Playing second fiddle

A mere 46 feet lower in height, Scafell is to my mind, a superior summit to England's highest, Scafell Pike, in every way. Far from playing second fiddle and effectively distanced from its more popular, crowded neighbour by the impasse of Broad Stand and the intimidating walls of the East Buttress, it even looks higher from the valley floor. 
I was mildly amused then, on running in from Eskdale and across Great Moss, to pass a couple by the Samson Stones, whose reaction to my greeting was to ask in wildly exaggerated admiration, not where I was heading but simply, if I was going all the way to the top. Sadly, such is the fixation of so many, with England's highest mountain.
The Samson Stones themselves are a worthwhile destination in fact and I remember many happy camps here, long hot days spent on the crags above or simply bouldering on the stones themselves before swimming in the river below.
Avoiding Broad Stand, intent on running the route we will follow for the BG, I dropped to the gully which leads back via Foxes Tarn to the summit of Scafell.
From the col just north of the summit, long views across Kirk Fell, Pillar to the left, Grassmoor top right and just visible above High Stile and Red Pike in the center, Criffel, across the Solway.
Heading down, hands numb and eyes streaming in a bitter wind...
...but it is a fast few miles and warm work, pausing just once to look back on Slight Side, Scafell hidden behind, and Ill Crag (far right), before dropping back to the River Esk through lush fields full of herdwicks - a quintessential lakeland scene.

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