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Scafell Pike - July 2000.

(Old Norse) Skalli+fjall = the fell with the bare summit & pik = peak

 

Height: 3208' (978m)
Grid ref: NY216074
Summited: 01 July 2000

 

The highest point in all of England.

 

I can honestly say that I have never been so hung over and doing something strenuous ever before or ever since. A handful of drinks at the Wasdale Inn, a stagger over the car park and to the tent in the field beyond and another beer, a long vigil into the night with a handful of sandwiches waiting for Martin to arrive from Brighton and ... another bottle of beer.

 

The sun was up and we broke the nights fast with bacon, sausages and eggs, oh, ... and a bottle of beer! The day was going to hurt. It was a beautiful July morning as we tramped in shorts and shirtsleeves along the footpaths to Scafell's craggy top, at each beck, stream or puddle I took the oportunity to cool down, weting my head and dampening the wide brimed hat I wore as a defence from the sun. We made a detour to Lingmell where we ate chocolate bars, chatted and watched walkers crocodile up the mountains slopes. I carried three litres of water with me where normaly a single litre would do and had drunk all but a small swallow before reaching the summit, a summit achieved and celebrated with Champagne and cigars.

 

Ramblers of all ages, scramblers of all abilities and danglers brave and not so brave have pitted themselves against the many facets of Scafell Pike over the years; a test of both courage and strength. It was one of those rock climbers who experienced a strange premonition on the mountains craggy slopes during the First World War. In the tale is said that one of his closest friends was one of the most outstanding climbers of his generation and had gone away to France to fight in the trenches against the fearsome Bosch. On a glorious summers afternoon the man was climbing on Scafell Crag before deciding to return to Wasdale Head by way of Hollow Stones when he was unexpectedly joined by his old friend, unexpected because he had not heard that he was home on leave. Together they chatted as they descended the fell, they spoke of their times climbing on the mountains and the climbs they would do together after the war. The soldier then made his excuses promising to meet the man later and continued with his journey.

 

For days after the man tried to contact his soldier friend, no one had seen him and nobody knew that he was home on leave. Then as the climber was begining to put the matter out of his mind he recieved news of his friend. That he had been killed on the western front the very day that he believed that together they had walked down the slopes of Scafell Pike towards Wasdale Head.....