Monday 29 August 2011

Blencathra - A Week in Cumbria - Day 3.

After an early morning walk aroung High Stand Wood, we set off for a day on the Fells.

Blencathra via Sharp Edge and Halls Fell Ridge.

Clough Head from Scales Fell, Blencathra

Our walk was mostly sheltered from the strong north west wind, on a cold but bright day. The route was the classic Sharp Edge/Halls Fell Ridge, which we have done before, but not for several years.

Bannerdale Crags, Bowscale Fell and Souther Fell
from Scales Fell, Blencathra

Freddie also picked up a couple of geocaches on route as well. We had lunch at Scales Tarn, the dogs having a brief swim.

Sharp Edge, Blencathra

Sharp Edge, Blencathra

Jim and Freddie, Sharp Edge, Blencathra

The scramble over Sharp Edge was fun, with a bit of exposure thrown in for good measure. We wrung every inch out of it by scrambling over every little pinnacle, getting odd looks from those taking both the wimps path and those taking the more usual route around the most sticky up bits! (I refer to the wimps path as one which follows just to the east of the crest - the real wimps were in the souvenir shops in Keswick).

Looking back down Sharp Edge, Blencathra

There was an occasional gust of wind which if badly timed was quite scary. The dogs managed the ridge with no problems. There was a little bit of scrabbling to gain traction on the steep slabs at the end of the ridge, but nothing which put them off.

Sharp Edge, Blencathra

Skiddaw, from Atkinson Pike, Blencathra

Derwentwater, and Knowe Crags from Halls Fell Top, Blencathra

The views from the top were great, but the wind threatening to blow us back down to Scales

Freddie, Jim and the dogs at the Top of Halls Fell Ridge, Blencathra

Halls Fell Ridge was a bit scramblier than I remember, but perhaps it was because we were still in "stand on the pointiest bit" mode!

Hal, Rafe and Jim, Halls Fell Ridge, Blencathra

South and west from Halls Fell Ridge, Blencathra

We had a second lunch, out of the wind, just off the ridge, amongst lovely ling in full bloom. 

West from Halls Fell, Blencathra

Doddick Gill, Blencathra

We followed the fell wall back to the start, getting a bit of a shock around Doddick Farm, where the fell wall took a sharp left turn back up the fell and we were forced into an unexpected bit of extra ascent. I'm sure we just cut across the field last time!!

Rafe, Scaley Beck, Blencathra

Route:  Car park by A66 at Scales (NY344269), footpath above Scales Beck, contouring around Scales Fell, Scales Tarn, Sharp Edge, Atkinson Pike (Birkett 29, 845m), Halls Fell Top (Blencathra, Wainwright 14, Birkett 21, 868m), descent via Halls Fell Ridge, fell wall to Sales and start.

Statistics:  Distance:  9.2 km  Ascent:  830m  Time:  4 hours

We had a coffee (Freddie had something cold and fizzy) and cake at the Lodge in the Vale at Legburthwaite, before returning to the campsite. As we drove back, past Blencathra, the cloud had come down over the mountain and the rain had begun in earnest.

An evening walk around High Stand Woods by Englethwaite Hall, for the dogs, and an early night followed.

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