Foxes Tarn or Lord's Rake Route

Q. I am planning to walk the Eskdale Ring this summer that involves crossing from Scafell Pike to Sca Fell and so need to decide between the Lord's Rake - that I have never done - or the Foxes Tarn route - that I did a few years ago. My questions are:

1] apart from the unstable boulders in the Lords Rake, how exposed is it and, is the West Wall traverse more exposed?

2] is the Foxes Tarn route now badly eroded?

Hugh Martin, Henfield


A. The Lord's Rake Route is extremely steep and exposed and suffered a rock fall a number of years ago. As a result it is not recommended under any circumstances.

For the Foxes Tarn Route see walks:

Walk route map c110 The Eskdale Skyline from Wha House Farm, Eskdale

Walk route map c166 The Scafell Masiff from Wha House Farm, Eskdale

Walk route map c233 Sca Fell and Scafell Pike from Wasdale Head, Wast Water and

Walk route map c271 The Scafell Massif from Wasdale Head, Wast Water

Hope this helps . . .

Mike (Editor)


A. We have a scafell walk planned right now and am waiting for the weather to improve. I intend to walk lords rake and west wall traverse. Make no mistake, the chockstone will fall one day and if anyone is climbing up the rake they will be killed; That is the risk you need to take into account. It can fall at any time and is deteriorating with every freeze and rainfall. I have previously done the route before the chockstone fell, ascending via traverse and descending the second col route. West wall traverse is exposed for the first section (IMHO very similar to swirral edge) and is quite a steep scramble at the end with the feeling of height exposure. The initial scramble up the rake is something to be wary of; being a heavy set chap, the 60 degree incline is a 2 steps forwards 1 step back over very loose rocks. If there are other people in front of you (especially already on the traverse) then expect falling rock. Helmets are not a silly suggestion, especially if you are in a large group.

John Gibbons, Carlisle


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