|Distance:||9.5 km or 5.9 miles|
|Ascent:||931m or 3054ft|
Another walk from earlier this year: -
A superb sunny winter's morning saw me heading to Lakeland to do Blencathra by Hall's Fell and Hallsfell Top. - A route that I'd never previously got around to doing, and one which I thought would be even more interesting in full winter conditions.
Starting from the layby between Doddick and Scales, I walked along the A66 roadside footpath towards Threlkeld to the point where the lane bears off rightwards towards the kennels. Due to a footpath closure, (as a result of Storm Desmond), I had to do a short detour, but quickly regained the footpath that leads away up the fell side from behind Gategill.
The path up Hall's Fell is quite a steep pull-up, gaining height fairly quickly, but the views that open up as you gain height are quite spectacular, and more than make up for the effort involved.
The ridge of Hallsfell Top was absolutely excellent - a superb winter scramble. Whilst for the most part, the ridge does offer less exposed alternative ways of crossing it, (in some respects similar to Striding Edge's "lower path"), keeping to the very apex proves quite thought provoking at a couple of points, and would most definitely not be recommended to anyone without relevant equipment (crampons, ice-axe, etc.), and previous winter scrambling experience.
A further benefit of Hall's Fell as a route, is that when you get to the top of it, Blencathra's summit is literally just a few paces away!
Having reached the summit, and still enjoying wall to wall sunshine, I decided to descend to Scales Tarn and re-ascend via Sharp Edge. - Clad in its full winter coat, it was too inviting an opportunity to miss out on!
Unfortunately, as I descended towards Scales Tarn, the Lake District weather gremlins decided it would be a good idea to shroud everything in mist. The ensuing scramble up Sharp Edge was just as enjoyable as ever, but doing it in mist, without being able to appreciate those fantastic views, did take the edge off things just a little bit.
However, as is often the case with Lakeland's micro-climate weather patterns, by the time I was crossing the famous "Saddleback" towards the summit, blue sky was appearing once again, and within half an hour, the mist was gone without a trace, leaving glorious views all the way along Scales Fell as I descended back to valley level and the car. - Another great day in the Lakes!
GPX track of the walk: -
Early morning sunlight on snow-clad Cat Bells, Maiden Moor, Dale Head. etc. Taken from the lower flanks of Hall's Fell.
Causey Pike, Sail, Crag, Hill, & a distant Grasmoor: -
Looking back down the first part of Hall's Fell Ridge: -
A view from the middle part of Hall's Fell Ridge: -
Cornices along the ridge between Blencathra summit and Blease Fell top: -
A very confident Carrion Crow begging for food at Blencathra summit: -
Two walkers above a large cornice on the Saddleback ridge: -
Looking across to Sharp Edge, just before the mist and clouds came in: -
Walkers above Sharp Edge and Foule Crag: -
Looking across to Sharp Edge just after the mist arrived: -
A gloomy looking Scales Tarn: -
Yours truly with Hall's Fell Ridge behind: -
My descent route down Scales Fell, at the end of the walk: -