straight across the moor. Drop down to where the Stakes Pass path crosses the beck in Langdale Combe. Go straight up the other side to gain a ramp line leading towards Rossett Pike. This exits on to the ridge at the skyline notch that is prominent from the valley floor. Follow the edge above Langdale to reach the summit cairn of Rossett Pike.

NY2490207554 Drop down to the head of Rossett Gill and continue in a direct line towards Bowfell. The aim is to pick up a line of ramps that lead up under Hanging Knotts to the Bowfell plateau. Once on the plateau head south to the summit then turn back on yourself and head back towards Ore Gap. The best line is about 100m left of the main path. Follow the path over Esk Pike to Esk Hause. About 200m past this point take a direct line to the summit plateau of Great End.

NY2259608439 Rejoin the main path leading from Esk Hause to Scafell Pike but you soon leave this to head leftwards to Ill Crag. From here the going only get rougher! Head back to the main track then after another 200m or so leave the path again to gain the summit of Broad Crag which is quite possibly the roughest summit in the district.

NY2150007255 Struggle back over the boulders and follow the path down to the col at the head of Little Narrowcove. The path leads steeply at first up to the summit of Scafell Pike.

NY2061006458 Take the path that leads down to Mickledore. Once at the col you have three options: 1. Broad Stand 2. Lord's Rake and the West Wall Traverse 3. Foxes Tarn via the climber's traverse The latter is the most runnable, if anything can be considered runnable in this terrain. All lead to a broad col below the summit of Scafell. Go up to the summit then head directly for the head of Wastwater. When you reach Rakehead Crag keep left until you come to a grassy gully and descend by the side of this to gain the Old Corpse Road. Now follow this to the car park.

This has been viewed 44,029 times

Further Routes

by Bob

Loading Notifications...
Facebook Twitter Copy Email