Overcast but no wind as I drive along Wastwater. It's been a long time since I tackled Scafell Pike from this side via Hollow Stones and Mickledoor. I usually do the Corridor Route or from (in my opinion) the best route from a camp beside the Great Moss in Eskdale.
As I get ready at the car park an old timer like me sets off with full winter kit whereas some young lads in the next car have neither axe nor crampons. As I approach the back wall of the corrie I put on the gear. Most people have headed for the easier route from Lingmell Col. I eat a Greggs bacon sandwich purchased in Egremont and watch as a couple struggle up the slope in bendy boots. The route follows the slanting gully at the lowest point on the skyline.
On the ridge there are 3 lads eating chocolate in full gear plus helmets. They 've come up the same way as me and are outraged by the couple in the bendy boots who were apparently on all fours and just made it because of the bucket steps in the nevee from previous walkers.
Not one for paths I head off right walking over a completely drifted over Broadcrag Tarn and some easy snow ramps to the summit.
I sit in the lee of the summit and feed a chicken sandwich to a beautiful raven. About 30% of people on the top have the correct gear for snow and ice.
I head for Lingmell, there are crowds coming up this way. Mostly without gear and slipping on the steeper slopes just before the plateau. There's even a couple in shorts. No wonder the press have a field day when there's an accident.
As I walk down the Lingmell ridge, boy does that do your knees in, I look across at the ascent route and remember in my holier than thou outrage that actually for the first 20 years of my walking career I probably didn't have crampons either. Nowt worse than a hypocrite !
Talking of hypocrite I'd better not call at a caf on the way home as I've already had a bacon sandwich and I'm supposed to be on a diet.