An exciting loop taking in both Scafell and Scafell Pike


Analysing terrain data

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The exposure grade describes the potential consequences of falling or slipping off the path.

Low Exposure: The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.

Medium Exposure: The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

High Exposure: Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.

Extreme Exposure: Some trail sections are extremely exposed where falling will almost certainly result in serious injury or death.


From the start follow a good path up to Burnmoor Tarn.

This isn't too steep, so makes a good warm up.

Follow Hardrigg Gill up to Scafell.

The path may be indeterminate in places, so be sure to set compass bearings for the summit.

In fog the cairn may be hard to find and the terrain is very rocky near the top.

The col between Scafell Pike and Scafell is called Mickledore; a direct descent to this from Scafell is via the notorious Broad Stand, a tricky rock step that should be avoided in descent unless you're a climber.

It's an accident black spot.

Instead the safe way to Mickledore is on the well-used path that cuts hard right to descend steeply past Foxes Tarn to reach the narrow cove southeast of Mickledore.

Unfortunately you've lost a lot of height in the process.

From here climb a steep eroded path onto the saddle of Mickledore.

Here meet the busy path to Scafell Pike that has run up from Wasdale through the corrie of Hollow Stones; this gives an obvious ascent route onto the summit plateau of Scafell Pike.

Continue easily to Broad Crag.

Follow the paths to Great End (and watch the crowds on Scafell Pike disappear behind!).

Retrace your steps back off the summit of Great End to find the path that loops around the back to pass Sprinkling Tarn before reaching Styhead Pass.

Follow any one of several paths from Styhead Pass down into Wasdale Head.

There's a usefully located pub for refreshments here! Follow the road or path (as shown on the route card) back to your start point.

The path back to the campsite follows the river bed and may flood after heavy rain, if in doubt take the road back to the campsite. © Leonie -, Nov 2011