Jacks Rake Scramble

Technical Difficulty





3-4 Hours



Jacks Rake Scramble

Jake // February 15, 2020

This serious but exhilarating grade 1 scramble is one of the finest in the Lake district. This is a route not for the faint of heart requiring significant scrambling experience and a head for heights to tackle safety. Due to its nature the route should only be tackled in dry calm conditions.

Where is it and how do I get there?

The route is in the central Lake District, it’s circular so starts and ends at the same point. The starting point is near the “New Dungeon Ghyll Hotel” where you will find a number of paid car parks. There is no signal in the area so make sure your satnav is programmed in advance.

How far is it and how much elevation gain?

The route is quite short being only 5km in length with 600m of ascent, most of which is completed on a well laid stone path. The scramble itself involves 300m of careful climbing. It’s vital that you leave yourself plenty of time in case you encounter problems during the route.

Route Description and Route Illustration

*For this route you will need OL6 Explorer, The English Lakes, South Western Area map.

Leave from the carpark, walking past the hotel on your right. Continue on the main footpath heading north west. There are lots of different paths, keep the river to your right until you reach the lake. Walk around the lake with the water to your right, you will see Jacks Rake cutting through the mountain.  

Now for the scramble (marked in red), if there’s other people on the route I recommend giving them some time to get a head start. Furthermore even in dry conditions the rock is often damp, so take care at all times. Start the route, the crux, a steep chimney, is quite early on. Keep tight to the mountain on your right, do not be tempted to stray left onto the grass banks, these are unsupported and have caused numerous deaths. Once you climb the crux you will be committed so think carefully before ascending. The route will take you straight up before bearing right and taking you to a plateau which connects to the path down. After spending time to collect yourselves and enjoy the view, follow the path down to the east. 

The path will take you around the lake and you will descend with the river on your right, there’s a point to cross at the bottom which will join up with the original path that will take you back to your car.

What kit do I need to bring?

Due to the technicalities of the route you want to be as light as possible but it’s important to be prepared in case of an accident or getting stuck. Check out my “How To Pack For A Mountain Day” article for more information.

What experience do I need to tackle this route?

This is a severe route and should not be underestimated, this is at the top of grade 1 and only suitable for confident scrambles. Previous scrambling experience is essential as is the ability to handle exposure. Most of the route is on paths, but basic map reading knowledge is required.

I don’t feel like I have enough experience, what should I do?

Consider completing some easier scrambles first or go along with an experienced friend or group. Alternatively as part of Rickards Rambles I offer guiding services, if you would like to make an enquiry about booking an adventure please send me an email.

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