|Elevation||978 m (3,209 ft)|
|Prominence||912 m (2,992 ft)
Ranked 13th in British Isles
|Listing||Marilyn, Hewitt, Hardy, Wainwright, County Top, Nuttall, Country high point|
|Parent range||Lake District, Southern Fells|
|Topo map||OS Landrangers 89, 90, Explorer OL6|
Scafell Pike // or // is the highest mountain in England, at an elevation of 978 metres (3,209 ft) above sea level. It is located in the Lake District National Park, in Cumbria, and is part of the Southern Fells.
- 1 Topography
- 2 Summit
- 3 Geology
- 4 Ascent routes
- 5 Naming history
- 6 Survey point
- 7 Gallery
- 8 Views from the summit
- 9 Visible "Marilyns"
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 External links
Scafell Pike is one of a horseshoe of high fells, open to the south, surrounding the head of Eskdale, Cumbria. It stands on the western side of the cirque, with Scafell to the south and Great End to the north. This ridge forms the watershed between Eskdale and Wasdale, which lies to the west.
The narrowest definition of Scafell Pike begins at the ridge of Mickledore in the south, takes in the wide, stony summit area and ends at the next depression, Broad Crag Col, c. 920 m (3,030 ft). A more inclusive view also takes in two further tops: Broad Crag, 934 m (3,064 ft) and Ill Crag, 935 m (3,068 ft), the two being separated by Ill Crag Col. This is the position taken by most guidebooks. North of Ill Crag is the more definite depression of Calf Cove at 850 m (2,800 ft), before the ridge climbs again to Great End.
Scafell Pike also has outliers on either side of the ridge. Lingmell, to the north west, is invariably regarded as a separate fell, while Pen, 760 m (2,500 ft), a shapely summit above the Esk, is normally taken as a satellite of the Pike. Middleboot Knotts is a further top lying on the Wasdale slopes of Broad Crag, which is listed as a Nuttall.
The rough summit plateau is fringed by crags on all sides with Pikes Crag and Dropping Crag above Wasdale and Rough Crag to the east. Below Rough Crag and Pen is a further tier, named Dow Crag and Central Pillar on Ordnance Survey maps, although known as Esk Buttress among climbers. Esk Buttress and Pikes Crag are well known rock climbing venues.
Broad Crag Col is the source of Little Narrowcove Beck in the east and of Piers Gill in the west. The latter works its way around Lingmell to Wast Water through a spectacular ravine, one of the most impressive in the Lake District. It is treacherous in winter, as when it freezes over it creates an icy patch, with lethal exposure should you slip. Broad Crag is a small top with its principal face on the west and the smaller Green Crag looking down on Little Narrowcove. From Broad Crag, the ridge turns briefly east across Ill Crag Col and onto the shapely pyramidal summit of Ill Crag. Here, the main crags are on the Eskdale side, Ill Crag having little footing(clarify) in Wasdale.
Scafell Pike has a claim to the highest standing water in England, although Foxes Tarn on Scafell is of similar height. The water body in question is Broad Crag Tarn, which (confusingly) is on Scafell Pike proper, rather than Broad Crag. It lies at about 820 m (2,700 ft), a quarter of a mile south of the summit.
The summit ridge from Ill Crag to Mickledore is notoriously stony, the surface being composed in many places of fields of boulders. Paths are not marked by the usual erosion of soil, but by coloured marks on the rock following the passage of many thousands of booted feet. The summits of Ill and Broad Crags are bypassed by the ridge path, but it leads unerringly to the highest point. This bears an Ordnance Survey triangulation column beside a massive cairn, not now in the best of repair, but unmistakable from any distance, still six feet high and much greater in diameter. A little distance away is the lower south peak.
The summit was donated to the National Trust in 1919 by Lord Leconfield "in perpetual memory of the men of the Lake District who fell for God and King, for freedom peace and right in the Great War 1914 – 1918 ...". There is a more well-known war memorial on Great Gable, commemorating the members of the Fell & Rock Climbing Club.
