Wasdale Fell Race
AL 34km/21.1mi, 2750m/9022ft.
The Wasdale Fell Race is organised by Cumberland Fell Runners Association and is also part of the Lakeland Classics Trophy (details at lakelandclassicstrophy.org.uk).
Fee includes light refreshment, use of the SPORTident race management / results system.
All Si-Cards are provided and pre logged onto the system, no personal SI-Cards will be used.
Details of Course Grid Ref
Start: Brackenclose 184072
Checkpoints Closing times
CP1 Whin Rigg 151035 12.00
CP2 Seatallan 139084 13.25
CP3 Pillar 171121 14.25
CP4 Gt.Gable 211103 15.30
CP5 Esk Hause Shelter 235083 -
CP6 Scafell Pike 215072 -
CP7 Wall on Lingmell Nose 193075 -
Finish 184074 -
Records: Billy Bland 3.25.21 (awesome!) 1982
Janet McIver/Jackie Lee 4.12.17 2008
Deepest lake, highest mountain, biggest liar and hardest fell race – that’s Wasdale. Wordsworth once said that every fellrunner should do Wasdale at least once, or something like that!
The race starts with a gentle climb up onto Illgill Head on the south side of Wastwater followed by a fast grassy run along the top of the ‘Screes’ to the the 1st CP Whin Rigg. From here it is a grassy descent to the valley bottom and flags through to the bridge at Greendale (GR 143056). A word of warning here! Many a soul has gone too fast from Whin Rigg to Greendale and paid for it later on - you have been WARNED! The route across the valley bottom between checkpoints 1 & 2 is flagged; keep to flagged route as we are only able to race on the fell by the kind permission of the National Trust and local farmers, so your good conduct is essential for future races.
There then follows a long slog up to the 2nd CP Seatallan, first on a good path, then knee deep grass, then on to the 3rd CP Pillar. On a clear day it’s a doddle, just drop into Pots of Ashness and head for the col between Red Pike and Scoat Fell.
Off Pillar to Black Sail it is straightforward, mostly on the tourist path, although there are some shortcuts if you know the terrain, and from Black Sail onwards you contour round Kirkfell, and before long you’ll be looking at the imposing sight of the 3rd CP Great Gable. This is where the race really starts – it’s hands on knees work and Gable is the last checkpoint with a time limit. If you can't make it this far in 4.5hrs you are not fast enough to continue. It's off Gable down the main path to Styhead stretcher box, and from Styhead to the finish is, in my opinion, what makes Wasdale the hardest of the Longs. From Styhead to the 5th CP Esk Hause is straight forward on a good path and from Esk Hause on up to the highest point in England, the 6th CP Scafell Pike; just follow the crowds of folk either coming or going from the summit.
From the Pike it’s all downhill now but care has to be taken in the mist as many a hope has been dashed by going down into Mickledore or down the main Brown Tongue path. The idea is to drop into Lingmell col then descending, gradually contour under the rocks of Lingmell summit and hit the wide grassy path that takes you first to the sharp drop over the ‘Nose’, then a knee jarring descent to the stile on the wall at the last 7th CP. It is then just half a mile of – still steep! - grassy downhill to the finish in the tent you registered in.
And that’s the Wasdale. Good luck! Oh and pray for a cool clear day, cloud base at about 4000ft. If it’s boiling hot though, the one good thing is you do go through plenty of becks and streams. Adapted from Scoffer.
Prizes: Awarded to the 1st three finishers in all these categories - Gents, Ladies, U21, U23, Vets M/W from 40 in 5yr increments to V75. Club teams - Gents 4, Ladies 3, Vets MV40 4, MV50 3 and Lv40 3 to count.
Course Map: special PBS/Harveys race map from Pete Bland Sports at £3: OS Outdoor Leisure 6 South Western and 4 North Western or Harveys Lakeland West. Harveys also has Ennerdale, Borrowdale, Langdale, Sailbeck and many others on the same format.
Parking, Registration, Start / Finish: located at the field east of National Trust campsite perimeter, Wasdale GR 184 075. Post code for travel to Wasdale Campsite, Wasdale Head, Cumbria, CA20 1EX. Please car share if at all possible to avoid valley road congestion and DO NOT PARK IN THE CAMPSITE IF YOU ARE NOT CAMPING.
Changing: None - use cars. Toilets in the NT car park and with showers available on the NT camp site, but there is charge for their use which MUST be paid by those using them. DO NOT USE THE SURROUNDS AS A TOILET.
There is a campsite right next to the start – please use the link :-
or by phoning on 019467 26220 (am). Campsites also at Nether Wasdale close to The Screes. Wide range of accomodation available locally. There are many B&B’s – Gosforth and Seascale are close and worth considering as options to the valley itself. Youth Hostels at Wasdale Hall and Eskdale (Lake District Booking Service 01539431117).
Tourist Information Offices :- Egremont 01946 820693 Workington 01900 606699
EMERGENCY TELEPHONE NUMBER: WASDALE (019467) 26220 (Camp site booking office)