Three Peaks

Doing the Three Peaks Challenge?  Planning on walking to the highest point in England? Scafell Pike Needs Your Help!

Unfortunately our narrow paths leading to the summit of England’s highest mountain are no longer able to cope with the demands of challenge events and visitors on them; this is leading to significant erosion problems on the fell side. We need your help to protect this iconic mountain for the future.

We will need £750,000 over the next eight years to repair the main routes on the Western side of Scafell Pike alone (including the popular Corridor, Hollowstones and Mickledore paths).

To donate to this appeal please visit our Donate Page. Every contribution helps. Or if you would like to volunteer to support our work, find out more in our volunteer section.

Read the 3 Peaks Guidelines. Your consideration is appreciated. You can follow the local ranger team on Twitter @NTScafellPike

The maps below show various routes to Scafell Pike summit to help you plan your ascent.

Scafell Pike

Corridor Approach

This route can be started either from the parking at Wasdale head next to the public toilets, or from Seathwaite farm in Borrowdale.

Parking – Follow the signs and park at NT Lake Head car park (GR NY 182 074) – open 24 hours with limited toilet facilities available. There’s a charge for parking, with your fees contributing to the work of our National Trust upland rangers maintaining the main routes up Scafell Pike. Remember, noise travels far in our quiet valley, so please switch off engines overnight and keep noise to an absolute minimum to avoid disturbing visitors to the campsite.

In the Ranger’s opinion, this route is an interesting and challenging way to the top of Scafell Pike.

N.B.: The route detail found in the Ranger’s tips begins from the stretcher box at the Styhead Tarn crossroads NY 21897 09502.

Ranger’s top tips and detailed route information:

1. From the stretcher box follow the track East for approximately 70m then pick up the narrow track that heads south and then southeast towards the beginning of the Corridor route as it crosses Skew Gill. Cross the stone pitched ford on the Gill and ascend up the bedrock; do not head off onto the grass on the right as this is just a sheep track that leads to some steep ground. The Corridor route at this point keeps on climbing up to the south.

2. At NY218 085 (604m above sea level) there is a significant bedrock step that you will need to climb down in order to keep on the Corridor route; this has plenty of hand and footholds so is relatively straightforward, however it can be difficult if you have brought a less agile dog with you. Be aware that there is no way of avoiding this obstacle and attempting to do so will lead you onto some steep, dangerous ground and will cause erosion. The bedrock step is the safest, easiest and only way both up and down this path. Fix the fells has repaired the damage to the hillside in this area back in 2008 and it is healing nicely.

3. Continue ascending the path for a further 900m. Again, please stay on the path surface and avoid walking along the edges of the stone pitched paths in particular, thank you. Eventually the Corridor route passes along the head of Piers Gill (a Wasdale mountain rescue team accident black spot) at NY 213 078 (704m above sea level.) A narrow track skirts the top of the Gill and continues onwards up a series of rock steps to Lingmell col. It is important not to head down the Gill itself; this is a mistake that people have made, particularly when tired and in bad visibility during their descent down the Corridor route. Please be aware of this.

4. At Lingmell col there is a junction in the path at NY210 076 (777m above sea level.) You need to follow the wider, more obvious, rocky route that ascends to your left. From this point onwards the path becomes much more informal and stone scattered as it climbs towards the summit. There are some large stone cairnsthat shadow the path but beware, people sometimes build extra cairnsfor fun and these may not lead you in the right direction! We do our best to remove these but we can’t get up there every day, please don’t build any more. Eventually you will reach the large summit cairn at the top of Scafell Pike.

5. The summit plateau of Scafell Pike can be challenging, especially in the mist, rain and wind that is the usual weather for here! It is very easy in the euphoria in reaching the top to forget which way you came up (again something the Rangers have done on occasion!) In poor visibility to descend to Lingmell col and retrace your steps, take a bearing from next to the trig point of 310 and walk for 100m. You will reach a cairn then take a further bearing of 290 and follow thecairnsin this direction (N.B. the path veers off this bearing after about 60m.) When you descend to the path junction (section 4.) be particularly careful to take a right turn toward the North East; it is easy to miss this turn and if you carry on by accident you may end up on the steep ground above Piers Gill. Piers Gill is not a good place to be in or around, for more information look at wmrt.org.uk/advice.

