& SHARP eDGE
Guided Walks and Scrambles up Blencathra & Sharp Edge with Professional Mountain Leaders
Alongside Skiddaw, Blencathra acts as a perfect bookend to the central Lake District. If you were to ask advocates of the Lake District their favourite mountains, Blencathra would no doubt feature in the vast majority of these lists! Why? It's a mountain of numerous experiences, as you can ascend it a dozen times and feel like you're getting a different experience every time. For the adrenaline hunter there are two ridges on Blencathra which draw their attention - Halls Fell and Sharp Edge. Halls Fell is the finest direct ridgeline direct to any summit in the Lake District, and Sharp Edge one of the most striking ridges in England.
As with any excursion that involves scrambling ridgelines care and caution must be applied.
Via Halls Fell & Sharp Edge
Blencathra is a super accessible mountain as it sits right on the A66. This easy access means that if staying anywhere from Cockermouth, Keswick, Penrith to Ambleside you won't have all that long in the car to get to the mountain. With the numerous routes available on the mountain popular start points are Keswick, Scales and Threlkeld. For our preferred route of doing both Halls Fell Ridge and Sharp Edge in ascent (as opposed to up one and down the other as is traditional) we start in the lovely village of Threlkeld. Threlkeld hosts many accommodation options itself, is on the public transport route, and hosts an excellent pub called the Horse & Farrier.
Grade:Moderate with very exposed scrambling on the ridge.
Terrain: Rough Ground
Duration: 5-6 Hours
Route Stats: Miles: 6 Ascent: 750m
Thanks to the steep nature of Blencthra's slopes, the going gets tough more or less from the start of the walk. About an hour of walking on trails up the start of Halls Fell brings you to the fun stuff - the scrambling. Halls Fell ridge provides an excellent warm up for what is to come later, and has some really exciting sections of scrambling too. The ridge leads directly to the summit of Blencathra which is marked by a circular trig point in the ground. From the summit a short descent is taken to the shores of Scales Tarn. This spot is always so peaceful and an excellent place to have a snack or some lunch. Sharp Edge, the highlight of the day is up next. Once the crest of Sharp Edge is joined careful scrambling over pinncales, steps and slabs is enjoyed. Unfortunately Sharp Edge is over all too soon, but the exit slopes are just as fun. Once the scrambling is over it is always worth taking a few minutes at the top to stop and admire your achievements.
A range of descents can be chosen from this point, with our most favored being to head across the top of Blencathra to the West and head down the broad grassy slopes of Blease Fell. From here excellent views can be enjoyed into the heart of the Lake District. Alternative descent options include Doddick Fell and Scales Fell. If you're a Wainwright bagger, you may detour to take in the top of Mungrisdale Common.
Due to the rock type that makes up Blencathra and it's edges, it's subject to dry conditions in order to complete the route described above. Many people have been involved in incidents when trying to tackle the edges in the wet - so many so that Sharp Edge is known as an accident black spot for Keswick Mountain Rescue Team. Although some people do, we would also not recommend taking dogs onto Sharp Edge.
This route is suitable for people with basic hill walking fitness and experience. It is not ideal for anyone who has vertigo, however we have escorted many people across who have not been a huge fan of heights / large drops and they have had a great time.
As you will have read above, Blencathra is a brilliant mountain. We believe having a guide with you on this route means you really will get the fullest experience out of this mountain. Hiring a guide also means that you can be relieved of the stress of having to navigate, route finding on the ridges and managing the group. We strive to ensure all our days are not only fun, but educational, so expect to learn something about this amazing mountain and the area around it as you climb. We are available in both Summer and Winter for hire (alternative route used in winter). We have an excellent safety record, and many glowing testimonials which can be viewed here.