Mountain Journeys

Should I Hire a Guide for Scafell Pike? Yes……

Mountain Journey

Should I Hire a Guide for Scafell Pike? - On a clear and settled day navigation is easier, but will it stay clear?


Should I Hire a Guide for Scafell Pike?

It's a question we are asked on a regular basis. The answer isn't always going to be straightforward, but likely that if you're asking the question, there will be significant benefits to hiring a guide. This post has been inspired by a recent incident on Scafell Pike involving a 3 Peaks Challenge team. Full details of this can be seen on the Wasdale Mountain Rescue Facebook page for 15th July 2023 please consider donating to this amazing team of volunteers.

Regardless of your motivations for wanting to ascend this fine mountain, we can offer guiding for you. To see what we offer in more detail see our Climb Scafell website on that site we have an FAQ page that considers the necessity of hiring a guide. In a nutshell, it isn't always necessary. But....


3 Peaks Challenge - if attempting this, we'd recommend hiring a guide for Scafell Pike. Regardless of your navigational skills, a guide will take away stress and strain, those allowing you all to perform at your best. We will help team the group on track, keep everyone together, and we will have group safety equipment. We know the mountain so well, you will be following the most efficient route the whole time, be assured of that. And we can promise this regardless of what the weather throws at us (as long as it's safe to ascend the mountain of course). We have been to the summit in some atrocious conditions and on many glorious days and nights.

Team / Group ascents - it may be you're planning a mountain day with a group of friends / family / work colleagues. Some may be able to navigate well, but do they really want the responsibility and hassle of map reading the whole day? Take a day off and hire us instead. Not only will we take care of group logistics and general happiness. We will do all the map and compass work as necessary. It may be that you'd like to veer off the well known paths, that's fine too. Let us know and we'll come up with a plan.

Individual / Small group ascents - lone walkers often simply want the comfort and added security of walking with another person. And all the better if that person happens to be a qualified guide who knows the mountains here very well. The same goes for couples and small groups. Having a local and knowledgeable guide decreases the risk factor by a significant amount, whilst increasing the enjoyment factor by a fair margin too.

I've included a few photos to show various parts of the mountain and taken during varying weather conditions. The 3rd photo shows the summit Trig point on a misty day. The summit is the place most will mess up the navigation and the reason for this is, it is genuinely very difficult. Everything looks the same, just boulders in all directions. Having a map and compass and the ability to use them is an essential skill. A map on a mobile phone isn't going to be enough, so don't rely on it.


Should I Hire a Guide for Scafell Pike? - Crossing Lingmell Gill

The river crossing if ascending from Wasdale Head is a feature that catches a few walkers out and is worth a mention here. During normal / low water levels this crossing is easy, it almost goes un-noticed. But after heavy rain this small river can quickly become a raging torrent and crossing it becomes a big deal. We can plan ahead for this and steer you towards alternative routes. If attempting to cross on your own please take great care during times of high water and if at all unsure we would urge you to turn back. Consider also that if rain is still falling the river level will continue to rise, making your descent even more hazardous.

As well as offering guided ascents of Scafell Pike and other Lakeland mountains. We offer a wide range of Adventurous Activities and you can check them out here



Should I Hire a Guide for Scafell Pike? - Well that depends, how do you feel about navigating through those cliffs?


Mountain Journey

Should I Hire a Guide for Scafell Pike? - Fairly typical summer conditions on the summit




Should I Hire a Guide for Scafell Pike? - Crossing Lingmell Gill



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