You may be surprised to know that we get a number of emails from folks every year asking us if they really need a guide for Scafell Pike. You won't be surprised that, much like this blog, we give a biased answer - so if you're unsure about whether you need a guide and you're willing to be convinced into getting one, read on!
1) Let us take the strain!
This point applies to any guided mountain walk or climb. Don't spend the weeks and days leading up to the climb worrying about whether you'll get up and down safely. So often whilst out with clients who have hired a guide we hear them say they were glad to have taken the decision simply for this reason. So whether your coming with a group of friends, family or work colleagues, don't feel like you have to be the group leader / first aider / navigator too. Let us take the strain so you can sit back and enjoy the day.
2) We'll do the nav
Scafell Pike is a Mountain Rescue hotspot, and a healthy proportion of these are down to people getting lost. Depending on what side you approach from, many of the paths on the lower sections of Scafell Pike are pretty clear and obvious. As you ascend the mountain gets rockier and the path becomes quite indistinctive in places. There are cairns (Rock piles that mark the route) but in the mist they blend in nicely with the surrounding rocks! The summit plateau is a moonscape and from the summit platform the mountain looks pretty similar in every direction. Countless times we've provided direction to walkers, some of which were heading 180 degrees in the wrong direction!
You get the idea, it's not a place to be if you have no means of effective navigation, preferably a map and compass and the ability to use it under all weather challenges that may be thrown at you.
Our guides are qualified to at least Summer Mountain Leader standard and most importantly have tonnes of experience up on Scafell Pike. Some of our team even have over 500 ascents of Scafell Pike, so why not let us do the navigation and get you up and down safely.
3) We can take you off the beaten track
Having a guide for Scafell Pike can mean you don't have to take the obvious paths where everyone else is. Of course, some of the main tracks, such as the main path from up Wasdale up Brown Tongue are the easiest, but with a little more effort we can take something quieter or more fun!
A couple of years ago I took a journalist doing an article on Scafell Pike up on a sunny Saturday in the middle of summer - a day guaranteed to be busy. I wanted to show her the quieter side of Scafell Pike and through careful path selection, some off path scrambling and route knowledge we got to about 800m elevation before seeing anyone.
4) You'll learn something along the way
Our guides are great to spend the day with, even if I do say so myself. All of them have fascinating backgrounds, experiences and knowledge of the local area. Whether you want to know what all the other peaks are called, how the mountains were formed or maybe hear their tales about Himalayan adventures I'm sure you'll go home knowing something new or inspired for another adventure.
Furthermore, if you want your guide to give you some nav skill hints and tips along the way, or tell you what routes you could do up other peaks, just ask.
The fairly featureless summit plateau. Rocks everywhere!