Scrambles in the Lake District
The Lake District is loaded with amazing scrambles from family-friendly rambles to iconic routes only suitable for experienced climbers.
Many of these best scrambles in the Lake District are accessible and some very popular but for very good reason! At the bottom of the post there is a note on grading and quality rating this will help people to understand exactly what they are getting themselves into.
As with any thing in the mountains please make sure you are prepared and have the right equipment for a day in the mountains. Adventuring have done extensive videos and blog on this and it’s a great resource to use if you’re unsure.
So, in no particular order.
1) JACKS RAKE - PAVEY ARCH - GRADE 1
If your interested in this scramble we have done a video on what to expect on when scrambling Jacks Rake.
Jack’s Rake is a classic that belies its modest grade. It is one of the most popular scrambles in Britain and with good reason, since it takes a natural fault line across a huge cliff that looks very inaccessible, but is revealed to be simple. The higher up this route you go the more exposed it becomes.
As you take the “rake” you are treated to an insight in the world of rock climbers as many of the route on the face start and finish along the way up. During weather this is basically a drain that point could be more like a river and well worth staying away from.
The approach is from the Sticklebarn hotel where you follow the path up to the Stickle tarn. From here your see the huge face of Pavey Arch. This is the perfect photo opportunity realistically on a busy day you will be able to see a line of people heading up. From the tarn you are best of to head left following the path until your opposite where you were. Pick up the track to the base of the route and then head up.
2) STRIDING EDGE - HELVELLYN GRADE 1
Another amazing day and one of if not the best scrambles in the Lake District. Taking the striking ridge line across to Helvellyn England’s 3rd highest peak. When combining Striding Edge with Swiral Edge it makes for one of the most fantastic scrambling days out ideal for most.
Just because of Striding Edges popularity don’t let it foul you many unsuspecting walkers get caught out by its exposure.
Most people generally start in Glenridding and make their way up Striding Edge and go down Swirral Edge if doing a loop (which we highly recommend). However, we like to go up Swirral and down Striding as in our opinion – the approach is much more amenable to Swirral Edge but that could just be down to personal taste! Either way it’s phenomenal!
3) PINNACLE RIDGE, ST SUNDAY CRAG – GRADE 3
If you are looking to take a steep in the world of mountaineering then Pinnacle Ridge is it! This amazing route high on the side of St Sundays Crag gives you some exposed scrambling and airy climbing in a truly wide setting.
You are going to need good mountain navigation skills to be able find it let alone scrambling skill. If you need to this its worth doing an introduction to mountain scrambling course.
The great thing about this Lake District Scramble is that you top out on to Wainwright that gives great views over to Striding edge. Which makes for a big day linking the 2 up to make a cool day out in the Lake District mountains …. Just an idea !
4) HALLS FELL RIDGE & SHARP EDGE, BLENCATHRA – GRADE 1
Another must do for any one hill walker / scrambler Adventuring has done many videos and blog post on this that will help you to have the best day out.
Very similar to Striding edge Sharp Edge is just a little harder in my opinion with some very exposed scrambles unlike Striding edge you can not avoid this. You have the choice of ascending via Sharp Edge and descending via Halls Fell or vice versa.
What may help you decide which route is best suited to your ability is to keep in mind that Sharp Edge is the narrowest walkable ridge and the most challenging Grade 1 scramble in the Lakes. Halls Fell is the more beginner-friendly option, and there is an easier route down if you don’t feel up for Sharp Edge afterwards.
5) CAM CRAG RIDGE – GRADE 2 / 3
Cam Crag Ridge is one of the Lake District’s best scrambles at its grade – for those in the know. It offers everything the scrambler could want. There are stunning views, excellent scrambling on solid rock, and interesting approach and descent routes.
Cam Crag Ridge has numerous options to make the route harder or easier. There are a number of rocky walls punctuated by grassy terraces. Each wall has a harder and more exposed option to the right end of the wall. Each of these is longer and more continuous than other options. The rock is clean and solid for the most part and the scrambling is almost always easier than it first appears. There is a plentiful supply of holds and foot ledges.
If this is not to your liking, then there is still excellent scrambling to be had at Grade 1 by picking an easier line to the left-hand edge of each of the walls. The scrambling is more broken and discontinuous, and each of the sections is shorter than the Grade 3 option because of the slanting nature of the terraces. But it is still great scrambling and provides an easy romp to the top.
SCRAMBLING GRADES EXPLAINED
Scrambling is somewhere between not hill walking and not quite rock climbing. Often I would call these days out “mountaineering” generally the days require less technical kit and your traveling through mountainous terrain. Because of the nature of the environment its more important to have an understanding of the grades.
Grade 1 is for an easy scramble with little or no hazards and easy route finding. What this grade does is to find the most interesting route / line up a gully, gill, ridge, or buttress where the exposure is not great and where the route can be varied at will.
This grade is for routes that contain longer difficult sections where a rope could be used for safety / confidence, short exposed sections of rock or grass, and or at a certain point in the scramble that requires a short rock climb to overcome a particularly obstacle.
Escape is difficult! This grade is more serious and should only be undertaken by experienced scramblers. A rope is advised for some of the pitches of easy rock climbing where the exposure could be quite high, or where the scramble of a particular water fall could be hazardous.