Scafell Pike and Scafell: A tale of two mountains.

Saturday saw us braving the crowds to tackle Lingmell, Scafell and Slight Side in Wasdale.  The vast majority of the people (we estimated over 1000 at the head of Wasdale), were focused solely on ascending Scafell Pike.  Fortunately, we were able to find much more space to ourselves by heading up the Western spur of Lingmell before joining the main tourist path at Lingmell Coll to ascend to the Scafell Pike plateau, though we then veered off towards Mickledore and Scafell.

The sheer number of people on the main path up Scafell Pike and on its summit was a sight to behold: the top was so busy there was a queue to stand on the highest point (see carousel image), though most folk showed no interest in the surrounding mountains.

Thankfully, our objectives allowed us to bypass all the hubbub as we headed towards Scafell.  We ascended by scrambling up Lord’s Rake (to the right of the main image of Scafell from Mickledore) and then onto the summit where we found only one other person – the difference between the country’s highest and second highest mountains was stark indeed.  From Scafell we headed to Slight Side before contouring back around Scafell and down to the valley.  A strenuous and rewarding day out.

If you’d like to explore the Lake District but would like to avoid following the well-beaten path and crowds, Steve will be very happy to support your adventures.  Please get in touch for a chat on steve@stevebanksoutdoors.co.uk or 07796 213817

By |March 28th, 2022|Environment, Keswick Guided Walks, Mountain|Comments Off on Scafell Pike and Scafell: A tale of two mountains.

A great day out from Three Shires Stone

Our first mountain day of the year was an excellent day out starting from Three Shires Stone on Wrynose and taking in Pike o’Blisco, Crinkle Crags and Cold Fell.  The Three Shires Stone is made from limestone and was first erected in 1860, though it was actually created in 1816 in Cartmel.  It is situated at the meeting point of the old counties of Cumberland, Westmorland and Lancashire and has been broken, knocked over and resurrected on several occasions. The weather on our day from this old boundary marker was cold but clear; the views were good in all directions.  The image shows the Scafells from Crinkle Crags.

If you’re interested in guided walks and scrambles in winter or summer conditions Steve will be pleased to help.  Get in touch on 07796 213817 or email at steve@stevebanksoutdoors.co.uk

If you’d like to read more of Steve’s mountain and environmental blog posts have a look at his mountain specific blog here: https://www.keswickguidedwalks.uk/blog/

By |January 21st, 2022|Environment, Keswick Guided Walks, Mountain|Comments Off on A great day out from Three Shires Stone

Atlantic grey seals

atlantic grey seal

Last weekend saw Steve taking two private clients out sea kayaking from Roa Island with a specific request for wildlife encounters.  Paddling from Roa to Piel Island and then onto Walney Island meant we came across many birds including eider, dunlin, sanderling, curlew, sandwich terns and various gulls, though the highlight of the day was being surrounded by big atlantic grey seals which came to investigate us, nudging the boats and swimming beside us.

Atlantic grey seals (halichoerus grypus) are one of the UK’s two indigenous seal species (there are 33 species worldwide divided into 3 family groups).  Greys are one of 18 species of phocid seals which are often referred to as ‘true seals’ and ‘earless seals’ on account of their lack of a prominent external pinna.  Phocid seals are characterised by their slug-like appearance on land and the fact they use blubber for insulation as opposed to fur.  Atlantic greys are big animals with the bulls being up to 310kg, they join together on beaches in colonies and the males compete over the females.  Pups tend to be born in Autumn and Winter and have the classic white, furry weaner coat which harks back to camouflage in an Arctic past.  This coat prevents them swimming effectively for the first 2 to 3 weeks of life and makes them vulnerable on the beach both to external disturbance and from adult seals – particularly if they stampede for the water when spooked by humans.

It is very important with marine mammals in general to take care when approaching them so as to not disturb them or be perceived as a threat.  Steve was careful to advise his clients to stay well clear of the single mother with a young pup on the beach and to then drift and allow the inquisitive animals to approach – which they did in numbers!

If you’d like more information on seals or to engage with wildlife from your sea kayak please contact us for support.  Steve is both experienced and knowledgeable and will be pleased to help you.

By |September 6th, 2021|Environment, Sea Kayak|Comments Off on Atlantic grey seals
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