After a fantastic breakfast in a brilliant little B & B we headed off towards the start of the path that would take us up Clough Head. Again the weather was exceptionally bright and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. That's mainly because again for the second day running all the cloud was down in the valley.
The path upwards wasnt steep but it was filled with snow and ice and was fun in places to wade through. The higher we got the more the views opened up and we spotted some hand gliders setting up on a flattish bit of ground below looking and testing for the perfect wind.
The last path to the first of the false summits (there were a few!!!) was so packed with snow we had to get our ice axes out to give us another point of contact. It was hard slippy snow and one slip could have been an ankle turner!
Finally after 2 or 3 false summits the trig point came into view. We met a runner on the top who was doing a recce of the fells for some race later in the year. He'd just popped up Clough Head and was on his way to Helvellyn. He wasnt even out of breath. Grrrrrr!
The views from the summit were amazing. Right over to the Northern Pennines and we spotted Mell Fell and Little Mell Fell which we'd been up a few weeks before.
Time to go down and the path was exceptionally good. No shale, scree, just a well defined path, steep in places and packed with snow and ice in places but good all the same. It wasn't long before we were back at the path that would take us back to the car and the start point of our walk.
On the way back round to the car we spotted this wee cloud, abandoned by its bigger inversion big brother and just left there all on its own at the side of Blencathra.
The end of the walk and the sky still bluer than blue !
Another early morning start for the trip up to the lakes to
visit one of my all time “to-do” hills –Blencathra.Since seeing a picture of this beauty a while
ago it’s been on my tick list and I always knew it would be a special
hill.I was excited about the prospect
of Sharp Edge and just how sharp that edge would be so off we went in the hunt
for thrills and hopefully not spills.
Car parked just on the main road below the hostel and pub we
set off “eventually” on the path upwards.Why is it that sometimes the most difficult part of the day is actually
finding the start of the walk.Too’ings
and fro’ings along the road and then the decision was made to just head up,
through the ferns on a semblance of a path that eventually lead us to the right
path that guided us round the hillside to the right gently ascending and
ascending until we reached a plateau area where we could see the beginnings of
that delicious ascent.
More winding round the hillside gaining more height finally brought
us to a small tarn where we took stock for a moment and stopped to take a few
pics of the ridge that rose practically right in front of us.Sharp edge looked very tasty indeed.
Being early in the morning (as with all our walks) there was
no one else around.A couple of wild
campers on the other side of the Tarn but other than that, it was just us,
exactly how we like it.
Tarn and reflection pictures taken we set off up the path
that would take us ultimately to the summit but before then we had the delight
of traversing up and over the rocks that made up the path to the top.It’s my ultimate fav part of any walk.Narrow ledges, slight exposure, hands and
feet on rocks, the logistical task of working out how and where to go.I love it all.
If anything the rocky part of the ascent was over too
quickly and before long we were up on a large wide plateau for the last part of
the path up to the summit.Visibility
was good and there were now a few other people around who had come from other
ways and some people in a shelter who seemed to be manning an event
Up onto the summit the views were beautiful.We didn’t stick around long as we had to get
back down and over to Mungrisdale Common as it was a wee Wainwright box to be
ticked.So down off Blencathra and over
to the left towards the very insignificant summit.On the way there, across the boggy bit we
heard a bleating and in a small pool of water there was a sheep, stuck.It couldn’t get out onto the bank and seemed
quite weak.It was stuck in the muddy
dark pool and left any longer probably wouldn’t have survived.Chris swung into “action”, leaned over and
grabbed its horns and heaved it out of the mud.It was quite a moment as the rescued sheep
trotted away and we were left with a bit of smiley moment as we knew something
quite good had happened.Yay Chris, you
saved a sheep!
Back over the common and towards Blencathra again to descend
down the Southern end of the hill we started coming across people who were
obviously partaking in the event of the day.Some sort of 12 peak fell running thing and there were all sorts, young,
old, groups, couples, individuals…..all running over the hillside.
Back up on the summit we headed over for the descent which
on the face of it looked rockier and trickier than the sharp edge we’d just
come up.Sure it wasn’t as exposed but
it was most definitely a hands on descent.
About half way down we passed a family who had a very young
baby on board in a pappoose sort of thing on dads back.Keen family but with the weather looking a
little bit dodgy they were brave.
It was a tough descent and hard on the knees but as with all
walks, if you keep moving forward you’ll reach your destination.We emerged out on the road a fair bit back
from the car so the last trek along the road certainly whetted the appetite for
a nice, long cold drink at the pub.
Blencathra was all it claimed to be and for me one of my favourite
hills in the Lake District and one I would certainly do again, for sure.