Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Blencathra via Bannerdale Craggs & "SHARP EDGE" PT1 with the Twitterati june 3rd 2012

Sunday the 3rd June will always be remembered as the day i conquered Blencathras "sharp edge"    Making friends on twitter who live in the English lake district lead to me being invited by Gina Pennington to join her & her hubby Dave along with a couple of other fell walkers ,  i am now calling the group #twitter fellwalkers or Twitterati in Gina world:)
I took the opportunity to research the  "Sharp edge"  reading about it and seeing a few images it does appear to be quite scary & obviously dangerous!    and only safe in dry conditions!!!
The meeting time was 8am in the village of Mungrisdale which is just off the main A592 to Keswick, which meant i had to leave home at 5.30!!!!!!!!!!!!
 and guess what, it was chucking it down!  not good, but the forecast was for the band of rain to be clear of the northern lakes so we should be ok, touch wood!  driving up a flooded m6 in torrential rain really didn't help while thinking of the "edge". any how ,i arrived in good time, and it was dry!

  i parked up and met Alan , then Ray who was to be our guide arrived with his brother.  the group was completed when Gary,Andy, Gina &Dave appeared. We did joke a few times during the day that everyone only came to sample Ginas famous home made chocolate brownies :))  more of that later!
So eight of us departed on our adventure, only Ray,his brother & Andy had previously done the edge!

                         Group photo so if anyone doesn't make it, we will know who!  haha
                                              L-R  Andy,Dave,Gina, Me,Gary, & Alan

The route was down the valley with Souther fell on the left, The Tongue on our right and heading towards Bannerdale. as you can see it was quite misty ahead!

We are following the Glenderamackin river then heading up towards the pale green hill on the right in this image towards Bannerdale ridge.

 and yes, here is Gina is trying to Tweet while climbing up towards the ridge, but unfortunately there was no signal!!!!!!   we are heading to the top of this small hill:)

Now we are heading directly up  Bannerdale ridge, covered in thick mist so cant see how steep it is!

A small group photo with Bannerdale ridge behind in the swirling mist!

 slippery shale!  very impressive though!   thick mist really adds to the atmosphere!

and Steep!

and as you can see, quite a slope to climb on the slightly damp slippery shale!!

Eventually we all made it to the top without any trouble, and this is our view!!!! Arghhh  the mist was constantly swirling around ,clearing slightly every now & again like in this image!

and the trig point at the summit by which time the air was wet with the mist!  More importantly being june, it was COLD!  almost freezing in fact!!!!!!  could not believe this is almost mid summer!

                                         Next stop, Scales Tarn and the "SHARP EDGE"
  we made our way down to the other side of Bannerdale crags  which is at the head of the valley between Bannerdale and Blencathra .  i guess we are not going to see any distant views today, but the very fine misty dampness in the air has gone so hopefully the edge will be dry enough to make a safe traverse!

                          around the next bend, might get to finally see our intended target!

           But no!  yet another steep climb lol  but can at least just see the top of Blencathra :)  i think!

     And finally, our first glimpse of the infamous "Sharp edge" the ridge running across the right hand side of this image!!!  Wow!!!  awesome sight!

We all stopped for a rest overlooking Scales tarn ,with the path up to the ridge clearly seen on the right!    it does look quite high!  lol   and we are going to have to clamber across the very top of that ridge!  OMG!  we have to remember to respect it, people have DIED trying to cross this ridge!!!!!!!

                                               To be continued :))))           the scary part!


  1. A great read Phil and I admire your intrepid spirit.

    Am hoping Part Two sees you all safely back having been nourished by Gina's brownies en route! :)