A week in the Lake District! In some ways I was dreading it - tearing ourselves away from the relative safety of the Highlands and straying into the Covid Zone, and People, both of which were terrifying in their own way... But it would be nice to see my parents (who we hadn't seen since Christmas) and also Malky's folks who happened to be staying just down the road.
We had several ideas for the way down, and settled for a loop from Mungrisedale in the North of the Lakes, as it was kind of on the way. Despite being busy, we managed to get parked without too much trouble - possibly because it wasn't very early!
We didn't bother checking the map and followed the obvious path along the valley floor, towards imaginatively named The Tongue
Looking up the glen towards Bannderdale Crags - hopefully we would make it up there later on!
As the path started bending towards the wrong glen we realised that we probably should have checked the map Fortunately this is the Lake District and there are paths everywhere, so we were able to follow a small path which led us onto the track we should have been on. This led us up the glen towards Bowscale Fell
Looking back - the track had climbed gradually taking the worst out of the ascent
As we reached the end of the track a vague path continued, however we had now got to the business part of the Up. The path helped us avoid the worst of the heather but didn't do anything to stop it being steep!
However, we were making progress, and as we climbed out onto the ridge we were hit by the reason we had avoided the walk up the ridge from the start - some pretty strong winds! We made a short diversion towards Tarn Crags which gave us the view down to Bowscale Tarn
Carrock Fell - we had considered going there today, and it definitely looks like it would be worth the effort another day
From here we followed a much better path which led us towards the summit
Finally at the summit we could see across to Blencathra and Sharp Edge. Awesome
Bannerdale Crags, and further south where the weather looked worse. It seemed we had made a good choice!
Summit of Bowscale Fell
Happy to be out
After a short breather we followed the path across the plateau towards Bannerdale Crags - there was so little ascent involved here that I would be able to manage a second hill. Quite a feat for me at the moment
Down the glen towards Souther Fell (a possible third hill - a pipe dream surely?!)
Looking back to Bowscale Fell - we had covered the ground easily as the going was good!
Ahead the final climb to Bannerdale Crags. My chest had tightened up so we decided to use the shelter to have a break - even without an extra hill I still needed to get back from here!
I loved the crags around the top of the glen - the shape was just kind of pleasing to the eye
We finally made it to the summit, and the views to Sharp Edge were pretty awesome
Summit of Bannerdale Crags
Or is that the summit?!
We had a nosy at this ridge - looked like it might be fun for an ascent another time!
The crags that give the hill its name (possibly)
Looking back to Bowscale Fell
We followed the edge of the cliffs - there was a faint path for a time but it sort of disappeared somewhere along the way (had we found the only pathless ground in the whole area!? )
Finally the bridge, and a path!
From here we had 2 options - the path down the glen which would take us the flatt(ish) way back to the car, or to go over Souther Fell (adding about 200m extra ascent). Given that my Mum had messaged to say they were stuck in traffic we figured we had better go over the hill - we had plenty of time afterall
I was glad we did, because as soon as we crossed the bridge and began the climb we got some stunning views of Sharp Edge!
The path on the left that we could have taken
Blencathra & Sharp Edge
The ascent was relatively gradual, so slow plodding was easy enough. Soon we could see down towards Threlkeld and the northern end of the Helvellyn range
Height gained = more Sharp Edge views!
The top of Souther Fell was long and lumpy with a few soggy sections
Bannerdale Crags & Blencathra
Summit of Souther Fell at last!
That descent route vetoed
Path leads us down
I was pretty knackered by now - the path got steep towards the end and there was a section where we ended up heading the wrong way and had to climb back up The sting in the tail was a sign saying no entry to a field that we had to cross a corner of to get back to the road. The field had nothing in it and the sign was very faded so we didn't notice it....
It started raining as we reached the car - timed to perfection! It seemed my parents had escaped the traffic jam so we headed to Langdale for a shower and some dinner. One of my biggest walks, Post-Covid; we hoped that it would be the start of good things
Next day - struggle up Loughrigg
This board helps you to share your walking route experiences in England and Wales... or overseas.
Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.