Friday 17 June 2011

Guided Lake District Hillwalking day. Scafell Pike, June 15th 2011.

June has been a relatively quiet month so far for us here at kendal Mountaineering Services. Iain has done some outdoor centre work providing Lake District multi-activity days for young people includinging activities such as canoeing & Kayaking, ghyll scrambling and guided hillwalking - which is what today's post is all about.

Iain received a phone call from Lily Butler on vacation here in the Lake District and over from her home in County Tipperary in southern Ireland. Lily, had recently taken up hill walking with a club near her home town called the Peaks Mountaineering Club and has done a considerable amount of walking with them. Whilst here in The Lake District, Lily thought it would be a good idea to try and climb England's highest mountain - Scafell Pike.

Lily was directed to get in touch with us via the staff at Ambleside tourist information centre and contacted Iain to see if it was possible to join a hillwalking party going to Scafell Pike.

Well, we didn't have a party going hillwalking that day, but Iain was available and offered to guide Lily up Scafell Pike if the price was agreeable to her; and of course it included transport from Dunmail House Bed & Breakfast at Grasmere where Lily was staying - to the start of the guided Lake District hill walk & back. Lily decided she was keen and booked Iain's services for Wednesday.

The weather forecast for the day was not great - rain clearing, but cloudy on the fells and temps at 900m - 8 degrees - and this is June! The first photo shows Lily on the path beside Grains Gill looking down towards distant Borrowdale and the second photo shows Lily on the summit of Scafell Pike.

For her ascent of Scafell Pike, Iain chose to drive Lily to Seathwaite in Borrowdale where we could do a circuitous route encompassing two well known routes on to Scafell Pike. We ascended via Grains Gill to Esk Hause and from there to the summit of Scafell Pike via Ill & Broad crags before returning via The Corridoor Route and Styhead Tarn to Seathwaite. As we climbed higher, the cloud rose with us and although it did not clear fully from the summit, we got more views than we thought we would and the day remained largely dry. Lily was delighted to reach the summit of Scafell Pike - her first Lake District mountain!

There were a few other people at the summit but not many - not surpising given the weather conditions but it was nice to sit a chat a while whilst we enjoyed some lunch.

Something much less enjoyable though was the sight of many banana skins that had been thrown down at the summit by thoughtless and inconsiderate people. Lily went around the summit and collected around 15 skins in total which she bagged with the intention of dumping in the nearest refuse bin once she found one; and in photo three we can see that bagful of skins.

There is a myth that banana skins are biodegradable and people seem to use this as an excuse for dumping them on the tops of mountains. Yes they do degrade but they take months to do so! and in the meantime, those of us who do respect the mountain environment have to look at them as they slowly turn from yellow to black.

Iain asks that please! When you go into the mountains - please keep all of your rubbish and dispose of it in a refuse bin and not on our mountains! You are spoiling beautiful places when you leave your rubbish - any sort of rubbish, behind. It is disrespectful to the mountain environment and others who do not litter the hills and it can also be dangerous to wildlife.

Anyway, after this somewhat less than positive experience at the summit, Iain & Lily headed down to find the start of the Corridor Route in the mist and commence the return journey part of Lily's Guided Lake District Hillwalking Day.

We came down out of the clouds at Piers Gill and could see all the way back along our route to Styhead Tarn & distant Borrowdale (photo four)

The final photo is taken from Stockley Bridge in Borrowdale. The start & end of our circuit and only a short walk remained back to the car at Seathwaite.

Lily enjoyed her Lake District guided hillwalking day out with Iain from Kendal Mountaineering Services and hopes to return again to enjoy all that the area has to offer.

Remember that in Iain, you have a Mountaineering Instructor who has spent almost his entire life in the Lake District and knows the best and most interesting routes up all of the Lake District fells - you'll not find a better hillwalking guide. Also, at Kendal Mountaineering Services, we are happy to provide you with a bespoke Lake District guided hilwalking day - for individual people or groups; and if you need transport, we can organise this for you too.

The rest of our photos from Lily's Lake District guided hillwalking day can be viewed here and if you would like to enquire about your own mountain day out with us, you can contact Iain here. We look forward to working with you.

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