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Blencathra Round

Blencathra Round


Postby Phooooey » Sat Dec 01, 2012 8:40 pm

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

Hewitts included on this walk: Bannerdale Crags, Blencathra, Bowscale Fell

Date walked: 01/12/2012

Time taken: 5.8

Distance: 16.4 km

Ascent: 994m

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Mungrisdale - Bowscale Fell - Bannerdale Crags - Mungrisdale Common - Blencathra (Hallins Fell) - Scale Fell - Souther Fell - Mungrisdale

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After a week or so off, contending with the Ulverston crowds for their lovely Dickensian Festival last weekend, it was time to head back to the fells and bag a few more summits before we close out 2012.
The forecast was good for the day and we knew we were headed for at least some snow on the tops, so geared up (apart from crampons) we set off from Mungrisdale village and followed a very icy path up the left hand side of the Tongue and up the long diagonal traverse to the col below Bowscale Fell summit.

A short hop up to the right saw us on our first summit of the day with views over to Carrock Fell & High Pike that we covered weeks earlier and on towards our ultimate destination of Blencathra and Bannerdale Crags.

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Damson on Bowscale Fell summit
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Skiddaw Range from Bowscale Fell
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John surveying route to Blencathra from Bowscale Fell summit

Bannerdale Crags was the next summit on our list and achieved by dropping back to the col and along the edge overlooking Bannerdale Beck.

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John heading to Bannerdale Crags from Bowscale Fell
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Looking down on Bannerdale Beck
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John and Damson on Bannerdale Crags summit
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John heading for foot of Blencathra
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And one of me !! (sporting last day of my Movember tash)
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Blencathra panorama from Bannerdale Crags

We dropped down to the 4 way hause below Blue Screes and headed out west on a thin track in search of the elusive Mungrisdale Common summit cairn. The track drifted north around the fallout of Blackhazel Beck where we left the path and headed out over frozen boggy ground across the common top. It was a good 10 minutes later when we saw any sign of a further track across the top of the common which headed towards Skiddaw. A small cairn denoted the top with views over Derwent.

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Damson on Mungrisdale Common summit below Skiddaw Range
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Derwent Water and surrounding fells from Mungrisdale Common
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John heading back to ascent of Blencathra (path can be seen on left of photo)

The path back along the common was far easier and clearer as we headed towards Atkinson Pike on our way to todays top summit. The ground was now white and had formed an icy crust making progress difficult.

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Quite a few on Sharp Edge today (from Blue Screes)


The ascent to Atkinson Pike from the top of Blue Screes was extremely slippery and partly vertigo inducing (never been particularly good at certain heights - I've only managed Sharp Edge once as a kid and vowed never to go there again) and made us both think of buying crampons for future expeditions. On reaching the top however, any feeling of dread disappeared as the short wander to the summit (Hallins Fell) opened up and the most spectacular views from the summit were captured. :D

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Contemplating how we get up Atkinson Pike
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Looking back down Atkinson Pike climb
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Blencathra summit from Atkinson Pike

And finally on the top !! :D

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Damson gets to the top first (as usual)
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Knowe Crags and Derwent Water from Blencathra summit
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Knowe Crags from Blencathra summit
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John & I on Blencathra summit
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Then joined by Damson in her "Joseph" coat
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Blencathra summit mini-panorama
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View down Scale Fell and our descent route towards Souther Fell (last ridge)
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Skiddaw Range from Blencathra

The way down followed the zig zags towards Scale Fell to the right of Scale Tarn with views across to Sharp Edge. There were plenty of people both succeeding and turning back round from the edge as we descended and if anyone wants to volunteer to take John up the ridge please shout now as I REALLY don't want to do it again !! :crazy:

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Looking back to Blencathra from our descent down Scale Fell
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And a zoom view
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Faceful of snow on way down
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Sharp Edge from Scale Fell side
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Zoom on Sharp Edge
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You can just make out a few people on the Edge
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View down to A66, Clough Head and St Johns in the Vale

From Scale Fell we crossed the little bridge of land across onto Souther Fell and across its full length to come down the Mungrisdale nose. A small detour for the last few 100m to pick up the road from a cordoned off path saw us back in the village and walking past the pub back to the car.

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Final destination - Souther Fell
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Cairn on Souther Fell looking back to Blencathra
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Bowscale Fell (far right), The Tongue (right), Bannerdale Crags (near centre) and Blencathra (far left) from Souther Fell
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Damson on Souther Fell
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Taking a breather on Souther Fell
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Damson on second Souther Fell summit

A GREAT walk !! Hard going in places but well worth the effort. To do it in winter adds a little something too !! :D
Last edited by Phooooey on Sun Dec 02, 2012 6:05 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: Blencathra Round

Postby garyhortop » Sun Dec 02, 2012 3:24 pm

Great report Phoooey and some really stunning photo's there! Loved the one of Damson and her technicolour dreamcoat on the summit! Makes me jealous that you have all that snow and hills and all we are currently getting on Dartmoor is more rain!! Hopefully we will have the forecast white stuff next week as we have a walk planned for next weekend! :D
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Re: Blencathra Round

