Red Screes return through Scandale.

Start. Ambleside.

Route. Ambleside - Kirkstone Road - Snarker Pike - Raven Crag - Red Screes - Scandale Pass - Scandale - High Sweden Bridge - Sweden Bridge Lane - Ambleside.

Notes. A walk through an arctic wonderland today as I ascended Red Screes, mostly on decent paths over compacted snow, but every so often floundering in soft snow well above my knees with the only option to battle on through it. Spindrift stinging my face, at the moment I sport a beard, that was frozen solid, all added up to a great day in the hills, even though the 2,545ft summit was too cold to linger on.

My day started wandering up a very slippery Kirkstone Road, just after the 220 metre contour a finger post pointed into the hills. Ascending between dry stone walls and snow drifts well above my head I slowly climbed towards the summit of Red Screes (not visible for the majority of the ascent). No stiles to climb today the snow was higher than the walls, I eventually found myself ascending over Snarker Moss the hardest stretch of the walk, then over Raven Crag before reaching the summit of Red Screes.

I made my descent to the west through very deep snow, eventually reaching a wall that was my companion to Scandale Pass. The descent through Scandale was a delight, easy walking over compact snow, free of the buffeting of the wind and sting of spindrift, I soon found myself passing High Sweden Bridge to start the final section of my descent. Sweden Bridge Lane carried me through ancient woodland between dry stone walls before a gate led onto the tarmac of Ambleside.

view route map.


On a blistering cold morning, Windermere Lake seen over the slopes of Wansfell Pike.

Morning sunlight on the deep snow of Broad End.

Looking to Wansfell Pike.

On a bitterly cold morning views over icy lowlands to the Coniston Fells.

Snow drifts passed en route to Red Screes, this was the only gate I had to open, two stiles further up the path were completely covered.

Stunning conditions and equally stunning views, here we have the unmistakable Langdale Pikes with the whale back summit of High Raise seen over Nab Scar.

Breath-taking views back to Windermere, a perfect path to follow.

Under deep snow High Bakestones at the head of Scandale.

A glorious winter scene, High Pike across Scandale backed by Great Rigg.

A seriously good view, the Coniston Fells and the Irish Sea coast, seen from near the summit Raven Crag.

With chattering teeth, viewing Froswick, Ill Bell and Yoke.

Serving food and drink to the weary travelers for over 500 years, steeped in superstition and legend the Kirkstone Pass Inn is the highest inhabited building in Cumbria, I guess it's fairly quiet today the road's closed.

It may be freezing but who could ignore a view like this, Troutbeck over Broad End.

Near the summit of Red Screes with a jaw-dropping view over Kirkstone Pass, Froswick, Ill Bell and Yoke dominate the scene..

Sheathed in ice the trig point on Red Screes.

Patterdale seen over Middle Dodd.

Arctic conditions on the western slopes of Red Screes, this was serious walking, I still made time to take a few shots, here we have cloud dancing round the face of Dove Crag, on the far horizon Striding Edge leading to Helvellyn.

Floundering in deep snow looking to Place Fell and Angletarn Pikes, tucked in behind the cloud in the foreground Hartsop above How.

Almost at the summit of Scandale Pass, pausing for breath, looking to Hartsop Dodd across upper Patterdale.

A beautiful winter scene down Scandale.

A lone walker heads for the summit of Scandale Pass.

Low Pike rising from Scandale.

The twin summits of Little Hart Crag rise above Scandale, the head of the pass is through deep snow to the right of them.

High Pike graces the western skyline.

A final look back to High Pike before descending into Ambleside.

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