Peak Number Two: Scafell Pike

At 08:30 we awoke, magnificently, in Truck Haven. After conquering Snowdon the night before, we had set out at midnight for Scafell Pike, covering 150 miles of our 216-mile drive before practically falling asleep at the wheel.

Two enormous breakfasts later, we were back on the road, wending our way through the delightful – if somewhat badly designed – Lake District, to the highest mountain in all of England, to complete the second third of the Three Peaks.

As anybody who has ever been to the North of England in Spring (or indeed anywhere in England at any time of year) will understand, we were expecting rain. Lots of rain. It had, after all, just been the WETTEST APRIL SINCE RECORDS BEGAN

We were surprised and filled with glee, therefore, when the day turned out to be warm, dry and sunny!

Once again, there wasn’t a single signpost or indication of where the climb started, or even which direction the mountain was in. Once again, we wasted a staggering amount of time trying to figure out what the hell was going on.

Eventually, however, we were on our way – to conquer a second mountain!

Basking in the glory of the weather, the vastness of our surroundings and the growing pain in our calves, we took the day steadily – enjoying every moment that wasn’t filled with burning agony, as well as most the moments that were. Part-way up, we ate a Twix.

When faced with a fork in the path – a long minor incline, or a neer vertical scramble up a rock slide – we obviously chose the latter. This was probably the first time we suffered a tiny amount for ignoring all advice about boots and ankle support, choosing instead to climb in the same trainers we wear every day.

At the top of the scramble, we found rocks. Billions of rocks. It turns out Scafell Pike is essentially just MASSIVE tower of smaller rocks, up which one can leap and scrabble, all the way to the breath-taking summit.

Faced with our first summit-view (Snowdon had been too dark and cloudy to see the grass 15 feet in front of us, let alone the panorama), we did what any true men of Murderbeers would do. We removed our pitiful shirts, howled the Four Winds and flew our flag to mock the Gods.

Then, with our knees steadily turning to dust, we descended to a meal of cheeses, scones, chutneys, pies and beer. Afterwards, it was back to the car – for yet another long drive, this time to Fort William in Scotland, to ascend the biggest mountain in all of the UK.

We knew we were in for a rough drive. When we discovered that the ONE AND ONLY ROAD that leads North out of the Lake District was closed, therefore, we weren’t happy. Three-hours later, when we had made exactly 0-miles of progress, despite driving 70-miles through twisting mountainous roads – we were about as furious as two exhausted men can be.

Nevertheless, we pressed on through the night…and into bonny, bonny Scotland.

Things We Learned on Scafell Pike:

  • The Lake District is beautiful, but a little impractical
  • We value food much more than money
  • It doesn’t always rain in the North
  • Few things are more enjoyable than standing bare-chested at the top of a mountain, bellowing of your glory
  • It’s hard to fly a flag covered in paint

About the Author
Ed Gamester is a silly man who lives in the United Kingdom. He is the harbinger of Ghost Squad, singer of Gay Bum and author of A Rum Run Awry. He fights, kills and dies for TV and films, and gallivants around the place wrestling, drinking and lifting things for glory and profit. Where Ed treads, there stamp the boots of the Guild. Ed does not wear glasses, but feels this photograph makes him look more intelligent and artistically talented than he is. Feel free to contact him: he is disappointingly affable.

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