I have been wanting to do this route up to Blencathra all year. Hall’s Fell Ridge, topping out at the highest point of Blencathra, is as Wainwright describes: “For active walkers and scramblers, this route is positively the finest way to any mountain top in the district” – a very high accolade indeed.Ray our poet reciting fell legend had mentioned doing this route after we had finished the Wainwrights. Being a social butterfly and the weather not being great when we did have time for fells meant it took until October to do this. I text me friend Stewart to see if he wanted to join us as said give me shout when you are going to do it. Stewart takes the most amazing mountain photographs, I was surprised when he said he would come but he got vertigo. He said if I held his hand and fed him brownies, he would survive.
So we arranged to meet at the Blease road carpark at 9, there is parking for about 10 cars and though free (unheard of in the lakes) there is an honesty box. The weather was not looking perfect but there was a promise of the cloud lifting.
It was a gentle ascent up, as we stopped before the first climb admiring the view and Ray relaying a history fact, a man who’d arrived at the same time as us caught us up. As you do in the hills, start talking to random strangers and were having a crack about where we were going. Rob as we found that was his name, wasn’t sure where he was going to walk. So we said we were going up the ridge and was more than happy for him to join us. So he did. We found he was on twitter and followed lots of mutual people! That’s what I love about the fells, it unites people and it’s a very friendly place.
hen we were upon the ridge. I don’t think I would like to on the ridge in wet, windy or icy conditions. It was very tricky in places, there are easier paths you can use if the ridge gets too tricky for you. I do like a good scramble and you need to keep your wits about you. It’s a great ridge and had good views down to Threlkeld and towards Keswick in between the clouds. I would agree with Wainwright it’s a good way to climb to Blencathra. Checked that Stewart was ok and he seemed to be enjoying it. There was still the promise of Brownies to keep him going.
The ridge done and I had a blonde moment! My sense of direction sometimes is a bit off kilter. I said “looking into the distance, are we going onto Blencathra?” which was met with deafening laughter and me having the piss taken out of me for the rest of the walk. In my defence, when I was last on the summit it was cloudy!! For such a high mountain it has an underwhelming summit marker of a stone circle in the ground. After the laughter stopped we followed the ridge along towards Blease fell and stopped for bait and brownies.
Refreshed, we followed the clearly marked path down heading back towards the car park. Not a long walk but was quite challenging in parts. Was very cold on the way back and was glad of my hat and gloves!