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A Bannerdale Round with a little twist

A Bannerdale Round with a little twist


Postby johnkaysleftleg » Tue Sep 25, 2012 10:28 pm

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

Hewitts included on this walk: Bannerdale Crags, Bowscale Fell

Date walked: 22/09/2012

Time taken: 5.5

Distance: 12 km

Ascent: 795m

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While looking at our bagging map I noticed that we had been somewhat neglecting the Northern Fells. Considering they are amongst the most accessible for those living in the North East of England I felt it was time to put this to rights.


Bannerdale Round.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



We arrived at the delightful village of Mungrisdale on a wonderful morning for wandering around the fells. A blue sky dotted with white fluffy clouds, a light breeze and a lovely autumnal chill to the air, perfect! :D

Our first target of the day was Souther fell. This is an unremarkable hill bereft of any great interest in itself but it does give access to some great views and possesses perhaps the best story of any fell in Lakeland.

For a full account of the “Ghost Army” of Souther Fell try this link.

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/paulrose.r/The%20Lake%20District/Haunted%20Lakeland/souther_fell.htm

Another notable aspect of Souther Fell is that the ascent from Mungrisdale described by Wainwright is no longer possible due to access problems. So to climb it from the village you have to walk South along the minor tarmac road till you pass the last enclosure and get on to the open fell side.

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The Eastern Fells from the way up Souther Fell

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Through the bracken up Souther Fell

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Enjoying the views to the Pennines


From here you have the option of backtracking to get to the ridge early or following a diagonal trod through the bracken up the South Eastern flank. We took the latter option enjoying the views on the steady climb before we emerged from the sea of ferns onto tussocky grass. The final stiff ascent onto the ridge was rewarded by a fantastic view of Blencathra rearing above Bannerdale Crags.

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Blencathra and Bannerdale Crags from Souther Fell

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View towards Bow Fell

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Sharp Edge


It was a bit wet underfoot as we traversed the top of the fell and made our way down to the bridge over the delightfully named Glendermackin River while enjoying what must be the best view of Sharp Edge there is. At this point all descriptions of this route I’ve read suggest a dreary trudge up White horse Bent but not fancying this we followed the path above the river around into Bannerdale, losing a bit of height before picking up a thin track through the bracken up to the old mine workings and onto the East Ridge.

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The River Glendermackin and Blencathra

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River Glendermackin

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Bannerdale Crags


We enjoyed lunch sat on a pile of slate before tackling the final steep ascent. This is a fine way to gain the summit, far better than the trudge up the other side, necessitating a little simple scrambling combined great views of the huge bowl of crags to your right. Once you top out Blencathra once again makes a welcome return to view along with the Northern Fells, and today at least, the Border hills of Scotland.

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Bannerdale Crags East Ridge

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Bannerdale Crags

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Looking back down the ridge

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Nicola and Grace get to the top of the ridge

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The "summit" from the top of the East Ridge

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Looking down into Bannerdale

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Blencathra from the high point of Bannerdale Crags

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Best pals on the summit

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Grace next to Bannerdale Crags summit cairn


With the hard work done the remainder of the walk was simple apart from a little bog hopping through the general soggy morass on the way to Bowscale Fell. We descended by the wide East Ridge taking in the East top (a Birkett) with views down to the beautiful Bowscale Tarn. The path on this route is a delight as it improves all the way till your walking on lush green springy turf on your way back to Mungrisdale.

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View down the crags

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Looking back to Bannerdale Crags

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View from Bowscale Fell summit

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Bowscale Tarn

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Cross Fell Ridge across the Eden Valley

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A sparkling River Glendermackin flowing through Bannerdale


This walk turned out to be a wonderful day out on a near perfect day weather wise and one I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend.
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johnkaysleftleg
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Location: County Durham

Re: A Bannerdale Round with a little twist

Postby ChrisW » Wed Sep 26, 2012 4:02 am

This is a real beauty JK, stunning photos of a wonderful part of the country, gives me a yearning for home :D
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Re: A Bannerdale Round with a little twist

Postby john923 » Wed Sep 26, 2012 9:05 pm

Another fine set of pics. It's certainly nice to have some sunny skies to look at after this week of storms. :D
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Re: A Bannerdale Round with a little twist

