Drawing 297: Scafell Crag, from Lingmell

Direction of view: SSE

Notes: This sketch also appears on page 55 of Wainwright in Lakeland, page 37 of Fellwanderer, and page 65 of Memoirs of a Fellwanderer; these all appear to be prints from the same original drawing. The view appears also on page 84 of Fellwalking with a Camera, where the foreground rocks are rather different; in Lakeland Mountain Drawings (451) – a much cruder version, but with the same foreground rocks as the sketch – and on page Lingmell 4 of The Southern Fells.

The viewpoint is well south of Lingmell summit, at grid reference SD205080.  Best lighting is on a summer evening.

Comments: After a preliminary recce (when the lighting was hopeless), I finally got round to taking this photograph on 9th June 2019 (see 308 for an account of that day).  I had with me, in addition to the sketch, Wainwright’s photograph from Fellwalking with a Camera. This photograph contains the foreground rocks in the sketch, but also a large and quite distinctive barrel-shaped rock, which helps identify the foreground.  I was so pleased with this discovery that I took a photograph based on Wainwright’s photograph, and almost forgot that it was the sketch I was supposed to be taking!  That would have been a bad mistake, on such a lovely evening….

This picture shows the three great gullies dividing the crag; from left to right they are Moss Ghyll, Steep Ghyll and Deep Ghyll.  Moss Ghyll was one of the coveted prizes of early rockclimbers, first climbed on Boxing Day 1892 by Professor Norman Collie, Geoffrey Hastings, and John Wilson Robinson.  Collie used an ice axe to hack a step in the rock – a very controversial act which he recognised would be “severely criticised by more orthodox mountaineers than ourselves”.