Scafell Pike is one of three British peaks climbed as part of the National Three Peaks Challenge, and is the highest ground for over 90 miles.
|Listed summits of Scafell Pike|
|Ill Crag||935 m (3,068 ft)||Hewitt, Nuttall|
|Broad Crag||934 m (3,064 ft)||Hewitt, Nuttall|
|Middleboot Knotts||703 m (2,306 ft)||Nuttall|
Scafell Pike consists of igneous rock dating from the Ordovician; it is geologically part of the Borrowdale Volcanics. The summit plateau of Scafell Pike, and that of other neighbouring peaks, is covered with shattered rock debris which provides the highest-altitude example of a summit boulder field in England. The boulder field is thought to have been caused in part by weathering, such as frost action. Additional factors are also considered to be important; however, opinion varies as to what these may be. James Clifton Ward suggested that weathering with earthquakes as a secondary agent could be responsible, while John Edward Marr and Reginald Aldworth Daly believed that earthquakes were unnecessary and suggested that frost action with other unspecified agents was more likely. To the north of the summit are a number of high altitude gills which flow into Lingmell Beck. These are good examples in Cumbria for this type of gill and are also biologically important due to their species richness.
The ascent of the Pike is most often attempted from Wasdale Head. This is at the north end of Wastwater to the west of the Pike, and is at about 80 metres above sea level. There is a famous climber's hotel here, the Wasdale Head Inn, made popular in the Victorian period by Owen Glynne Jones and others. On summer weekends, crowds of people can be found attempting this steep but straightforward walk. An alternative ascent from Wasdale approaches up a hanging valley whose head is at Mickledore, which is itself ascended, before following the path from Scafell to the Pike.
A more taxing, but scenically far superior, approach begins at Seathwaite Farm at the end of Borrowdale, proceeding via Styhead Tarn, then taking the Corridor Route (formerly known as the Guides Route), a delightful walk along the western flank of the Scafell massif with intimate views of the fell, before joining the route from Wasdale near the summit. The return journey can then be made along a high ridge, taking in any or all of the neighbouring summits of Broad Crag, Ill Crag, Great End, Allen Crags and Glaramara. An alternative route from Borrowdale, longer but perhaps less taxing than that via the Corridor Route, runs from Seathwaite via Grains Gill and the high pass of Esk Hause.
A further ascent may be made from Langdale. From the Old Dungeon Ghyll hotel, the route proceeds up alongside Rossett Gill (which perhaps has a more fearsome reputation than it deserves), past Angle Tarn, and then onto Esk Hause before joining a rocky path to the summit. Energetic walkers can vary the return route by ascending Esk Pike and Bowfell from Esk Hause and then descend Bowfell via The Band. Another variant which avoids simply returning down Rossett Gill is to head north at the Angle Tarn, over Rossett Pike to join The Cumbrian Way, and descend via Stake Pass adding a mile to the walk. The total distance is about 21 kilometres. Esk Hause is also accessible from Styhead Tarn, making another possible route from Seathwaite.
Another ascent can be made from Eskdale, the longest and most arduous way up but it has some very fine scenery. The route follows the River Esk as far as the Great Moss boggy plateau; walkers then have a choice of ascending steeply up to Mickledore, the low ridge between Scafell and Scafell Pike, or following the Esk to its source at Esk Hause. A third possible route up from Great Moss is Little Narrowcove, a steep ascent which emerges onto the ridge a few hundred metres north-east of the summit.
The name Scafell derives from the Old Norse skalli fjall, meaning either the fell with the shieling or the fell with the bald summit, and is first recorded in 1578 in the corrupted form Skallfield. It originally referred to Scafell, which neighbours Scafell Pike. What are now known as Scafell Pike, Ill Crag, and Broad Crag were collectively called the Pikes (peaks) of Scafell; from many angles Scafell seems to be the highest peak, and the others were thus considered subsidiary to it. The name Scafell Pike was adopted between 1818 and 1856. Before this, England's highest mountain (its status as such was confirmed in the early 1800s) did not have a name of its own, and was labelled Sca-Fell Higher Top on Ordnance Survey maps.
Formerly the name was spelled Scawfell, which better reflects local pronunciation. This spelling has declined due to the Ordance Survey's preference for Scafell.
Scafell Pike was used in 1826 as a station in the Principal Triangulation of Britain by the Ordnance Survey when they fixed the relative positions of Britain and Ireland. Angles between Slieve Donard and Snowdon were taken from Scafell Pike, as were angles measured from stations on each of the other two mountains. Given the need for clear weather to achieve these very long range observations (111 miles to Slieve Donard), the Ordnance surveyors spent most of the summer camped on the respective mountain tops. Strangely, Scafell Pike was not used as a station in the earlier part of the Principal Triangulation (up to 1809) of Britain, even though Sca-Fell formed one corner of a Principal Triangle.
