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.
The Bedrock ascent
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.
On the way up the Corridor route
Path at the head of Piers Gill
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.
Almost at the top
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 click on the sheep.