Blencathra - 23rd August 2007
Date 23rd August 2007 Description Blencathra
Start Point Scales A66 Layby Peaks Climbed Blencathra 868m
Total Time 5hrs 47min    
Walking Time 3hrs 35min    
Stopped Time 2hrs 12min    
Distance 7.67 miles    
Moving Average 2.2 mph    
Elevation at Start 230 metres Temperature 22°C
Total Ascent 903 metres Weather Sunny
Max Elevation 868 metres Walking With Mark

Scales - Mousthwaite Comb - Scales Beck - Sharp Edge - Foule Crag - Atkinson Pike - Blencathra - Gategill Fell Top - Blease Fell - Gategill Fell Top - Blencathra - Halls Fell Ridge - Scales

We decided on a walk up Blencathra only the day before. The weather forecast was excellent. We parked the car at the layby on the A66 opposite the White Horse Inn. The first part of the walk was via the small road that heads towards Mungrisdale. At the sheepfold further down the road we turned off in the direction of Mousthwaite Comb. It was then a steep climb to the slopes of Scales Fell. The path eventually follows the River Glenderamackin to Scales Beck. There were great views to Sharp Edge along this route. Scales Beck flows from Scales Tarn which is at the foot of Sharp Edge.

There is quite a stiff climb by the side of Scales Beck to Scales Tarn but the scenery is out of this world. We paused by the side of Scales Tarn before ascending Sharp Edge taking in what we were about to attempt. It looked absolutely awesome. Then off we set across the rocky edge. We did not walk the edge all the way as there were sections of scrambling to undertake. The rocks were very worn in places making foot and hand holds few and far between. The rocks were slippy in places. This would have been a difficult climb if it had been in wet or icy conditions. I suggest that the average walker should tackle Sharp Edge in dry conditions. The experience of walking across the edge was fantastic. The last section is a steep climb up Foule Crag. It is not too long though before one arrives at the top. The views back down along Sharp Edge and to Scales Tarn were great - we could also see where they had come from!!!

After a short hike following the ridge we arrived at the summit of Blencathra. A full 360 degree panoramic view of the Lakeland Fells can be enjoyed from the summit including views to the Scottish Hills and the Solway Firth. We continued our walk along the summit ridge to Gatesgill Fell Top and Blease Fell. From Blease Fell there are great views to Keswick, Derwentwater, Newlands Horseshoe, Grasmoor, Scafell Range, Coniston Fells as well as Helvellyn. We retraced our steps back to Blencathra summit.

Our descent was via Halls Fell Ridge. This was quite steep in places and very rocky. Some scrambling was also required. Quite a dramatic walk/scramble but not as technically difficult as the ascent of Sharp Edge. The path ends at Gategill near Threlkeld. There is a good path back to Scales that means you do not have to walk along the A66. The path crosses Doddick Gill then ascends steeply for a short distance before heading to Scaley Beck. To cross Scaley Beck there is a short scramble on either side of the beck. Once this has been achieved it is only a short distance back to Scales. This was an excellent walk in lovely sunny conditions. Next time I want to attempt the whole Blencathra Group to include all the Wainwrights from Mungrisdale.

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Reference Books Used

The Lake District - North & Central - 15 Classic Walks by John Watson (Walks of Discovery)
Maps Used
OL5 Explorer - The English Lakes (North Eastern Area)
White Horse Inn - Scales
Path to Mousthwaite Comb
Mousthwaite Comb
Sharp Edge from slopes of Scales Fell
Zooming in to Sharp Edge
Scales Beck
Scales Tarn with Sharp Edge
Scales Tarn and start of Sharp Edge
Zooming in to walkers on Sharp Edge
Scales Tarn from start of Sharp Edge
The start of Sharp Edge
Which way to go?
Scrambling across the "Edge"
Looking back to start of "Edge"
Scrambling on Sharp Edge
Sharp Edge and Foule Crag
Sharp Edge and Foule Crag
Looking back to one of the tricky bits
Scramling across the well worn rocks
Another "testing" part of the ridge
Another "testing" part of the ridge
Start of the ascent of Foule Crag
Looking back to Sharp Edge from Foule Crag
Scales Tarn from Foule Crag
Sharp Edge from Foule Crag
Sharp Edge from Foule Crag
Sharp Edge & Scales Tarn from Foule Crag
Sharp Edge & Scales Tarn from path to Blencathra
Sharp Edge from path to Blencathra
Sharp Edge & Scales Tarn from Blencathra
Me and Mark at the summit of Blencathra
Mungrisdale Common with Scottish Hills and Solway Firth in the backgound from Blencathra Summit
Bakestall, Binsey, Little Calva & Great Calva from Blencathra Summit
Derwentwater and Gategill Fell Top from Blencathra Summit with numerous Lakeland Fells in the distance
Blencathra Trig Point & Summit with Skiddaw in the distance
Skiddaw from Gategill Fell Top Summit
Blencathra from Gategill Fell Top Summit
Looking back to Gategill Fell Top
Keswick from Blease Fell Summit
Grasmoor & Newlands Horseshoe from Blease Fell
Gategill Fell Top from Blease Fell Summit
Binsey, Little Calva, Great Calva & Knott from Blease Fell Summit
Gategill Fell Top from Blease Fell Summit
Looking down onto Halls Fell Ridge from Blencathra Summit
Descending Halls Fell Ridge
Care needed on Halls Fell Ridge
Looking down Halls Fell Ridge
Looking back up to rocky section of Halls Fell Ridge
Looking back up to rocky section of Halls Fell Ridge
Further down Halls Fell Ridge
Halls Fell Ridge
Nearly at the bottom of Halls Fell Ridge
Doddick Gill and Blencathra
Scaley Beck and Blencathra

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