Blencathra, Mungrisdale Common, Skiddaw.

Forum » Walk Reports » Lake District

By Lancashire Lad on 18/05/19 at 3:19pm (last edited 18/05/19 at 7:03pm)

Hills walked:
Scales Fell (Birkett and Synge)
Doddick Fell (Birkett)
Blencathra - Hallsfell Top (Wainwright, Birkett, Marilyn, Hewitt, Nuttall, HuMP, High Hill of Britain, Clem, Sim, Fellranger, Synge, and Tump)
Atkinson Pike (Birkett, Nuttall, and Synge)
Mungrisdale Common (Wainwright and Synge)
Sale How (Birkett, Nuttall, and Synge)
Skiddaw South Top (Birkett)
Skiddaw Middle Top (Birkett)
Skiddaw (Furth, Wainwright, Birkett, Marilyn, Hewitt, Nuttall, HuMP, High Hill of Britain, Clem, Synge, Sim, Fellranger, and Tump)
Skiddaw North Top (Birkett)
Skiddaw Little Man (Wainwright, Birkett, Hewitt, Nuttall, High Hill of Britain, Fellranger, Synge, Sim, and Tump)
Skiddaw - Lesser Man (Birkett)
Date started:12/05/2019
Distance:26.0 km or 16.2 miles
Ascent:1498m or 4915ft
Descent:1494m or 4902ft
Start OSGB:NY339266
Time taken:10:09

My last walk up Blencathra, a few weeks ago, was a short up-down affair via Sharp Edge and Hall's Fell Ridge: -
This walk though, was to be near enough three times the distance, and with more than twice the overall ascent.

Sunday 12th May was forecast to be fine and sunny, with light winds, and maximum temperature of 16°c. – So, ideal conditions for walking then!
I'd been thinking about doing this walk for some time, as it would pass by the “Cloven Stone”on Mungrisdale Common.
Mentioned in Wainwright’s “Pictorial Guide to The Northern Fells”, it’s one of many Lake District’s oddities I’d been wanting to see!

Starting from a layby on the east-bound carriageway of the A66, (between Doddick and Scales), I took the path behind Scales Farm and The White Horse Inn, contouring around Scales Fell towards Mousthwaite Comb. – Before reaching the Comb, I veered in a generally north-westerly direction, continuing up Scales Fell to Blencathra summit at Hallsfell Top.

From there, I walked across Blencathra’s “Saddle”, passing the White Cross Memorial, and owards to Atkinson Pike summit. Then descending behind Foule Crag in order to cross Mungrisdale Common. – After crossing Mungrisdale Common’s rather featureless summit plateau, I headed over to find the “Cloven Stone”, and then continued my descent to the very boggy col, which marked the beginning of the ascent to Skiddaw House.
(The last time I passed Skiddaw House was in the mid 1970’s, when it was little more than a derelict ruin. – Nowadays it is a fully refurbished Youth Hostel).

Skirting around Skiddaw House, I continued my ascent to Sale How, before carrying onwards up to Skiddaw summit.
I had a short wander across to the north summit and then backtracked across the plateau, heading to Skiddaw Little Man.
From there it was down Jenkin Hill and the long descent to the parking area at Underscar (behind Latrigg).
Then, onwards to Brundholme, Wescoe, Threlkeld, and Gategill, before finally picking up the A66 for the last half mile or so back to the car.

