Yesterday I wrote about our little walk up Skiddaw last Saturday (read about it here), and as we were in the Lakes for two days, this blog is all about the Sunday.
After a great nights sleep in The Kings Arms Hotel, and an equally great breakfast we loaded up the car and headed off for a shorter walk from Goosewell Farm over Low Rigg. Unfortunately the road up to the farm was closed, so our back up plan was to walk some of Blencathra. I love how Alfred Wainwright didn’t really like the name Saddleback, so he used the ancient Cumbrian name of Blencathra instead. So many other people also preferred this name that on OS maps the hill is known as Saddleback or Blencathra.
We didn’t really have enough time to do a full loop, as I had to get back to Lancaster to take a shirt that didn’t fit back to M&S. I was at a work meeting in London the next day and wanted to look smart, hence buying a new shirt. I digress. We parked at the lower car park in Threlkeld, which was already full, and walked up over a trip trapping troll bridge on our way to Gategill. The path up Hall’s Fell looked easy to follow and we could see plenty of other walkers up in the distance.
The route was steep but manageable, until we neared Hall’s Fell Ridge, described as one of the finest routes up Blencathra. If we had done a little more research we would have read about an experienced walker who fell to his death only last year. There was one very exposed section near to start of the ridge which I’m not afraid to admit, scared the hell out of me. It reminded me of that time as a child when my Dad took me and my older sister to St. Paul’s Cathedral with the intention of going to the top. At the time it wasn’t open to the public, but my Dad knew someone who gave him the key. Up and up we climbed until we reached a metal walkway, which to my little seven year old eyes looked at least a million feet in the air. This added to the fact that the walkway was a metal grill and I could see through it, meant that there was no way on Earth that I was walking across it. My Dad couldn’t leave me so we all had to walk back down, much to the annoyance of my sister.
The walk back down Hall’s Fell was almost as hard as going up. You can see in the photo below how steep it was.
When we almost at the bottom a large group of walkers passed us on the way up. Rather them than me, and if Hall’s Fell Ridge is bad then the even worse Sharp Edge must be terrifying. Nelly was also happy to be back off the ridge, with a field devoid of sheep to have a quick scamper.
Of course, much like the previous day’s walk up Skiddaw, we’ll have to come back, although the longer loop via Blease Fell and Scales Fell will be the route we’ll take.
Oh, and I did change my shirt, Helen trimmed my beard, and I looked incredibly smart in old London town.