How to tackle Scafell Pike even if you’re a hiking beginner

How to tackle Scafell Pike even if you’re a hiking beginner

The great outdoors is calling, why not add an epic mountain hike to your fitness list?

What is Scafell Pike

Scafell Pike is one of the three mountains that make up the epic Three Peaks challenge. At 978m (3,209ft) high, Scafell is the tallest mountain in England. And because it’s situated in the Lake District National Park, the peak is prominent! Fun fact, Scafell Pike is actually part of an inactive volcano.


Where exactly Scafell Pike

Scafell Pike is part of the Southern Fells in the beautiful Lake District National Park in Cumbria. It’s about 10km north of Coniston and 5km west of Grasmere. Thanks to its stunning location, Scafell Pike can be tackled as a standalone adventure, or turned into an active mini break with other hikes, climbs, and water-based challenges. 

Scafell Pike is a complex mountain, which makes it a challenging climb with stunning views. The main crests are tall, rocky and wild, with winding cols and summits all around.


Is Scafell Pike a beginner hike

Scafell Pike is the lowest summit of the Three Peaks hikes, but many people consider it the toughest because the climb is so steep and rocky. That said, 250,00+ people climb Scafell Pike every year, so it’s definitely beginner-friendly with some sensible training and the right kit.

There are several routes to choose from, making Scafell Pike an accessible challenge for beginner hikers, and a mountain that will continue to inspire even the most experienced climbers.


How to hike Scafell Pike

There are three routes up Scafell Pike: from Borrowdale (which is a long, steady climb), from Wasdale (the shortest route but also the steepest and most direct), and a third route from Langdale which takes in Bow Fell and Esk Pike along the way. Whichever route you choose, be prepared for proper scrambling over rocky terrain.

The best option for beginners is probably the short route via Brown Tongue (from Wasdale), but don’t underestimate the climb. This route has 700m of vertical ascent over the first 2km or so before it flattens out a bit, and the final ascent is pretty craggy. You should expect the Wasdale route to take 3-4 hours in total.


How do I train for Scafell Pike

In the run-up to your Scafell Pike adventure, build up to walking 4+ hours with a day pack. Over a 6-8 week period, increase time on your feet by doing long walks during the week, then build in some more challenging walks (including steep inclines) at the weekend. Adding a weighted vest or weighted pack to your training walks will increase your endurance, stamina and fitness.

If you plan to do Scafell Pike, be sure to wear suitable clothing, shoes or boots (and socks!), and layers in case the weather changes. Use a map and compass and check the weather before you set off. Even though it’s a popular hike, it’s your responsibility to prepare properly for a day out in the mountains.

Why not turn your Scafell Pike adventure into a climbing weekend away? There are plenty of other mountain walks in the area, including Great Gable in the same mountain range as Scafell Pike.


Can you do Scafell in a weighted vest?

You could definitely do Scafell Pike in a weighted vest, but why not do it in a weighted pack instead (if you want the extra challenge!) It’s the most convenient and practical way to add a bit more of a challenge to any hiking adventure. You’ll want to carry food and kit with you anyway, so a weighted rucking backpack is a good choice.

Check out our range of weighted vests, weighted rucking backpack, and rucking plate carriers here.

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