Views from the summit
The data is from the first 'external link' below.
- Dun Rig, 77 miles (124 km), 2 degrees
- Binsey, 18 miles (29 km), 2 degrees
- Turner Cleuch Law, 71 miles (114 km), 4 degrees
- Dale Head, 5 miles (8.0 km), 5 degrees
- Wisp Hill, 58 miles (93 km), 11 degrees
- Skiddaw, 14 miles (23 km), 12 degrees
- Roan Fell, 55 miles (89 km), 15 degrees
- Knott, 17 miles (27 km), 17 degrees
- Peel Fell, 63 miles (101 km), 24 degrees
- Blencathra, 14 miles (23 km), 28 degrees
- The Cheviot, 83 miles (134 km), 31 degrees
- Cold Fell, 39 miles (63 km), 39 degrees
- Howgill Fells, 29 miles (47 km), 103 degrees
- Bow Fell, 2 miles (3.2 km), 105 degrees
- Yorkshire Three Peaks, 36, 44 and 38 miles (61 km), 119 degrees
- Boulsworth Hill, 63 miles (101 km), 135 degrees
- Pendle Hill, 55 miles (89 km), 138 degrees
- Ward's Stone, 38 miles (61 km), 142 degrees
- The Old Man of Coniston, 7 miles (11 km), 149 degrees
- Winter Hill, 64 miles (103 km), 154 degrees
- Snaefell, 52 miles (84 km), 257 degrees
- Slieve Donard, 111 miles (179 km), 262 degrees
- Slieve Croob, 112 miles (180 km), 268 degrees
- Beneraird, 80 miles (130 km), 303 degrees
- Merrick, 69 miles (111 km), 315 degrees
- Pillar, 4 miles (6.4 km), 318 degrees
- Cairnsmore of Carsphairn, 68 miles (109 km), 326 degrees
- High Stile, 6 miles (9.7 km), 328 degrees
- Criffel, 37 miles (60 km), 334 degrees
- Grasmoor, 8 miles (13 km), 342 degrees
- Great Gable, 2 miles (3.2 km), 351 degrees
- Langdale axe industry
- List of mountains and hills of the United Kingdom
- Geology of the United Kingdom
- List of fells in the Lake District
- Daniel Jones, Everyman's English Pronouncing Dictionary (13th ed.), p. 421.
- Richards, Mark: Mid-Western Fells: Collins (2004): ISBN 0-00-711368-4
- Wainwright, A. (1960). The Southern Fells. London: Francis Lincoln. ISBN 0-7112-2230-4.
- British Mountain Maps: Lake District: Harvey (2006): ISBN 1-85137-467-1
- Blair, Don: Exploring Lakeland Tarns: Lakeland Manor Press (2003): ISBN 0-9543904-1-5
- Scafell Pike Summit, Cumbria – World War I Memorials and Monuments on. Waymarking.com. Retrieved on 2014-04-12.
- UK National Inventory of War Memorials : Men of the Lake District. Ukniwm.org.uk. Retrieved on 2014-04-12.
- Westaway, Jonathan. (1970-01-01) Mountains of Memory, Landscapes of Loss: Scafell Pike and Great Gable as War Memorials, 1919–1924 | Jonathan Westaway. Academia.edu. Retrieved on 2014-04-12.
- "Scafell Pikes SSSI citation sheet" (PDF). English Nature. Retrieved 2006-11-10.
- Hay, T (1942). "Physiographical Notes from Lakeland". The Geographical Journal. The Geographical Journal, Vol. 100, No. 4. 100 (4): 165–173. doi:10.2307/1788974. JSTOR 1788974.
- Stuart Rae. "Fells".
- Dorothy Wordsworth's ascent of Scafell Pike, 1818, http://www.pastpresented.ukart.com/eskdale/wordsworth1.htm
- pg 66, Thomas Fletcher Smith Jonathan Otley, Man of Lakeland, publ. Bookcase 2007
- A complete guide to the English lakes. Archive.org. Retrieved on 2014-04-12.
- Lieutenant-Colonel William Mudge, RA FRS and Captain Thomas Colby, RE An Account of the Trigonometrical Survey Carried on by Order of the Master-General of His Majesty's Ordnance in the Years 1800,1801, 1802, 1803, 1804, 1805, 1806, 1807, 1808 and 1809. publ.1811