6. We know by now that your legs and knees are a bit sore and all you want to do is walk on some nice, soft grass; there’s some there right on the edge of this hard, rocky path! Please, please avoid doing this; it’s not just you it’s the impact of the other 30,000 Three Peaks Challengers as well thousands of other visitors who all have sore feet. As you’ll see from the way up this quickly wears large holes in the hillside which will need to be fixed at great expense. The mountain cannot take that level of wear and tear and we need your help to fix it, Please make a donation

Hollowstones Route

This route can be started either from the parking at Wasdale head next to the public toilets, or from the National Trust car park next to the campsite.

Parking – Follow the signs and park at NT Lake Head car park (GR NY 182 074) – open 24 hours with limited toilet facilities available. There’s a charge for parking, with your fees contributing to the work of our National Trust upland rangers maintaining the main routes up Scafell Pike. Remember, noise travels far in our quiet valley, so please switch off engines overnight and keep noise to an absolute minimum to avoid disturbing visitors to the campsite.

In the Ranger’s opinion, this route is the most straightforward and direct way to the top ofScafell Pike.

Ranger’s top tips and detailed route information:

1. The river crossing at NY195 074 (300m above sea level.) When in spate this beck can be very difficult to cross. You may be able to cross higher up as the flow allows but this still will be difficult and potentially hazardous. Also be aware that you may be able to get across going up, but if the rain is particularly bad, the beck may be impassable on the way back down. We’ve been caught out by this in the past! On a sunny day though then there’s no problems! Please follow the stone pitched path following the beck up and not the route on the nose of Brown Tongue as this is subject to erosion and took five years to fix back in the 1980s.

2. There’s a split in the path at NY201 072 (504m above sea level) with the right hand turn heading to Mickledore col and the left to Hollowstones. This is very easy to miss if you’ve got your head down and especially at night. Remember to turn left! If you do miss it and continue on towards Mickledore, you can still access Scafell Pike summit but this is a more challenging route. Once you have turned left the path meanders through the rocky boulder field called Hollowstones until eventually leading you to a zig-zag path; this takes you up to the final path junction at Lingmell col. Please could you avoid cutting the corners on the zig-zag route. Thanks.

3. At Lingmell col there is a junction in the path at NY210 076 (777m above sea level.) You need to follow the wider, more obvious, rocky route that ascends to your right. From this point onwards the path becomes much more informal and stone scattered as it climbs towards the summit. There are some large stone cairnsthat shadow the path but beware, people sometimes build extra cairnsfor fun and these may not lead you in the right direction! We do our best to remove these but we can’t get up there every day, please don’t build any more. Eventually you will reach the large summit cairn at the top of Scafell Pike.

4. The summit plateau of Scafell Pike can be challenging, especially in the mist, rain and wind that is the usual weather for here! It is very easy in the euphoria in reaching the top to forget which way you came up (again something the Rangers have done on occasion!) In poor visibility to descend to Lingmell col and retrace your steps, take a bearing from next to the trig point of 310 and walk for 100m. You will reach a cairn then take a further bearing of 290 and follow the cairnsin this direction (N.B. the path veers off this bearing after about 60m.) When you descend to the path junction (section 3.) be particularly careful to take a left; it is easy to miss this turn and if you carry on by accident you may end up on steep rough ground above Piers Gill. Piers Gill is a Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team accident black spot (look at wmrt.org.uk/advice for more info.) and is not a good place to be, please read the advice given on the link.

5. We know by now that your legs and knees are a bit sore and all you want to do is walk on some nice, soft grass; there’s some there right on the edge of this hard, rocky path! Please, please avoid doing this; it’s not just you it’s the impact of the other 30,000 Three Peaks Challengers as well thousands of other visitors who all have sore feet. As you’ll see from the way up this quickly wears large holes in the hillside which will need to be fixed at great expense. The mountain cannot take that level of wear and tear and we need your help to fix it, Please make a donation

Mickledore Route

This route can be started either from the parking at Wasdale head next to the public toilets, or from the National Trust car park next to the campsite.

