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Blencathra via Gategill Fell

It was another beautiful morning to continue the fantastic summer weather we have been enjoying recently. This walk to Blencathra from Threlkeld has a bit of a gruelling start with the climb to Knott Halloo on Gategill Fell being steeper than steep! Nice to bump into StridingEdge fans John Unsworth and Lily up on the summit today too.

Blencathra via Sharp Edge

Yet another beautiful day here with sunny blue skies all around. Today we climbed Sharp Edge up to Blencathra, the reminder that it was still winter was on the north face of the edge where the ice was treacherous to the unwary.

Warning: Do not attempt Sharp Edge in winter conditions unless you know what you are doing. Never take a dog that way.

Blencathra via Hall’s Fell Ridge

‘For active walkers and scramblers, this route is positively the finest way to any mountain top in the district. It is direct, exhilarating, has glorious views and (especially satisfying) scores a bulls-eye by leading unerringly to the summit cairn’ – AW

Blencathra via Hall’s fell Ridge

Blencathra was not even considered when I set out from home this morning but when I saw it I knew I had to climb it. I decided on Hall’s Fell Ridge as it must be a good 10 years since I have climbed this way, the bonus of it is that it climbs directly to the summit cairn. After that I just made it up as I went along and it turned out to be quite a pleasant walk although towards the end it looked as though I might get a soaking as the clouds thickened and hovered ominously overhead, but in the end I thankfully made it back dry.

Blencathra via Hall’s Fell Ridge

The predicted Arctic temperatures certainly happened overnight and the morning looked very promising being amazingly crisp and clear. I had a climb to Blencathra up the Hall’s Fell Ridge, a brilliant way to climb up there in any conditions but it was even more special today. The weather certainly raised the feeling of exposure and heightened my awareness today.

Note: This is a serious winter climb, not a walk. Just because me and my dogs managed to climb it today, it doesn’t mean that everyone can. At the very least you need to carry the correct winter equipment (crampons and ice axe) and know how to use them.

Blencathra via Scales Fell

There was a mighty cold and icy wind up on the top of Blencathra today and there was a fresh dusting of snow. The wind and ice were strong enough to keep me off Sharp Edge, that can wait until another day. To the south there was a big cloud build up and the way it lay right across the tops and kept changing made an intriguing backdrop throughout the walk.

Blencathra via Sharp Edge

As it is the first day of the school summer holidays, today’s walk was chosen by my 13 year old – an ascent of Blencathra via Sharp Edge; an excellent choice, I must say.

Blencathra via Gategill Fell, Knott Halloo & Doddick Fell

I was getting itchy feet so when the opportunity for a walk arose I grabbed it – I was going come rain, hail or shine! As it turned out is was really quite warm on the climb and when I reached the top I couldn’t believe how many people were up there (I never saw anyone on the steep way up though). This and a couple of other things that happened reminded me why I like to get out early…

Blencathra via Sharp Edge

This morning’s walk was to Blencathra taking in the two most interesting ridges on there – Sharp Edge and Hall’s Fell Ridge. Both of these are excellent so it was a great walk all round, shame the cloud only cleared fully when I was almost back down.

Note: Just because I took my dogs over Sharp Edge, it doesn’t mean that every dog or indeed every person can do this one – it is a very exposed ridge and is treacherous in wet or icy conditions. Plenty of people have come a cropper crossing Sharp Edge. You have been warned!

When I was passing Newby Bridge early this morning, things were looking interesting so I had to stop and grab a couple of photos…

Blencathra via Sharp Edge

At last I was able to make it back on the fells – but where to go? Somewhere not too long but with a bit of excitement I thought and Sharp Edge fitted the bill perfectly. I enjoyed getting up at the crack of doom and getting out before most other people, the dogs managed it fine up there too and young Dougal took this big step in his stride as I knew he would.
Note: Just because I took my dogs over Sharp Edge, it doesn’t mean that every dog or indeed every person can do this one – it is a very exposed ridge and is treacherous in wet or icy conditions. Plenty of people have come a cropper crossing Sharp Edge. You have been warned!

Blencathra via Sharp Edge

It was an early start again today, climbing Souther Fell with the sun rising across the low lying mist. By the time I reached Scales Tarn for the start of the climb of Sharp Edge, the sun was shining and the weather was glorious with lovely clear views all around; a glorious walk on a glorious day.