Drawing 92: The top of Deep Ghyll, Scafell

Direction of view: N

Notes: The best angle of sunlight occurs around late morning / noon.  In winter there are long shadows to contend with.

This view also appears on page Scafell 9 of The Southern Fells, where AW includes himself in the drawing, referring to himself, ironically, as “the Oracle”, and in Lakeland Mountain Drawings (51) and page 91 of Memoirs of a Fellwanderer.  In the guidebook, Wainwright sits alone; in the sketch and in Memoirs he sits with a younger person, identified as his son Peter; in the mountain drawing there is no-one in the foreground.

Comments: I took this picture on 1st December 2012 on a walk with Anne Setright – see drawing 2 for details. There were several inches of snow on the summit, hard frozen and icy in places, and I didn’t want to venture any closer to the edge of Deep Gill. Some climbers emerged as we watched.

Deep Gill was first climbed in winter conditions in 1886 by Cecil Slingsby and Geoffrey Hastings, two of the great pioneers of early climbing in the district, and is now regarded as straightforward, graded at I / II, depending on how snowed up it is (the more, the better!).