Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Blencathra the fun way

These set of 5 peaks looked tempting, and within striking distance, so with a slightly lower forecast percentage of rain we set off to the North.

Difficulty: 7
Walkers: Tim, Caroline
10:27, 0.0km 0h00 0m, Start (229)
11:39, 3.7km 1h11 328m, Souther Fell (522, Wainwright)
14:24, 11.7km 3h57 923m, Blencathra (868, Wainwright, Hewitt)
15:14, 14.2km 4h46 936m, Mungrisdale Common (633, Wainwright)
15:57, 16.8km 5h30 1022m, Bannerdale Crags (683, Wainwright, Hewitt)
16:35, 18.7km 6h07 1097m, Bowscale Fell (702, Wainwright, Hewitt)
17:59, 22.6km 7h31 1113m, End (230)

We parked at Mungrisdale, in the car park outside the village hall.  We were aiming to cross the river at a footbridge to the south of the car park, but it was still missing after flood damage from a few years earlier, so we walked back up past the car and over the road bridge and pass the Mill Inn.

We walked along, before finding the (fairly disused) path up the fellside.  The views to the south saw that rare blue sky phenomenon!

Now at the top of Souther Fell, not a particularly remarkable summit, but pretty expansive views.  Somewhat worryingly that blue sky wasn't anywhere to be seen.


Now at the south end of Souther Fell, we could see the shape of the walk to come - dipping down and then following the left side of the valley up towards the distant top.  Which was clear of cloud!

Alongside Scales Beck, with Scales Tarn just over the ridge.

Panorama at Scales Tarn.  Blencathra opposite, and there are two ways up.  Now I'd done my research and given the lack of wind & rain I was determined to give Sharp Edge (on the right) a go - Caroline passed, choosing to go up the left path.

It was a sharp as they said!  Very enjoyable, if I had the nerves to take them I could think of some girls that would have loved this.  I did overtake the group ahead - two kids ambling along, and the father patiently helping his wife along.  I felt for him.

Views looking back down. 

The fun bit, where mere walking along balancing with sheer drops on either side turns into how close can I get my face to this rock.

Blencathra, with a commanding position looking south.

Feeling flushed with our successes, and the lack of rain, we took a detour towards Keswick, to get the view over to Derwent Water.

Coming back up towards Blencathra again. 

And this is where we did our typical 'get the other Wainwrights as we're close'. This is Mungrisdale Common, a nice wander over from Blencathra.

And now back up to Bannerdale Crags.

From here we followed the ridge around, the ground getting soggier as we went.

There was still grass in evidence, sticking up from the main ingredient that the hillside was made from.

Finally we splashed over to Bowscale Fell.  I think it's fairly conclusive evidence that I tend to walk faster than Caroline.

Wandering down back to Mungrisdale and the car the green valley floor opened out as we picked our way through the ferns.  Which were soaking wet.



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