Forecast was not good, but MWIS were saying least rain NE Lakes (esp later) so we headed to Mungrisdale for a Souther Fell, Bannerdale Crags, Bowscale Fell circuit.
Parking just outside the village we headed off to ford the river Glenderamackin and headed up to Souther Fell - given how dry the Lakes have been recently, and the fact it is a sign posted path, fording the river was surprisingly difficult (one of our group only had "approach shoes" on) going back to the bridge by the village hall would have probably been quicker.
Initial views were good and we gained the Souther Fell summit before the drizzle increased and waterproofs were needed. Once on the summit ridge the wind got up as well. Looking across to Bannerdale Crags I pointed out the ridge by the mine workings that were were going to ascend (it does look daunting from that angle).
After Souther Fell we headed off into the valley in in the hope that the the wind/rain would ease and we could find a lunch spot before heading up again. Alas, whilst the wind dropped in the valley the rain eased to a persistent drizzle - so we had a quick and damp lunch stop hear the mine workings, before heading up to the ridge. There is no marked path between the valley and the mine workings - so I was relying on others walk reports (and GPX files) just after the small stream a quad bike/2 person sized track of dead bracken appeared on the left so we followed that.
Although looking like a mini Sharpe Edge from the distance, the ridge is wide enough and has a nice, tight, zig zag most of the way up with only the occasional hand hold needed (in the wet). Shape Edge itself was nowhere to be seen in the clouds that were smothering Blencathra.
Once on top we did get a dry spell between Bannerdale Crags and Bowscale Fell - but form the then on the rain got very slowly heavier as we descended (at least the wind got lighter the lower we got). The descent is gentle to start with. then increasingly steep, until the path throws you out on the road. Not a stile in sight (again) and we had to hop over the fence to reach the road (despite coming off a quite eroded path).
Just as after we got to the car the rain really started to increase and turned into a full scale downpour as we drove along the A66 towards Keswick - so much for MWIS!
Viewranger track here: http://my.viewranger.com/track/details/MTE1MTA4MA==
And photos here: https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/106459429880001195754/albums/6063823267078843665
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