Monday, 27 August 2012

4 Threes – 26 August

The “4 Threes” was once a Ramblers Association event – a long walk that attracted a runner or two. The route visits the four 3000 feet summits in Cumbria; Skiddaw, Scafell, Scafell Pike and Helvellyn. When Lord’s Rake was safe and if you didn’t get lost you would need to cover about 40 miles and climb 11,000 feet. A year or two ago it took Joss 7 hours and 35 minutes – yesterday Steve (whose account is here) & I took a minute or two longer than Joss’s 35 and twice as many hours. I doubt adding the other two (Broad Crag & Ill Crag) can reasonably be said to account for much of our extra seven hours – I suspect Joss was a bit younger when he did it in that time and probably a bit faster, too.

20120826-4Threes-1000North Western fells from Skiddaw

Skiddaw wasn’t as bad as it might have been and leaving Keswick for the long (road) run up Borrowdale it looked as the weather forecast might deliver the reasonable and improving day it had been promising – by the time we left Seathwaite and were committed to the whole thing the prolonged heavy showers began.


20120826-4Threes-1003Looking down into Upper Eskdale from the foot of Foxes Tarn Gully as low clouds drift through

Having added Scafell and Scafell Pike to our “done” list the improving weather encouraged us to visit Ill Crag and Broad Crag before descending towards Esk Hause for the long section over to and down Wyth Burn.


20120826-4Threes-1004Great Langdale


20120826-4Threes-1006Sargeant’s Crag with Bassenthwaite and more beyond

20120826-4Threes-1010Skiddaw beyond Thirlmere

Climbing Helvellyn in warm evening sunshine more than made up for the poor conditions we had encountered earlier in the day and short time we were high on the ridge was just a delight – what a way to finish (if you don’t count the last 6 miles along the road into Keswick).

20120826-4Threes-1021Helvellyn summit with Skiddaw in the distance


20120826-4Threes-1024High Rigg below Skiddaw with Great Calva in the distance

20120826-4Threes-1023Cumbrian Fells from Helvellyn

Thanks to Steve for dragging round the “4 Threes” – something I have had on my Bucket List for quite some time but, most of all, huge thanks to Pauline who met us at the road crossings with food and hot drinks all day long Smile.


  1. Good stuff Ian. Me and Stef did Wasdale-Lingmell-Scafell Pike-Foxes Tarn-Scafell-Wasdale on Saturday in the rain and got 'temporarily mislaid' looking for the Stretcher Box too ;-)

  2. Fab .. what a great day for you. My 97 yr old aunt (Loweswater born and bred) regaled us with tales yesterday including the one about deciding to walk up Skiddaw one day back in the fifties with her two young girls when they'd been shopping. So they got to the top, sandals, shopping bag etc .. and ran in to walkers who looked at them like they were mad! The tales my dad used to tell me of all the stuff they grew up getting up to are just lakeland gold - they breed them different up there! AJ (twitter)