Blencathra via Scales Fell.

Start. Scales.

Route. Scales - Scales Fell - Blencathra - Atkinson Pike - Foule Crag - Mungrisdale Common - Bannerdale Crag - White Horse Bent - Souther Fell - Mousthwaite Comb - Scales.

Notes. Blencathra in Wainwright's words "one of the grandest objects in Lakeland", from the south it probably is, ease of access makes it the first choice for many hill walkers, and maybe Sharp Edge adds to it's appeal. I decided to take the easy safer route to the summit, the wide grassy ridge of Scales Fell, a good ridge to view fellow walkers on the adrenalin fueled crossing of Sharp Edge.

I parked in Scales before making my way west along the main road, on reaching the old toll house a path rises above the intake wall, I followed this ascending to my right through bracken and gauze, the path wound above Mousthwaite Comb to reach a wide grassy saddle. Many paths emanate from this saddle I followed the one climbing the wide ridge of Scales Fell. As the path got higher the ridge got narrower, all of a sudden I popped out onto the summit of Blencathra. From the summit I made my way north visiting the fine cairn on Atkinson Pike before descending to Foule Crags and my first brew of the day.

Whilst sipping tea I decided on a short diversion, a lonely cairn somewhere over the horizon to the northwest marks the summit of Mungrisdale Common, No 121 in the Wainwright List, it felt years since I'd graced it with my presence, a green path lead the way. Last time I was here there was no path, a path also guided me back to Bannerdale Crags, obviously the work of peak baggers, bless them. Bannerdale Crags is a fine summit, the mile long wall of rock is best appreciated from Bannerdale. A long conversation with a fellow walker followed before I took my leave and descended over White Horse Bent (no path) into the valley of the infant River Glenderamackin, the path crossed the river at a wooden bridge ascending to the saddle I visited early this morning.

One more top to visit Souther Fell, with slight trepidation I ascended to it's grassy ridge, today should be safe. Legend tells us that on mid-summers day a ghost army my be seen wandering along the summit ridge, rank upon rank of mounted troops with infantry marching in columns across the summit. Today there was just me and the mountain birds, I even chanced another brew before re-tracing my steps to the saddle. Down hill all the way from here, descending through Mousthwaite Comb to reach a tarmac lane, a short walk over tarmac lead me back to Scales.

view route map.


Clough Head as seen over the valley of the River Glenderamackin.

Above Mousthwaite Comb looking to Souther Fell, the path in the shot will be my route of descent later.

Amazing views such as this one, the vast expanse of the Eden Valley can be seen from the slopes of Scales Fell.

Higher up the ridge stunning views to the western lakes tilt into view.

Looking to the grey saddle of Blencathra with the Sharp Edge ascent to the right.

The Eden Valley stretched out to the east, nearer to home Souther Fell over the slopes of White Horse Bent.

Still on the broad grassy saddle of Scales Fell, looking to the Glenderamackin face of Bannerdale Crags.

The unfolding panorama, every time I paused for breath the views got bigger, Cross Fell across the Eden Valley.

A wonderful view along the Scales Fell ridge.

Hallfell Top the summit of Blencathra with stunning views to Derwent Water backed by the northwestern fells.

And again this time a bit bigger, you can make out Cat Bells leading to Maiden Moor, Causey Pike and the cliffs of Crag Hill, to the right Hopegill Head and Grisedale Pike.

I'm sitting above Foule Crags watching walkers cross Sharp Edge, it was obvious by the shouts of encouragement at least one person was not a member of the party and struggling with the ridge, thumbs up to the lads, and one lass for helping him across, and good "on" him for giving it a go.

A lonely cairn marks the summit of Mungrisdale Common.

On Mungrisdale Common looking back to Blencathra.

The northwestern fells seen from the featureless expanse of Mungrisdale Common.

Knott as viewed down Blackhazel Beck.

The summit Bannerdale Crags.

Ascending Souther Fell looking to White Horse Bent backed by the Sharp Edge approach to Blencathra.

A good place to view the saddle that gives Blencathra it's alternative name, Saddleback favoured by Victorian's, it's strange how they had a habit of trying to alter everything, even mountains.

On the slopes of Souther Fell looking to the mile long ark of Bannerdale Crags.

Not quite the summit but with wonderful views it should be, the southern cairn on Souther Fell.

The Summit Souther Fell.

Striding out over tarmac in the lane heading to Scales, the final view for today Great Mell Fell seen across the valley of the Glenderamackin.

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