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Blencathra via Sharp Edge
by The English Alpinist » Mon Oct 03, 2016 5:46 pm
Wainwrights included on this walk: Blencathra
Hewitts included on this walk: Blencathra
Date walked: 02/10/2016
Time taken: 2.75
Distance: 7.3 km
Ascent: 725m4 people think this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
This was a special walk for me for two reasons. It was my first climb in the Lake District since completing my Wainwrights in Winter campaign on Good Friday, March 2016. Also, the pics herein represent the 'before and after' a section 2 of the mental health act where I am not ashamed to admit I spent 28 days in a psychiatric ward, though that's probably enough information on that. Prior to going in there I had visited St Johns in the Vale (bottom 2 pics), and 3 days after getting out I made a point of getting out for a walk. I can tell you that after a month of claustrophobia and almost complete lack of liberty, the outside - real - world is absolute heaven. If anything can restore sanity it is a day such as this in the hills. I chose Blencathra because it was one of my early expeditions on the W in W, where I got repulsed by 70mph wind on the first attempt. Today could not have been more of a contrast. That makes 2 out of 3 successes for Blencathra, which is okay for this fortress of a mountain. An absolute classic of the Lakes, all the more so for doing it via Sharp Edge (which I didn't feel like flirting with on the winter visit). It's good to be back!
It's been many years since I've done Sharp Edge, and fears of it proved unfounded. I remember feeling precariously perched on sloping slab with a death drop on each side, and echoing the sentiments of another walker that day: "I'm ****ing myself here!". However, today it seemed a piece of cake. Maybe I'm toughened by my winter forays, or perhaps it's because Sharp Edge holds no fears whatsoever compared to the inside of a Burnley psychiatric ward. None whatsoever. A magnificent experience, the ultimate in liberation. Whatever life throws at you, a mountain is a mountain. At this time of day (5pm) in early October, I found I was the only person on it.
The only hitch in an otherwise perfect little walk was losing the footpath on the lower part of Doddick Fell. I found myself wading through bracken to reach the bottom, but no matter, a satisfying day was had and it was a pleasure to be doing a sensibly short circuit in comparison to some of those W in W adventures I had. A 3-hour walk is so much more civilized than an 8-hour one, especially without wind, rain or hail.
by hooter2014 » Mon Oct 03, 2016 6:41 pm
by simon-b » Mon Oct 03, 2016 10:53 pm
by dav2930 » Tue Oct 04, 2016 6:11 pm
I like Wainwright's remark about Sharp Edge: 'The sight of it at close quarters is sufficient to make a beholder about to tackle it forget all other worries, even a raging toothache.'
Nice to know the hills are always there, whatever life throws at us!
by rockhopper353 » Thu Oct 06, 2016 7:52 pm
I'm just getting back into walking more seriously again and you have inspired me, I did Blencathra via sharp edge back in the 90's, a group of us from work went up to the lakes for 4 days and that was our first walk, very memorable but like you on your previous walk I was crapping it going over sharp edge having only been used to bimbling around the peaks! Great photos by the way.
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- Joined: Sep 20, 2016
by The English Alpinist » Thu Oct 06, 2016 11:40 pm
by johnkaysleftleg » Fri Oct 07, 2016 5:51 pm
by trailmasher » Sat Oct 08, 2016 12:16 pm
by ChrisW » Fri Oct 14, 2016 5:48 pm