Start of the Rake
Rake is (was?) one of the best known routes on the lakeland fells.
As a non climbers route1 it offers a dramatic approach to one
Wasdale's finest hills - Scafell.
Lords Rake now potentially unsafe.
New rockfall has complicated the area around the start of the West Wall Traverse. Reports indicate that the pinnacle at the top of the first section has collapsed into the rake and is now wedged. It is possible to bypass it but Wasdale MRT report it is not secure in its current position.
Further rockfall December 2002 - Rake now in dangerous condition. Climbers should exercise their mountaineering judgement before attempting.
routes to Scafell (easy to hard) :-
The walk starts easily enough from the NT carpark and past Brackenclose (if starting from Wasdale Head take the left hand (E) of the two paths that leave the road just before the hump back bridge, contouring round the toe of Lingmell to join the main path) and climbs up Brown Tongue on a restored path which forks twice for Lingmell and Scafell Pike (always keep right for Lord's Rake). On arrival at Hollow Stones there seems no obvious way of climbing Scafell Crags (on our right) and even the route ahead to Scafell Pike via Mickledore looks unpleasantly steep. However, a struggle up the loose scree spilling from the Rake will reveal that a concealed deep cleft runs across the face of the crag. This is the first section of Lord's Rake. If the scree had seemed like trying to walk up a down escalator then the first section of the Rake is like a ordinary household staircase, except that the steps have been replaced by a jumble of scree and rocks!Providing the rock is dry upward progress is not too difficult. An initial small boulder is overpowered on its left, although not difficult this is probably the hardest moment. Another group of boulders are soon encountered and are best passed by scrambling along the rocks on the right of the rake. Care should be taken to check for loose holds and to not dislodge stones onto other walkers below. The last few feet to the first "col" are the worst, being devoid of anything underfoot useful for grip. However, as it is now very narrow it is easy to get additional grip if required by pressing out onto the enclosing sides of the Rake. On a first ascent little notice may be taken of surroundings and it is quite possible to arrive at the top not having noticed the huge moss covered chockstone in Deep Gill at the beginning and the start of the West Wall Traverse just before the top!
|Once at the "col" scenery can be properly appreciated with a fine dramatic view back down the Rake and across to Scafell Pike. Progress to the second "col" is simple, just requiring a drop of a few feet and a short reascent to gain a sudden and slightly worryingly panoramic view down into Wasdale.|
|Forward progress is now easy down a short descent with fine airy views to the right, which should be appreciated standing still, as the path is narrow and strewn with loose rocks, especialy at the halfway point, where the path is broken by scree and larger debris. A final struggle uphill with hand holds available on the left brings us out of the Rake and onto the open easy slopes of Scafell.|
Care should be taken to avoid dislodging rocks in the rake as due to its enclosed nature any stones will fall onto any climbers below who will be unable to move out of the line of fire. Accidents have occurred from this cause.
1 a "walking" route in the hillwalking sense (including scrambling), not in the everyday sense.
|For a half day walk descend W to the Corpse Roadand back into Wasdale. For a longer walk continue over Scafell (taking a diversion SE to the summit) and down to Fox's Tarn on the other side of the mountain. Reascent to Mickledore gains the ridge to Scafell Pike and a choice of onward routes taking in Lingmell, Piers Ghyll or Great End.|