Blencathra

Start point: Scales (NY 349 272)

Scales – Scales Fell – Blencathra – Scales Fell – Scales

Distance: 5.3 miles     Total Ascent: 660 metres    Time Taken: 2 hours 25 minutes     Start Time: 07:00

Following on from yesterday’s fabulous walk up to Scafell Pike, conditions looked as though they may be the same today so I really fancied witnessing the conditions from a different perspective so it was up to Scales early to head for Blencathra summit for the sunrise. Unfortunately there is no one that can predict the weather or conditions with 100% accuracy and on this occasion the weather did not play as predicted! Ho-hum, you can’t win them all…

Blencathra via Hall’s Fell Ridge

Start Point: Threlkeld (NY 318 256)

Threlkeld – Hall’s Fell Ridge – Blencathra (Hallsfell Top – Gategill Top – Blease Fell) – Threlkeld

Distance: 4.8 miles     Total Ascent: 734 metres     Time Taken: 3 hours 10 minutes     Start Time: 10:30

Weather: Cold and clear, 0°C

I really wanted to climb Blencathra in these conditions after I spotted it in the sunshine when passing the other afternoon. This was a day on the fell to remember and the sort that doesn’t come around too often. Wainwright said that the climb to Blencathra via Hall’s Fell Ridge is the finest way to any mountain top in the Lake District and I have to say I agree with him, especially on a day like today.

Blencathra

Blencathra

Height: 868 metres / 2848 feet Grid reference: NY 32345 27712 Category: The Northern Fells

Blencathra consists of six separate fell tops. Only the main one, Hallsfell Top is counted by Wainwright but Birkett counts each individual top – Atkinson Pike, Hallsfell Top, Gategill Fell, Blease Fell, Doddick Fell and Scales Fell. Sharp Edge, the famous arête, ascends to Atkinson Pike.

Hallsfell Top

Height 868 metres/2848 feet     Grid Reference NY 32345 27712     Wainwright – The Northern Fells

The summit of Blencathra.

The summit of Blencathra.

Dougal on the summit of Blencathra

Dougal on the summit of Blencathra

The summit of Blencathra from Hall's Fell Top - the highest point on the ridge

The summit of Blencathra from Hall’s Fell Top – the highest point on the ridge

Hall's Fell Ridge, an excellent way to reach the top

Hall’s Fell Ridge, an excellent way to reach the top

Atkinson Pike (Foule Crag)

Height 845 metres/2772 feet     Grid Reference NY 32430 27356

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Sharp Edge

Sharp Edge

Sharp Edge

Sharp Edge

Gategill Fell Top

Height 851 metres/2792 feet     Grid Reference NY 31777 27356

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Blease Fell

Height 804 metres/2638 feet     Grid Reference NY 31199 27028

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Doddick Fell

Height 742 metres/2434 feet     Grid Reference NY 32839 27720

Doddick Fell from Hall's Fell Ridge

Doddick Fell from Hall’s Fell Ridge

Scales Fell

Height 682 metres/2238 feet     Grid Reference NY 33192 27873

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Blencathra via Gategill Fell

Start Point: Threlkeld (NY 318 256)

Threlkeld – Knott Halloo – Gategill FellBlencathraDoddick Fell – Threlkeld

Distance: 4.2 miles     Total Ascent: 733 metres     Time Taken: 3 hours     Start Time: 08:40

Weather: Boiling, 22°C

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. This walk will feature in an edition of Trail magazine later this year.

Blencathra via Gategill Fell

Blencathra via Sharp Edge

Start point: Scales (NY 349 272)

Scales – Sharp Edge – Blencathra (Atkinson Pike – Hallsfell Top – Scales Fell) – Scales

Distance: 4.5 miles     Total Ascent: 642 metres    Time Taken: 2 hours 45 minutes     Start Time: 08:10

Weather: Sunny, warm in the sunshine. 8°C

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 Gategill Fell, Knott Halloo & Doddick Fell

Start point: Threlkeld (NY 318 256)

Threlkeld – Knott Halloo – Gategill Fell – Blencathra Doddick Fell – Threlkeld

Distance: 4.2 miles     Total Ascent: 733 metres     Time Taken: 3 hours     Start Time: 12:20

Weather: A mixed bag. 18°C

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

Start point: Scales (NY 349 272)

Scales – Sharp Edge – Blencathra (Atkinson Pike – Hallsfell Top) – Hall’s Fell Ridge – Scales

Distance: 5.5 miles     Total Ascent: 824 metres     Time Taken: 2 hours 45 minutes     Start Time: 07:00

Weather: Sunny and warm. 15ºC

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 Scales Fell

Start point: Mungrisdale (NY 361 303)

Mungrisdale – Souther Fell – Scales Fell – Blencathra – Bannerdale Crags  Bowscale Fell  The Tongue – Mungrisdale

