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Bowscale, Bannerdale and Souther - no lesser neighbours

Bowscale, Bannerdale and Souther - no lesser neighbours

Postby old danensian » Thu Jun 09, 2011 9:24 am

Wainwrights included on this walk: Bannerdale Crags, Bowscale Fell, Souther Fell

Hewitts included on this walk: Bannerdale Crags, Bowscale Fell

Date walked: 02/06/2011

Time taken: 3.5

Distance: 11 km

Ascent: 630m

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At 9.30 on a Thursday morning, after a 200 mile drive, the Mungrisdale metropolis was heaving. Well, that was a half-term misjudgement and a half. Still, the couple of dozen cars that must have constituted the local “rush minute” couldn’t have disgorged that many walkers, so there was still the prospect of a reasonably uncrowded round of Bowscale Fell, Bannerdale Crags and Souther Fell.

From the village eyes were drawn to the long east ridge of Bowscale Fell, and, apart from the first steep four or five hundred feet, it didn’t disappoint. Where the road from Mungrisdale forks to Caldbeck or Hutton a lane runs off to the left past the back of a couple of cottages and to a gate. Just beyond the gate a path immediately strikes steeply to the right and up through the bracken to reach the ridge above Raven Crags.

East ridge of Bowscale Fell from Mungrisdale

Carrock Fell - north from Bowscale Fell

Beyond, three or four well-spaced cairns on the skyline ahead mark the slight curve upwards as it rises gently to the summit. None gave the frustration of being false tops and the slope beyond each was a gentle prospect rather than an abrupt shock.

North east from Bowscale Fell

Summit of Bowscale Fell with Blencathra behind

Then, with Bannerdale Crags just a mile or so ahead, the stroll across dodged some boggy patches before hugging the rim of the crags that fall away to the left.

Looking down Bannerdale

Another open, grassy top was reached in a matter of fifteen minutes or so with the backdrop of Blencathra, Sharp Edge and Foule Crag to gaze at while resting on the soft turf: bristles moved as if on a conveyor belt across the skyline in stark contrast to the solitude here. Mind you, the string of brightly-clad walkers crawling up The Tongue above Bannerdale suggested that the quietness wouldn’t last long.

North east from summit of Bannerdale Crags

With no need for urgency I meandered across the top to descend the curiously named White Horse Bent. There might have been a path somewhere, but in the end a bee-line was made for the footbridge across the Glenderamackin, then another gentle amble up Souther Fell amidst the cotton grass tufts.

Looking north down the Glenderamackin valley between Bannerdale Crags and Souther Fell

From its top the view westwards displays impressive ridges – and not just those coming down from Blencathra. The east ridge of Bannerdale Crags is no less impressive or alluring than its imposing neighbour.

Summit of Souther Fell with Bannerdale Crags and Blencathra behind

Cotton grass on Souther Fell

Dropping steeply down back to Mungrisdale the knees and toes got the predictable hammering for a while, but at least it didn’t go on for ages, and the zig-zag detour at the bottom to cross the beck and get back to the car was pleasant rather than frustrating.

Almost three and a half hours out and I felt I’d had a satisfactory stretch of the legs after four months away from the hills. The three fells crossed were ones that left you feeling you’d achieved something. While they were significantly higher than Little and Great Mell Fells in the distance and the surrounding stretches of the Eden valley, you knew you were in the company of grander things – even if Skiddaw remained hidden in cloud all day.
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old danensian
Posts: 433
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Re: Bowscale, Bannerdale and Souther - no lesser neighbours

Postby susanmyatt » Fri Jun 10, 2011 7:04 am

An underestimated area with great views, thanks :D
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