Postby Simo » Thu Sep 27, 2012 7:16 pm

Nice clear pics them JK, with an interesting variation of route ascending Bannerdale Crags.
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Re: A Bannerdale Round with a little twist

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Thu Sep 27, 2012 9:31 pm

ChrisW wrote:This is a real beauty JK, stunning photos of a wonderful part of the country, gives me a yearning for home :D


Thanks Chris, you'll have to have a holiday away from all that sun and get a bit of British clag in your lungs. :lol:

john923 wrote:Another fine set of pics. It's certainly nice to have some sunny skies to look at after this week of storms. :D


Thanks John. The sun didn't last long however :(

Simo wrote:Nice clear pics them JK, with an interesting variation of route ascending Bannerdale Crags.


Thanks Simo, it goes against the convention of not losing height unnecessarily but it was well worth a bit extra ascent.
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johnkaysleftleg
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Re: A Bannerdale Round with a little twist

Postby L-Hiking » Mon Oct 01, 2012 7:25 pm

Hi John

Some nice clear photos there, some pals and I were also in the area last week after playing cards in the pub all day on Monday we also managed a trip in the Northern Fells tackling Lonscale, Skiddawand Bakestall on Tuesday.

What a difference a day makes
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Re: A Bannerdale Round with a little twist

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:06 pm

L-Hiking wrote:Hi John

Some nice clear photos there, some pals and I were also in the area last week after playing cards in the pub all day on Monday we also managed a trip in the Northern Fells tackling Lonscale, Skiddawand Bakestall on Tuesday.

What a difference a day makes


You could tell it had been quite wet the week before as it was very soggy in places but it was a stunningly clear day. I've never had such a clear view towards the Pennines.

RTC wrote:Wonderful pictures, especially of Sharp Edge. I've still to do Souther Fell so the tip about access will be very useful if I ever get the chance to do it. Thanks.


Thanks RTC
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Re: A Bannerdale Round with a little twist

Postby garyhortop » Wed Oct 03, 2012 1:55 pm

Wow JK that looks like a really stunning walk and some superb photo's as well - I also really like the one of sharp edge! My step son is based in Lancaster and walk the lakes regulalry and always raves about the route savilable on Blencathra but I have not made it yet!! Will have to remedy that when we visit later in November!! :D
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Re: A Bannerdale Round with a little twist

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Fri Oct 05, 2012 8:14 am

garyhortop wrote:Wow JK that looks like a really stunning walk and some superb photo's as well - I also really like the one of sharp edge! My step son is based in Lancaster and walk the lakes regulalry and always raves about the route savilable on Blencathra but I have not made it yet!! Will have to remedy that when we visit later in November!! :D


Thanks Gary, Blencathra is truly a gem of a mountain, something for everybody.
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Re: A Bannerdale Round with a little twist

Postby colgregg » Sun Oct 14, 2012 11:04 pm

I have just done these fells today. I did like the look of the East ridge of Bannerdale for a more adventurous way up. However, as we were in the vicinity and the weather was good we headed off Souther and went up to Scales Tarn and across Sharp edge before cutting across to Bannerdale Crags then over to Bowscale Fell. My plan was to drop down to to Bowscale Tarn after visiting the summit but liked the look of your route back to Mungrisedale so took that instead. Pretty good choice it was too with excellent views to the East for the duration.
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Re: A Bannerdale Round with a little twist

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:25 am

colgregg wrote:I have just done these fells today. I did like the look of the East ridge of Bannerdale for a more adventurous way up. However, as we were in the vicinity and the weather was good we headed off Souther and went up to Scales Tarn and across Sharp edge before cutting across to Bannerdale Crags then over to Bowscale Fell. My plan was to drop down to to Bowscale Tarn after visiting the summit but liked the look of your route back to Mungrisedale so took that instead. Pretty good choice it was too with excellent views to the East for the duration.


I like a nice and easy finish to a walk and the East Ridge of Bowscale is certainly that. I also agree about the view East to the Pennines. Not many places you get that view in the Lakes quite so clearly.
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johnkaysleftleg
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Posts: 3121
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Location: County Durham

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