Drawing 79: The path to Scafell Pike, from Esk Hause

Direction of view: WSW

Notes: The scene is still much as illustrated by AW.  The shot is tricky for lighting; morning would be best, but who gets to this point by 10am?

This scene also appears on pages 38 and 51 of Wainwright in Lakeland, page 32 of Fellwanderer, page 68 of Memoirs of a Fellwanderer, page 82 of Fellwalking with a Camera, and on page Scafell Pike 20 in The Southern Fells.

Comments: Although I had passed this way several times before, and the picture is a famous one (“many hearts have sunk into many boots as this scene unfolds…”), I first photographed this view on 5th November 2012 (see Drawing 360 for full account).  It was directly into the sun, which I managed to partially shield with one hand whilst pressing the shutter release with the other!  Not ideal, but the fresh snow still made it an attractive scene.

AW writes that it is fitting that the final stage of the approach to Scafell Pike should be “execrably rough and stony”.  According to the Concise Oxford Dictionary, “execrably” means abominably or detestably.  It’s a word Wainwright uses several times in his writings; I can’t recall ever seeing it elsewhere!