Parking – Follow the signs and park at NT Lake Head car park (GR NY 182 074) – open 24 hours with limited toilet facilities available. There’s a charge for parking, with your fees contributing to the work of our National Trust upland rangers maintaining the main routes up Scafell Pike. Remember, noise travels far in our quiet valley, so please switch off engines overnight and keep noise to an absolute minimum to avoid disturbing visitors to the campsite.

In the Ranger’s opinion, this route is a challenging way to the top of Scafell Pike involving some scrambling over steep, loose ground.

Ranger’s top tips and detailed route information:

1. The river crossing at NY195 074 (299m above sea level.) When in spate this beck can be very difficult to cross. You may be able to cross higher up as the flow allows but this still will be difficult and potentially hazardous. Also be aware that you may be able to get across going up, but if the rain is particularly bad, the beck may be impassable on the way back down. We’ve been caught out by this in the past! On a sunny day though then there’s no problems! Please follow the stone pitched path following the beck up and not the route on the nose of Brown Tongue as this is subject to erosion and took five years to fix back in the 1980s.

2. There’s a split in the path at NY201 072 (504m above sea level) with the right hand turn heading to Mickledore col and the left to Hollowstones. This is very easy to miss if you’ve got your head down and especially at night. Remember to turn right! If you do miss it and continue on towards Hollowstones, you can still access the Summit of Scafell Pike. The path continues to be clear for 150m or so and then enters a more open grass area. Taking a bearing of 115 will lead you to a large cairn at the bottom of the stone pitched route heading up towards Mickledore col.

3. This 400m section of path was completed in 2011 at a cost of £70,000 and a lot of sweat and tears! If you look to your left you can just make out the 10m wide 350m long erosion scar that was repaired and is greening up nicely. Please keep to the pitched path and not to the edges to avoid creating another scar, thank you. The steps eventually stop and a gravel path leads you up towards the col.

4. The final ascent of Mickledore involves a steep scramble over loose eroded ground for about 80m or so; it isn’t recommended for large groups as the ground is very fragile and the final ascent contains loose rock which can be dislodged easily. When you reach the col at NY210 069 (826m above sea level) turn left past the stretcher box and follow the cairned route towards Scafell Pikesummit. Please do not turn right as this leads you to the start of the scramble on Broad Stand up to Scafell (a different summit and not part of the three peaks!) and this is extremely hazardous without ropes (a Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team accident blackspot.) Please look at wmrt.org.uk/advice for more information.

5. The final part of the route follows a cairned line through the boulder field for about 740m. At times the path is hard to follow so you will need to be careful. Although there are cairns marking out the route, please be aware that people do build these for fun and sometimes they may not lead you in the direction you wanted to go; we do try and remove these as often as is possible but we cannot get up there all the time so please take care. Please help us by not building any more or adding to the existing ones, thank you.

6. The summit plateau of Scafell Pike can be challenging, especially in the mist, rain and wind that is the usual weather for here! It is very easy in the euphoria in reaching the top to forget which way you came up (again something the Rangers have done on occasion!) To descend to Mickledore col take a bearing of 310 for 100m, then at the cairn take a further bearing of 255 and follow the cairns in this direction ((N.B. the path veers off this bearing after about 60m.) Alternatively you could descend via Hollowstones. Upon reaching the col take care not to descend to your left, turn right (North West.)Taking the wrong turn here leads you in to Upper Eskdale, one of the most beautiful, remote places in the Lake District and well worth a visit; but many miles away from Wasdale. We’ve met groups that have made this mistake before and they were most upset about re-climbing the fell to get back on track!

7. We know by now that your legs and knees are a bit sore and all you want to do is walk on some nice, soft grass; there’s some there right on the edge of this hard, rocky path! Please, please avoid doing this; it’s not just you it’s the impact of the other 30,000 Three Peaks Challengers as well thousands of other visitors who all have sore feet. As you’ll see from the way up this quickly wears large holes in the hillside which will need to be fixed at great expense. The mountain cannot take that level of wear and tear and we need your help to fix it, please make a donation

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