Scales Tarn and Souther Fell.

Start. Mungrisdale.

Route. Mungrisdale - Bannerdale - Lead Mine(disused) - Mungrisdale Common - Scales Beck - Scales Tarn - Scales Beck - Souther Fell - Low Backside - Mungrisdale.

Notes. Fancy a wander through a lonely valley haunted by the ghosts of a dead industry, the lead miners have long gone but the tracks they laid remain, as good today as they were two centuries ago. Where man once toiled silence prevails, a few birds and the mountain wind were my only companions on this walk through a quiet corner of the Lake District, my return route crossed the summit of Souther Fell. The ghosts of the lead minors may be fiction but the spectral army trudging over the summit of this hill is not, rank upon rank of mounted troops with infantry marching in columns, first witnessed on Midsummer's Eve 1735, then again two years later, the last report was filed by 26 reliable witnesses whom watched the procession for over an hour in 1745. Please take a stroll with me in this haunted corner of the county, I don't particularly fancy travelling alone.

My day started next to the telephone box in Mungrisdale, a good track passes between farm buildings allowing access to the lonely valley of Bannerdale, within no time at all I was walking in the company of the River Glenderamackin, when the path forked at a wooden foot-bridge I followed the left hand branch. Walking up a narrow valley does have it's disadvantages, for one the views are limited, and today it was acting like a wind tunnel, making what should have been an easy walk a little more difficult. On I walked with limited views to the wall of rock that makes up Bannerdale Crags, as the valley narrowed it swung north round the flanks of White Horse Bent, from this short stretch of path some of the best views of the Sharp Edge cliffs can be had, today didn't disappoint. After passing some disused mine workings the path ascended to the coll leading onto Mungrisdale Common, my high point for the day.

Turning my back on this stretch of desolate moorland I turned south, a green trod guided me towards Sharp Edge, a few brave souls were attempting the ridge. Under the cliffs of Brunt Knott I traversed before reaching Scales Beck, I ascended on a good path to Scales Tarn. This is a spectacular spot, the headwall of Blencathra plunges shear into dark waters, to the north the jagged arm of Sharp Edge embraces the tarn daring us walkers to ascend the knife edge ridge, I sat, had a brew before turning my back on the spectacular scene. The main path now guided me to the coll above Mousthwaite Comb, if it's Midsummer's Eve you may like to descend into the valley of the Glenderamackin here, it wasn't so I ascended Souther Fell. A blustery traverse followed before descending the steep nose of the hill, with the pub in touching distance the path swung right, south away from the watering hole, guided by the intake wall then a fence line I wandered on soon reaching a single grey ribbon of tarmac, I turned left, passed through a gate before heading straight for the bar in the Mill Inn.

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home.

Stepping into lonely Bannerdale looking to the steep slopes of The Tongue.

Wandering along the banks of the River Glenderamackin.

The cliffs of Bannerdale Crags dominate this quiet corner of the Lake District.

Looking over Bannerdale to the eastern slopes of Bowscale Fell.

Viewing Bannerdale Crags from the banks of the Glenderamackin.

The same view from a little further south.

The rock architecture of Blencathra, looking to Atkinson Pike and the Sharp Edge cliffs.

Dramatic rock scenery, the Sharp Edge approach to Blencathra.

Standing on the edge of featureless Mungrisdale Common, looking to the hills Back "o" Skiddaw, Great Calva and Knott.

The jagged profile of Sharp Edge, look carefully there's some walkers just under the ridge line.

Seen from the slopes below Scales Tarn, Great Mell Fell viewed over the flanks of White Horse Bent.

Backed by Tarn Crags, Scales Tarn.

Testament to how fast the weather can change in these parts, viewed through a sudden snow storm White Horse Bent.

The storm's passed and I'm striding towards the coll in the middle distance, dissolving into the remains of the storm cloud Great Mell Fell.

The high skyline, the coll leading onto Mungrisdale Common.

The southern slopes of Bannerdale Crags, my approach path and the disused lead mine that gifted me wonderful views to Sharp Edge.

Capturing a few rays of sunlight the coll above Mousthwaite Comb, just visible to the left the slopes of Souther Fell all dominated by a grey Great Mell Fell.

Souther Fell as seen over the slopes of White Horse Bent.

Passing above Mousthwaite Comb, looking north over The Tongue to Bowscale Fell, with Souther Fell dropping in from the right.

Above Mousthwaite Comb looking south, you should be able to see the Pennines and the Kentmere massif but you can't.

Clough Head and Watson's Dodd seen over Mousthwaite Comb.

Looking back on the distant drama of Sharp Edge and Blencathra.

The north cairn on Souther Fell with stunning views to Bannerdale Crags.

Looking over the steep sided valley of the River Glenderamackin, Mousthwaite Comb and the flanks of Scales Fell, to the left Clough Head.

Looking down on the village of Mungrisdale, the building to the far right is the Mill Inn, so close but so far away.

A fitting picture to finish on, The Tongue seen from behind the Mill Inn.

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