Distance: 8.1 miles     Total Ascent: 907 metres     Time Taken: 4 hours     Start Time: 08:40

Weather: An icy cold wind but clear. 5°C

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 Hall’s Fell Ridge

Start point: Threlkeld (NY 318 256)

Threlkeld – Hall’s Fell Ridge – Blencathra (Hallsfell Top – Gategill Top – Blease Fell) – Threlkeld

Distance: 4.8 miles     Total Ascent: 734 metres     Time Taken: 3 hours 10 minutes     Start Time: 10:30

Weather: Very cold and very clear. See below ºC

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 Sharp Edge

Start point: Scales (NY 349 272)

Scales – Sharp Edge – Blencathra (Atkinson Pike – Hallsfell Top – Scales Fell) – Scales

Distance: 4.5 miles     Total Ascent: 642 metres    Time Taken: 2 hours     Start Time: 07:25

Weather: Clearing, sunny spells, 12C

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 Hall’s fell Ridge

Start point: Threlkeld (NY 318 256)

Threlkeld – Hall’s Fell Ridge – Blencathra Mungrisdale Common Great Calva – Skiddaw House – Blencathra Centre – Threlkeld

Distance: 10.7 miles     Total Ascent: 1123 metres     Time Taken: 5 hours

Weather: Sunny spells, cold on the tops. 12°C.

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 Sharp Edge

Start point: Mungrisdale (NY 361 303)

Mungrisdale – Souther Fell – Scales Tarn – Sharp Edge – Blencathra Mungrisdale Common Bannerdale Crags Bowscale Fell East Top on Bowscale FellMungrisdale

Distance: 10.4 miles     Total Ascent: 960 metres     Time Taken: 4 hours 30 minutes

Weather: Sunny and bright. 18oC.

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.

Sharp Edge

Start point: Scales (NY 349 272)

Scales – Sharp Edge – Blencathra (Atkinson Pike – Hallsfell Top – Gategill Fell – Blease Fell – Doddick Fell – Scales Fell) – Scales

Distance: 6 miles     Total Ascent: 800 metres     Time Taken: 2 hours 30 minutes

Weather: Mainly sunny and clear with high cloud. 3°C.

More fine and sunny weather today for a walk up to Blencathra over Sharp Edge. Sharp Edge itself was quite tricky on the difficult slabs today due to the icy frosting, so it was a case of treading with care. Casper managed it too, he did well – Angus continued his much needed R and R at home in the warmth! (NOTE: Just because I took a dog over Sharp Edge in winter conditions, it doesn’t mean that every dog, or every person for that matter, would be able to do it. As I left Scales today, the Keswick Mountain Rescue team passed me with lights and sirens ablaze – I hope it was nothing too serious).

Later Note: Check out this link; At the moment the latest rescue is 7th February….on Sharp Edge!) – Keswick MRT

Back O’ Skiddaw

Start point: Bowscale (NY 358 317)

Bowscale – Bowscale Tarn East Top on Bowscale Fell (387) Bowscale Fell (388) The Tongue (389) Bannerdale Crags (390) Blencathra Mungrisdale Common – Cloven Stone – Lonscale Pike (391) Lonscale Fell (392) Jenkin Hill (393) Skiddaw Lesser Man (394) Skiddaw Little Man (395) Skiddaw Bakestall – Whitewater Dash – Little Calva (396) Knott Coomb Height (397) Little Lingy Hill (398) Great Lingy Hill (399) Hare Stones (400) High Pike (401) Miton Hill (402) Round Knott (403) Carrock Fell (404) – Mungrisdale – Bowscale

Distance: 25.8 miles     Total Ascent: 2447 metres     Time Taken: 10 hours 50 minutes

Weather: Sunny and warm with a slight breeze. 25°C.

Today’s walk was a long circuit of the quiet fells known as ‘The Back o’ Skiddaw’. The weather was very pleasant, not as hot and muggy as it has been recently with a slight, welcome, cooling breeze. The views were absolutely superb at times and I was glad I chose today to do this long walk. The only problem was I forgot my food and 26 miles is a long way without any fuel…

 

Blencathra via Sharp Edge

Start point: Car Park above The White Horse Inn (NY 349 272)

Scales – Sharp Edge – Blencathra (100 – 105) (Atkinson Pike – Hallsfell Top – Gategill Fell – Blease Fell – Doddick Fell – Scales Fell) – Souther Fell (106) – Scales

Weather: Overcast, raining by the end.

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.

Bill Birkett counts the 6 separate tops on Blencathra as individual fells, so after ascending Sharp Edge we traversed the full Blencathra ridge and then crossed over onto Souther Fell.

The path starts from the car park above The White Horse, just off the A66 and immediately it is straight into a cruelly steep climb until the col is reached overlooking Mousthwaite Comb.