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Blencathra via Hall's Fell

Blencathra via Hall's Fell


Postby richardkchapman » Sat Apr 19, 2014 7:23 pm

Wainwrights included on this walk: Blencathra

Hewitts included on this walk: Blencathra

Date walked: 15/04/2014

Time taken: 5.25

Distance: 8.72 km

Ascent: 727m

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The weather forecast was about as good as I have ever seen it - zero chance of any hazards except sunburn, and fantastic visibility was promised. This could be the last time the whole family got to walk together, with Robert (hopefully) off to University next year, so it seemed only right to make it something special. And they don't come much more special then Blencathra via Hall's Fell, described by Wainwright as "positively the finest way to any mountain-top in the district".

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Parking at Threlkeld

The car park at Threlkeld was getting pretty full by the time we arrived, but we found space on the grass.

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The path from the car park

The path leads directly out of the top of the car park into a lovely wooded glen beside a stream.

ImageLooking across the valley at Clough Head

After emerging from the glen we turned right, across the front of Gategill Fell. Already there were good views, particularly of Clough Head that we had climbed a few days ago.

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The Mell Fells (Great and Little)

Great Mell Fell and Little Mell Fell presenting a perfectly-formed pair.

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First view of Hall's Fell

Before long we were crossing Gate Gill to arrive at the foot of Hall's Fell

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Hall's Fell, and summit

There were plenty of people about, mostly heading up the same way, but a few coming down, as we headed up the fellside.

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Blencathra summit, from base of Hall's Fell

Throughout the route the destination was visible ahead - no chance of getting lost on this path!

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Doddick Fell comes into view

Just before the start of the ridge proper (aka Narrow Edge), a fine view of the neighbouring ridge on Doddick Fell. Looks like a fine way up too.

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Things start to get serious

From the 2000 foot contour to the summit is the stretch that Wainwright describes as delightful. My family all agree with that judgement (though I must confess to finding it terrifying at times too - my head for heights is not good these days). No time for photos on that stretch - too busy trying to make sure that the dogs were not pushing anyone off, trying to stay calm and keep going upwards despite my instincts telling me to stay rooted to the spot, and trying not to watch the kids making it all look easy.

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View back down from the summit

The contrast as you arrive at the summit is amazing - one minute you are struggling up a narrow rocky ridge, the next you are standing on a grassy plain. It feels really fantastic to arrive safely at the top. Looking back, from the summit, the ridge is hidden until you are right on top of it.

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Playing at the top

The dogs still had energy to play at the top.

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Playing at the top

Not sure where the stick came from - no trees round here!

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Playing at the top

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Playing at the top

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Interesting clouds

Once at the top we took a while just wandering around, enjoying the summit and seeing the sights.

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Blencathra Summit

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Gategill Fell, from Hall's Fell Top

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More interesting clouds

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Tarn on the saddle

The dogs were delighted to find some water to jump in - there had been none on Hall's Fell up to this point.

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Brave souls on Sharp Edge

I promised I would show Thomas Sharp Edge - and this was about as close as I was prepared to go. He of course wanted to go along it straight away, but I told him if he wants to do it he will have to do it by himself, and not tell me about it until afterwards. I had a nasty experience on Sharp Edge a few years ago, and have struggled with narrow egdes ever since (getting up the Hall's Fell ridge today was quite an achievement for me).

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Saddle tarn, with Skiddaw

We wandered around the top for a while longer, not wanting to hurry down.

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The white cross

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Another view down Narrow Edge

One last visit to the summit cairn to look at the way we had come up, before setting off down

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View towards Doddick Fell

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Heading home towards Blease Fell

Walking along the top of Blencathra towards Blease fell feels like a ridge walk of its own. It's a lovely route down - easy gradients, pleasant underfoot, and lovely views in front of you the whole way.

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The easy route down

Sapphie went running towards one of these parasailers, and seemed rather surprised when he launched himself into the air - she barked at him furiously for quite a while.

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Up...

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Up...

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And away..

It did look like a fun way to travel for anyone withe the required head for heights - before long they were soaring above the summit after catching a few updrafts.

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Another easy descent method

The kids were having lots of fun on the way down, sliding, rolling and generally messing about.

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Threlkeld village

Soon our destination was in sight.

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Rainbow in the clouds

Didn't really come out in the photo, but there were rainbow colours in this cloud. Not seen that before.

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Footbridge in the glen

We returned back through the same wooded glen that we had set off through, and back to the car.

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At the Horse and Farrier, reviewing our route up

And finally, to the pub for some rehydration and a chance to review where we had been and reflect on a great day.

One of the best days I can remember on the fells. The report and the pictures really don't do it justice. Blencathra is truly a wonderful mountain.
Last edited by richardkchapman on Sat Nov 07, 2015 11:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
richardkchapman
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Re: Blencathra via Hall's Fell

Postby stevesey » Sat Apr 19, 2014 9:17 pm

My favourite Lake District top - compact but has everything - and if it's too short/compact you can always do Halls Fell and Sharpe Edge on the same day ;-)
stevesey
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Re: Blencathra via Hall's Fell

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Sun Apr 20, 2014 6:58 pm

Fantastic day out by the look of it Richard. Planning on heading up here in order to make the trip to mungrisedale common more paletable.
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johnkaysleftleg
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Location: County Durham

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