GPX Track of the route walked: -

Not long after starting the walk, and the view across to Wolf Crags, Great Dodd, Clough Head etc. (From the flanks of Scales Fell): -

Almost at the top of Scales Fell, and Blencathra summit comes into view. – (Top of Foule Crag over to right hand side of shot): -

From the same location, looking across the flanks of Hall’s Fell to Threlkeld village, and the central Lakeland fells beyond: -

Not far from Blencathra summit now, and the view across to Sharp Edge and Scales Tarn: -

Looking across to Skiddaw from Blencathra summit. – (The copse at Skiddaw House can just about be seen in middle distance): -

A close-up of Derwent Water and the fells beyond. – (From Blencathra summit): -

Looking across to Skiddaw from the small tarn near Blencathra summit: -

Not quite summer yet! – Parts of Blencathra’s little tarn were still frozen over: -

A few yards further along Blencathra’s “Saddleback” plateau, and the view of Skiddaw, as seen from the White Cross Memorial: -

Part of Sharp Edge, seen from the top of Foule Crag, just after crossing Atkinson Pike summit: -

Walkers crossing Sharp Edge. – (Seen from the northern edge of Foule Crag, before continuing on to Mungrisdale Common): -

Into the back of beyond! – The faint track heading across Mungrisdale Common. – (Skiddaw on horizon towards left hand side): -

Fells seen framed between the flanks of Blease Fell and Lonscale Fell, as viewed while crossing Mungrisdale Common: -
(Hindscarth, Pillar, Steeple, Robinson, High Stile, Red Pike, Catbells just poking up at left, and Rowling End in middle ground towards right hand side).

A shot across Derwent Water to the fells beyond – from further along the Mungrisdale Common plateau: -
(The Scafells & Lingmell at left, Great Gable to their right, and then the Catbells, Maiden Moor, Dale Head, Hindscarth ridgeline to right hand side).

Mungrisdale Common summit cairn: -
(It’s not obvious from the photo, but there is a slight depression between this rather featureless location, and Foule Crag in the distance).

The “ancient cairn” on Mungrisdale Common: -
Located about half way between Mungrisdale Common summit and the “Cloven Stone”, lies this solitary, and obviously very old cairn.
Why it would have been constructed at this particular, and very “off the beaten track” location, remains something of a mystery!

The Cloven Stone on Mungrisdale Common: -
(Unfortunately with strong sunlight from directly behind. – But this shot shows the split through the boulder, from which it gets its “Cloven Stone” name).

The Cloven Stone, from a similar position to that illustrated in Wainwright's "Pictorial Guide to the Northern Fells": -

Skiddaw House, as seen from beside the Cloven Stone on Mungrisdale Common: -

Looking across to the crags of Lonscale Pike, from the vicinity of the Cloven Stone: -

The footbridge over Salehow Beck, leading to Skiddaw House in the distance. – (Skiddaw on the horizon beyond): -

Skiddaw House: -

Looking across Keswick & Derwentwater towards Borrowdale, from Skiddaw summit plateau: -

The old and rather decrepit looking Ordnance Survey Triangulation Pillar at Skiddaw summit: -

Looking across Bassenthwaite Lake, from the “Toposcope” at Skiddaw summit: -

Yours truly on Skiddaw summit plateau. – Blencathra and Mungrisdale Common behind, and Lonscale Pike over to right hand side: -

On the way down towards Underscar, and the view looking across to Clough Head and the Helvellyn range: -

Almost down to Underscar, and a shot looking across to the fells of the “Coledale Horseshoe”: -
(Causey Pike, Scar Crags, Sail, Eel Crag (Crag Hill), Grasmoor, Hopegill Head, & Grisedale Pike).

Just before reaching the Underscar parking area, and the Hawell Monument is passed: -

Approaching Brundholme: -

Looking across to Knowe Crags and Gategill Fell on Blencathra. – (From the footpath between Wescoe and Threlkeld): -

Looking up to Hall’s Fell ridgeline on Blencathra. – (From the footpath between Threlkeld and Gategill: -

Final shot of the day. – A zoomed-in shot of Hall’s Fell Ridge on Blencathra. – (As seen from Gategill): -

Another fantastic day out on the Lakeland Fells!

Best regards, Mike.

WalkLakes recognises that hill walking, or walking in the mountains, is an activity with a danger of personal injury or death.
Participants in these activities should be aware of and accept these risks and be responsible for their own actions.