Sunday 23 October 2016

Guided Fell Walking in The Lake District. Blencathra by the classic ridges of Sharp Edge & Hallsfell Ridge. Thursday 20th October 2016.

After his easy day out last Wednesday with Ray & Nicole Palmer, Iain was out the next day with Donise Winter & her daughter Leila for something a bit more challenging!

Donise & Leila make regular pilgrimages from London to their cottage near Windermere; and Iain has guided then up a number of Lake District mountains during this Summer. Thursday was our fourth day out with the pair who absolutely love walking in the Lake District Mountains and the fourth time we've been blessed with good, dry weather too.

Today, the weather didn't appear to have started out as per the MWIS forecast, which had stated visibility would be good on the mountains, with almost no risk of showers. On the drive to meet the pair, the Lake District mountains were observed to be shrouded in cloud and we had several showers en route, but but the time we got to the top of Mousthwaite Comb - things were looking a lot better (photo one).

Yes - our walk in to Scales Tarn saw the weather improve markedly. The skies cleared and the sun warmed us up; and there was no breeze. Just perfect!

The walk from Mousthwaite Comb alongside the River Glenderamackin is a mere 2 kilometres, with only a short climb to Scales Tarn, so we were soon there. Our objective - Sharp Edge (photo two) was swathed in mists that kept on clearing, but by the time were were on it, it was completely clear of cloud. This short arete has a notorious reputation! Short , it might be, but as it merges with the shoulder of Foule Crag it becomes extremely narrow with precipitous drops on both sides and due to the traffic it receives, the rock is very polished and hence, very slippery! Sharp Edge is definitely a place for which you'll want to engage the services of a Mountaineering Instructor to guide you if exposure and tricky scrambling are not your thing, but if you do this, then Sharp Edge can still be part of a great days Fell Walking in The Lake District on one of the areas most popular high summits.

Donise found Sharp Edge quite a challenge although little Leila took it in her stride (she loves scrambling & climbing on rock and does so at every opportunity when in the mountains!) There was a feeling of exhilaration, a sense of real achievement and relief (we think!) when the three finally reached the footpath at the top of the slabs on Sharp Edge - time for a celebration by having a bit more lunch!

The top of Blencathra was clouded in, but as we approached it, that also cleared and we had great views in all directions. Photo three sees a very satisfied Donise with Leila. The mountain in the background, left, is Skiddaw - a future objective for the pair.

For our descent from the summit of Blencathra back to the car, Iain gave Donise & Leila 3 options: The Scales Fell descent is the easiest & shortest route back; a walk along the summit ridge west to Blease Fell, a descent to it's foot and then a traverse all the way back east along the foot of the mountain is the longest route; and the descent directly from Blencathra's summit via the precipitous Hallsfell Ridge and Halls Fell, the most interesting (photo four). It was no surprise to Iain that Leila should pick the latter option and we all enjoyed this scrambling descent down to point where the ridge broadens out on the way down the the intake wall at Gate Gill.

This was another excellent guided walking day in The Lake District for Donise & Leila and another one "off the tick list". Apparently, it was Donise's most challenging fell walk to date!

Our Guided Fell Walking Days in The Lake District including a "passage of interest" such as a scramble like Sharp Edge cost £160 per day and you will be guided by a Mountaineering Instructor - not a Mountain Walking Leader! Walks such as these are a great way to experience all that the area's mountains have to offer; and Iain knows them well having been walking & climbing in the area for over 40 years. You can be assured of a great day out in Iain's company, so contact him here to book your Guided Fell Walking Day in The Lake District. You won't be disappointed!

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