Slight Side summit

The summit of Slight Side

Height: 2499 feet above sea level.  (As Wainwright says, the height is a tribute to the meticulousness of the Ordnance Survey.)

Volume: Book 4 (The Southern Fells)

Date climbed: 3rd July 2010 (walk 20b)

Bagged as number: 66 out of 214. [ << Scafell (65)   (67) Bowscale Fell >> ]

Route of ascent and descent: Approached on the ridge from Scafell. Descended to Wha House on the Eskdale Road, via the path heading down Catcove Beck.

Slight Side from Catcove Beck

Looking back up to Slight Side, from Catcove Beck

What Mr Wainwright says (from page 3 of his chapter): “Fellwalkers, having climbed their mountain, prefer to find that the summit is rocky, shapely and well-defined; and if, in addition, it can be attained only by a rough final scramble, so much the better. Slight Side has all these qualifications, and the further merit of an excellent view. A defect in its architecture is that the lofty ridge continuing to Scafell behind it is but little lower than the summit…. Still, this is a grand, airy perch, the cairn being poised on the crest of a sweep of slabs of good, clean rock, and many must be the walkers who have set out from Eskdale to climb Scafell and given up here.”

Slight Side from Bowfell

Slight Side and the Irish Sea, from Bowfell

What I say: Of all the fells that get only 4 pages in Wainwright’s guides, Slight Side is, I think, the highest, which suggests it has a paucity of features: but it is also ranked (in Volume 7) as one of Wainwright’s best summits. Here I agree; it was the only point on the whole walk, virtually, where I was able to put the backpack down and just scamper around on the rocks for a few minutes. However, it then risked blowing its good review by having a difficult (and, on the day, very windy) descent south. There doesn’t seem a very easy way down in any direction but perhaps you can circle round to the west and avoid the crags altogether.

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