Walk : Blencathra via Scales Fell (2,847 feet) from Scales (behind the White Horse Inn)
Date : 25th July 2017
Weather : Thick mist, cool @ 15°C
Distance : 4.5 mile round trip
Time Taken : 1 hour 55 mins to summit, 4 hours in total
Make no mistake about it, Blencathra is a marvellous mountain, Alfred Wainwright wrote more about this one mountain (36 pages), spending months just on this one
topic and charting twelve different ways of climbing it. I have wanted to climb this for some while now, initially up the one of the “less adventurous” routes so that I could
have a close inspection of Sharp Edge before tackling it.
Despite this being a fantastic climb today – the pea soup mist prevented me from looking at the edge from the top of Foule Crag as I had intended. Sharp Edge along
with the other edges only became visible on the way down late afternoon as the mist began to lift, but this in no way detracted from a fabulous day out, and one to
remember for a long while
Apart from the lay-by parking you can see alongside the A66 there is also free overspill parking as you turn off at the Scales turning to head past the White Horse Pub
Walking from the Car park just past the Pub, and a wooden stair case that leads initially onto what is an additional patio area, and then onto a steep climb leading on to
the main path that cuts up the side of Scales Fell
Its quite steep, note the length of piping that trails up the second half of the slope after the fence, which people use to help pull themselves up !!!
Starting out on the main path
At this point we pause to assess whether or not the mist is lifting, and judging by view towards Clough Head, probably not
Higher still and the A66 is rammed with traffic in bound towards Keswick
The path rises moderately and twists and turns to assist with the steepness. At this point looking over towards Souther Fell
The path is well defined throughout and thankfully easy to follow in mist. At this point you should be able to see the massive bulk of Doddick and Halls Fells
All of a sudden, a break in the mist and a brief glimpse of Doddick Fell ridge
Further on up the path as it turns to cross the ridge of Scales Fell. A lot of drama going on under the mist
Further up on the shelf and a brief view of the neighbouring ridges
Then – the mist descends again with a vengeance as the path starts to zig-zag at around 2,000 feet
Further along … and is that the summit ??
No … not quite – still a little further to go – however much of the steepness has been encountered now and this climb becomes more of a gentle stroll
The path provides easy access to the edge of the escarpment with dramatic views – not long now !!!
At last – the summit trig point !!!
Team shot on the summit of Blencathra. As the picture hopefully depicts its just like a point in the sky with steep drops on either side. I think you should at this
point be able to see Keswick and all the North Western Fells – but not today. We stayed on the summit for at least an hour and it was extremely busy. I took a
detour across the “Saddle” of Blencathra to see if I could get a close up view of Sharp Edge from the top of Foule Crag, but no such luck
At this point I would normally include a 360 degree panoramic shot – but I`ll pass on that today
As we eventually started the journey back down, it appeared that the mist was slowly starting to lift
Yep – for sure we could now see in all its glory the ridge of Halls Fell, which if followed is the most direct route to the summit cairn. Will we get a view of Sharp Edge ?
Yes !!! – Sharp Edge with one or two climbers who have chose that route today
Rising up from the base of Scales Tarn to the start of Foule Crag– Sharp Edge is a rising arete of bare rock and officially rated as a Grade 1 scramble
From a distance I actually thought the guy at the back had a baby strapped to his back – but it was in fact his walking bag with a pinkish hood on top !!
The final “awkward bit” and the climber in front about to attempt Foule Crag gives an idea of the scale of drop
Then … off he sets out to scramble up the remaining 250 feet or so of Foule Crag, which in itself alone is some achievement. No safety ropes here !!!
Two shots of the “Saddle” taken within 5 minutes of each other on our descent give an indication of the swirling mist that was starting to lift finally
The ridges of Doddick Fell and Halls Fell
In the Distance Great Mell Fell and Little Mell Fell
Nearly down now and a clearer view of Clough Head than we had during our ascent
Back at the Car Park now and it seems that even “Wiggo” had a jaunt up the mountain today – but presumably not on his bike !!!
Quite typically as we journey back to Ambleside – clear skies and mist free. Blencathra in all its majesty. A damn fine mountain and one which I will no doubt
re-visit again and again. A thoroughly recommended day out – hopefully in clearer weather
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