When I was a kid, climbing Scafell Pike was my biggest ambition. To conquer the tallest mountain in England would be like scaling the planet!
Last October, I finally got my first shot at it – starting at 1am in the Three Peaks Challenge.
Yet it ended in bitter disappointment. Our group got horribly lost in the dark, wandering round a boulder field for hours before throwing in the towel and giving up.
Saturday offered a chance at redemption.
We learned our lesson from last time’s failure to take a map. The solution? Rick “my phone ran out of battery” Humphries brought his mobile, complete with a GPS locater. Good call.
We took the same path before following the GPS halfway back down the mountain and then up the so-called Corridor Route. This was a jagged scar of a path cutting up and down the bulky backside of Great End and onward towards a field of scree and boulders. This slope was tough. Rocks like quicksand and terrifyingly steep trajectory. Check this photo out.
But hey, at least it wasn’t the boulder field!
We reached the top -phew! -, enjoyed some “Jelly Jumbles” (Aldi’s answer to Starmix) and then came back down Jim’s path. It was pure reminiscing. “I recognise this rock”, “This is where we got lost”, “we scrambled over that cairn”… It so characterised our conversation that one kind lady stopped to reassure us we were on the right track! Where was she at 4.30 in the morning last October?
At the bottom, we celebrated the exorcism of a psychological demon. Rick asked me if I’d now be confident to navigate a group up Scafell Pike now, in the dark,with no map. With him as co-guide.
I’ll get back to you…!