Postby yellowbelly » Sun Dec 02, 2012 5:09 pm

Great walk and fabulous photos. Thanks for posting.
I was up Gategill Fell today, nearly made the top, but microspikes on innov8s not as good as crampons on winter boots! Love the photos of Damson. You'll soon finish the Wainwrights at this rate - good luck.
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Re: Blencathra Round

Postby ChrisW » Sun Dec 02, 2012 5:35 pm

Lovely walk Phooooey, spectacular scenery and beautiful weather and all done with a 70's porn star tash... :lol:
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Re: Blencathra Round

Postby Phooooey » Sun Dec 02, 2012 5:49 pm

Makes me jealous that you have all that snow

We were fortunate that the rain that fell last night didn't freeze the way everybody expected otherwise getting out of Barrow alone would have prevented our walk. Looks like this weeks weather plans on giving you your wish Gary ... forecasts a very cold and possibly white end to the week.

I was up Gategill Fell today, nearly made the top

I've not tried that one so far ! I've done Blencathra as a kid many times with my parents (including 2 winter walks where a number of us have stayed at Scale Tarn and refused to climb the edge and one where even my father turned back)
Climbing from the common was hard enough, never mind Gategill ! You must have a better head for heights than me ! :crazy:
I've got till next summer to complete the Wainwrights as all my friends and family have invited themselves on my last ! So I've sidelined Rannerdale Knotts to make it a touch easier on some of them and hopefully we'll get a nice sunny day for a champagne picnic overlooking Buttermere & Crummock Water.
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Re: Blencathra Round

Postby Phooooey » Sun Dec 02, 2012 5:54 pm

all done with a 70's porn star tash

Thanks Chris ! The tash has now gone and me and a few mates have made a little over a thousand pounds for our "Cardiac Risk in the Young" charity.
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Re: Blencathra Round

Postby ChrisW » Sun Dec 02, 2012 6:24 pm

Phooooey wrote:
all done with a 70's porn star tash

Thanks Chris ! The tash has now gone and me and a few mates have made a little over a thousand pounds for our "Cardiac Risk in the Young" charity.

:clap: :clap: Great achievement mate, well done :clap: :clap:
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Re: Blencathra Round

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:42 am

Great report and magnificent pics :clap:
It's good to here another fell walker shy away from Sharp edge, I though I was the only one who considered it far to dangerous :shock:
Oh and well done on the fund raising :clap:
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Re: Blencathra Round

Postby L-Hiking » Mon Dec 03, 2012 2:11 pm

Nice report of a wonderful walk on a perfect day. As regards Sharp Edge, I dodged it too last time round, it scares me :roll:
30 left to do now, so the complete round is now in sight.

Ha ha and I agree with Chris with the 70s porn style tash :lol:
Well done
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Re: Blencathra Round

Postby tenohfive » Mon Dec 03, 2012 4:36 pm

Looks lovely with some snow on the fells. I'd love to get back up that way and take in a few Wainwrights with the snow there, but shelling out for crampon compatible boots and crampons is a bit of a stretch right now.

And there's the small matter of lugging a 6 month old and my better half up there too. Will have to settle for reading these reports for another year I think. Great report Phooey.
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Re: Blencathra Round

Postby SusieThePensioner » Mon Dec 03, 2012 7:39 pm

A wonderful walk, Craig, and really enjoyed the report :D Fantastic photos on a fantastic day :thumbup:
I've never done Blencathra and obviously won't be now so sorry, I can't help get John up Sharp Edge :lol: :lol:

We've just come back from Ullswater and were in Keswick on Saturday :D
Blencathra2.jpg
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Re: Blencathra Round

Postby Phooooey » Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:39 pm

Nice to hear it's not just me who doesn't like Sharp Edge. :roll: I'm definitely a walker and not a mountaineer, and probably getting worse as I get older. My old man is giving me his crampons as he isn't expecting to use them next summer for Rannerdale Knotts :lol: so I may try a few more winter wanders over the Christmas period.
I'm pretty sure you can see John & I on the top of Susie's photo. :lol: :lol:
Plans are for 6 North North Western Fells around Ling & Sale Fell, Graystones and Lords Seat ridge for this Saturday. Not expecting to use crampons yet but who knows what the week will bring. That will be 3 off my list and 6 off John's.
As usual, thanks for all your lovely messages. look forward to reading all your reports!!
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Re: Blencathra Round

Postby colgregg » Tue Dec 04, 2012 4:51 pm

Great pics. I must say I enjoyed my trip up sharp edge but certainly wouldn't entertain it it wet or icy conditions.
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Re: Blencathra Round

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Tue Jan 08, 2013 1:53 pm

Well done Phooooey! :clap:

That's Damsons coat paying for it'self :lol:
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Re: Blencathra Round

Postby SusieThePensioner » Tue Jan 08, 2013 6:37 pm

CONGRATULATIONS CRAIG!! :clap: Well done on runner up for December :thumbup:
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