Lake District Walks
Date: 6th August 2005
Distance: 5.3 miles
Ascent: 2609 feet
Time: 3 hours 25 minutes
With: On my own
Start Grid Ref: NY318255
An exciting climb up the Hall's Fell ridge to the summit of Blencathra before visiting the fell's subsidary tops.
Route Summary: Threlkeld - Gate Gill - Hall's Fell Ridge - Blencathra - Atkinson Pike - Gategill Fell - Knowe Crags - Blease Fell - Threlkeld
1. Gate Gill
2. Looking up the path on Hall's Fell towards Narrow Edge
3. Looking back down Narrow Edge
4. Blencathra's summit cairn
5. Looking down to Scales Tarn, Sharp Edge and Bannerdale Crags
6. The top of Atkinson Pike
7. The quartz memorial cross in the saddle
8. Gategill Fell Top from Hall's Fell
9. Hall's Fell and the summit of Blencathra from Gategill Fell
10. Looking south over St John's in the Vale towards Thirlmere
11. Derwent Water from Blease Fell
12. Clough Head and the Helvellyn Range
Walk Detail: I walked this one on my own, as Lisa was tired from our magnificent outing on Fleetwith Pike and Haystacks the day before. After much agonising I opted for the Hall’s Fell route rather than via Sharp Edge.
I set off early and commenced the walk just after 8am. After an initial wrong turn down a sheep track and a bit of hard climbing through the bracken I located the proper path and commenced the climb in earnest. By the time I got to the 2000ft contour I was already quite tired so I stopped for a break, ate an apple for my breakfast and contemplated the next section - Narrow Edge.
Described by Hannon as a, ‘transport of delights’, and as by Wainwright as, ‘the finest way to any mountain top in the district’ I actually found it quite intimidating mainly due to the low cloud swirling about above me. Despite my nerves there was only one point where I struggled to navigate the rocky edge and so had to take a detour.
The climb ended quite suddenly and abruptly at the summit cairn. I didn’t linger long there as other walkers had just arrived via the Scales Fell route so I walked along the eastern edge to take a look at Sharp Edge and Scales Tarn before heading for Atkinson Pike where, away from the crowds, I ate my lunch.
After finishing my lunch I walked back over the saddle pausing briefly to admire the quartz memorial cross before returning to the main summit. From there I headed west along the ridge first to Gategill Fell Top and then Blease Fell Top (also known as Knowe Crags) before descending via Blease Fell.
As I descended the weather began to improve dramatically and there were great views across to Derwent Water and especially south towards Thirlmere and the Helvellyn range. The descent took a little longer than anticipated mainly due to the impressive views but also a desire not to injure my knee.
This was another fantastic climb up another great Lakeland mountain and one that I had wanted to climb for a while.