22nd July 2006

The seclusion of Upper Eskdale, both Scafells and Lord’s Rake.


Walk Overview
Time 09.30 to 17.30
Duration 8 hr
Distance 10.2 mile
Ascent 4052 ft
Walking with Andrew Leaney and Andy Wallace
Brotherilkeld - Scale Bridge - Upper Eskdale - Pen - Scafell Pike - Mickledore - Lord's Rake - Scafell - Slight Side - Catcove Beck - Brotherilkeld
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Roadside parking, Jubilee Bridge, Hardknott Pass

Hardknott Pass has got to be one of the steepest and most difficult roads in the country. In fact, many people make the effort to drive all the way around to this part of the Lake District just to face the challenge. I should point out that this road can be extremely dangerous during the winter months and is best avoided altogether if the weather is at all frosty. I was caught out myself on one occasion when using the route as a shortcut over to Cockley Beck. Just above the steepest of the bends the road turned into an ice rink and I had no alternative than to reverse back down until I reached a convenient turning place; not an experience I'm keen to repeat.

The car park has room for about ten cars, but should you find it full, there is usually room a little further along the road into Eskdale.

Route Map

A very dry looking Hardknott Gill and a glimpse of Brotherilkeld farm. Taken just before the start of the walk.

Walking through the fantastic, remote area of Upper Eskdale. The higher fells are Slight Side, Scafell Pike and Ill Crag.

Looking back along our route through the Damas Dubs area of Upper Eskdale.

Slight Side behind some of the crags on our route to Great Moss.

Another view from Upper Eskdale, this time looking across to Esk Pike, Bow Fell and Crinkle Crags.

The approach to Great Moss and our first sight of Pen; our first summit of the day.

Great Moss. One of the most remote areas of the Lake District.

Looking down to the Great Moss area from the extremely steep, off path route up to Pen.

Ill Crag seen from Pen.

Scafell Pike also seen from Pen summit. The scree area towards the right of the picture is Little Narrowcove.

One of the rocks at Pen summit which have these amazing formations on them. Isn't nature fantastic.

Pen (the pointed fell in the middle) seen from the stony fellside below Scafell Pike.

After leaving Scafell Pike; which was packed with people, we headed to Mickledore ridge and then down the narrow path (below the crags on the right) to get to get access to Lord's Rake.
Note the mountain rescue stretcher box between the scree and the grassy section of the ridge.

Lord's Rake.

And close up. Our route took us up the right hand side of the rake, before crossing over at the top so we could make our way under the fallen boulder.

Looking up the first section of Lord's Rake. No camera tricks, it really is this steep.

And now looking back down.

The fallen boulder we had just came through, seen from the second of the three sections of Lord's Rake. The highest point in the background is Scafell Pike.

Wast Water and Yewbarrow taken from the exit point from Lord's Rake.

It was becoming increasingly hazy and quite humid as we left Scafell and headed down towards Long Green and Slight Side. The weather forecast had been for thunderstorms and heavy rain by late afternoon, luckily for us they never came, which was just as well as we still had a long walk ahead of us.

The way back to Upper Eskdale.

And again. Our route took us across to the rocky area on its own, across to the right and then to the side of the darker of the craggy sections.

Cat Crag with a very hazy Harter Fell in the background.

Back down to the path were on at the start of the walk near Scale Bridge.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks