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Blencathra (via Sharp Edge)

Blencathra (via Sharp Edge)


Postby foggieclimber » Thu Jul 11, 2013 9:04 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: 11/07/2013

Time taken: 5.8

Distance: 18.1 km

Ascent: 1030m

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Yesterday lunchtime I decided that I fancied a few days walking in the Lake District. I booked some last-minute accommodation via Late Rooms and headed-off a few hours later after finishing work. A real last-minute plan :D.

Circa six hours later, I arrived in the North Lakes and spent last night in a nice small hotel overlooking Bassenthwaite Lake.

This morning, I decided to ascend Blencathra. A quick look at the map showed five Wainwrights that could potentially be linked together in a circuit. Even better, this route would allow an ascent of Blencathra via Sharp Edge.

I drove to Mungrisdale and parked on a grassy verge a few hundred metres from the Mill Inn.

On leaving the car, just after 09:00, it was already 20ºC :shock:.

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

From the car, I made my way along to the Mill Inn.

The Mill Inn, Mungrisdale:
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While standing at the Mill Inn, I spotted two birds directly above me that I think were possibly Ospreys. (There was a sign a few miles back advising of Ospreys on Bassenthwaite Lake)

Osprey?:
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Osprey?:
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From the Inn, I double-backed a short distance along the upper road and climbed over a gate to enter a field. Once in the field, I made my way across to the corner of the field where I climbed over a fence to reach the start of the South-West ridge. On the other side of the fence was a sign advising, “There is not a Public Footpath through this Field. Please Keep Out.” I’m guessing therefore that you are not supposed to walk through this field :roll:.

Initial ascent of South-West ridge of Souther Fell:
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Once on the ridge, I followed a narrow path through the bracken which widened a few hundred metres further on.

Looking back to the Mill Inn, Mungrisdale:
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Once onto the wide track, the ascent of Souther Fell was straight-forward apart from the incredible heat.

Ascending Souther Fell:
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Looking across to Blencathra and Bannerdale Crags from summit of Souther Fell:
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From the summit of Souther Fell, I traversed the hill taking a wee detour to visit a large cairn.

Large cairn on Souther Fell:
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While descending from Souther Fell, I got my first real view of Sharp Edge :).

Looking across to Sharp Edge from Souther Fell (zoom):
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After descending circa 100m, I reached a good track leading to Scales Tarn.

On the track below Scales Fell leading to Scales Tarn:
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Looking towards Sharp Edge:
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En-route to Sharp Edge, my mind was pretty-much focused on Sharp Edge, that is until I spotted a bikini-clad babe sitting at the edge of Scales Tarn. Not a sight you see often on the hills!

Sharp Edge (zoom):
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From Scales Tarn, I made my way up to the start of Sharp Edge.

Looking back to Scales Tarn and across to easy route to summit of Blencathra:
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The initial scrambling can all be avoided via bypass paths. However, I didn’t see the point in taking the scrambling route, and then avoiding the scrambling, so I stuck to the crest of the ridge.

The start of Sharp Edge:
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Initial scrambling on Sharp Edge:
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I began scrambling with my large camera case strapped to my chest but soon ended up putting it into my rucksack as it was restricting the view of my feet - it is good to see where you are putting your feet when scrambling. As a result, I had to stop several times on Sharp Edge to get the camera out of the rucksack. I was in no hurry.

Looking back to Scales Tarn from Sharp Edge:
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Sticking to the crest, the ridge narrows:
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Sharp Edge is a really nice Grade I scramble. The rock is however fairly polished in places – I wouldn’t fancy doing this ridge when wet.

On Sharp Edge:
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Looking back to another scrambler on Sharp Edge:
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Looking back to the most exposed section of Sharp Edge:
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Final ascent of Sharp Edge:
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Follow the gully:
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Looking back along Sharp Edge from the top:
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Looking back along Sharp Edge from the top:
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On reaching the top of Sharp Edge, I got the camera back out and proceeded to the summit of Blencathra. I was surprised to see so few people at the summit of this excellent hill.

Trig survey marker at the summit of Blencathra:
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Looking towards Knowe Crags from the summit of Blencathra:
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From the summit of Blencathra, I made my way across to the 845m top and then after a short descent, made my way across to Mungrisdale Common.

Heading back towards the 845m top:
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A cross:
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While Blencathra is an outstanding hill, Mungrisdale Common isn’t in my opinion “a hill”. I’m not sure why Wainwright decided to make Mungrisdale Common a Wainwright. According to the Database of British Hills it only has a drop of 2m !!!

Heading out to Mungrisdale Common:
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As I walked across to Mungrisdale Common, I ended up covered in hundreds of midge. I found this really surprising given it was sunny and very hot. Normally the wee bandits don’t like the sun.

Looking towards Skiddaw from the “summit” of Mungrisdale Common:
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I didn’t spend any length of time at Mungrisdale Common before making my way back and on to the next peak of the day, Bannerdale Crags.

Looking back to Blencathra:
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Heading for Bannerdale Crags:
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Sharp Edge from Bannerdale Crags (zoom):
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Blencathra from the summit of Bannerdale Crags:
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Looking towards Bowscale Fell from the summit of Bannerdale Crags:
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From Bannerdale Crags, I skirted round the top of the crags before picking up the main path leading out to Bowscale Fell.

Bannerdale Crags:
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Looking back to Bannerdale Crags:
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Bowscale Fell:
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By the time I reached the summit of Bowscale Fell, I was really feeling the heat and my water was almost finished. A quick check of the map confirmed that I had only circa 3km to go to get back to the starting point.

Looking back towards Blencathra from the summit of Bowscale Fell:
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The descent from Bowscale Fell was mostly straight-forward following a nice, wide track.

Bannerdale Crags, Blencathra and Bowscale Fell from the North-East top of Bowscale Fell:
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Descent towards Mungrisdale:
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The final few hundred metres of descent was however fairly horrible – a steep path down through high bracken.

Steep descent through the bracken to Mungrisdale:
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Always good to finish a walk at a pub :D.
It was 27ºC in Mungrisdale - this probably explains why I was feeling the heat on the hill.

Really impressed with Blencathra. A cracking hill!
Last edited by foggieclimber on Thu Jul 11, 2013 9:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
foggieclimber
 
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Re: Blencathra (via Sharp Edge)

Postby L-Hiking » Thu Jul 11, 2013 9:18 pm

Good to see you south of the border....cracking pictures of Sharp Edge :clap:
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L-Hiking
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Re: Blencathra (via Sharp Edge)

Postby colgregg » Thu Jul 11, 2013 9:28 pm

Great report on a fantastic walk. One bikini calad babe! I encountered four at Scale Force ( accompanied by several lads) . I took my pic of the fall and swiftly moved on. It was atad ovewhelming for an old man ater a 10 mile hike :o
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Re: Blencathra (via Sharp Edge)

Postby stevesey » Fri Jul 12, 2013 10:50 pm

Where's the photo of the Bikini clad babe! ;-)

Good route - have done Sharpe Edge several times - but not the others so pencilling it in for my normal September week.
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Re: Blencathra (via Sharp Edge)

Postby blueyed » Fri Jul 12, 2013 11:53 pm

oh looks like we might have met over there, I am just going to submit my report in a minute :)
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blueyed
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Re: Blencathra (via Sharp Edge)

Postby simon-b » Sun Jul 14, 2013 5:06 pm

Great photos from an excellent day out, FC. I did exactly the same route in May. Mungrisdale and Souther Fell make a really good approach to Sharp Edge, and returning to idyllic Mungrisdale via those last two Wainwrights completes a very nice round. Probably a superior route to the usual walk to Sharp Edge from Scales. As for Mungrisdale Common, Wainwright himself wasn't enthusiastic about it, and recommended that people don't waste time going there! You do get a nice peep through a gap to the hills beyond Derwent Water, en route from Blencathra to the common, though.
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