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" The Mockerkin Mob - Blencathra "

Date & start time:      21st April 2024.   9.30am start.

Location of Start :     Roadside, close to Mungrisdale Village Hall, Cumbria, Uk. ( NY 365 300).

Places visited :          Glenderamackin Valley, Bannerdale, Foule Crag, Blencathra, Souther Fell.

Walk details :              8.2 miles, 2775 ft of ascent, 5 hours 30 mins.

Highest point :           Blencathra Summit, 2,847ft - 868m.

Walked with :              7 Mobsters and myself, plus Dougal.

Weather :                     Overcast but a good walking temperature. Clear visibility.



© Crown copyright. All rights reserved. Licence number PU 100034184.


The Mob are out again, this time on an 'A' walk, so designated due to the length, height gain and effort required to complete the day.

Eight of our group gathered at Mungrisdale to try for a rather different route up this classic fell.

The plan sounds a real trek when you say the place names one after the other, but in practise it was a straightforward and gentle walk . . .

give or take one or two steep climbs and eight miles in length !

Starting point was close to the Village Hall in Mungrisdale .

That means it's close to the pub and the rather fine stone bridge over the Glenderamackin River,

a river that would be close by us for most of the day.

Past the phone box and out through the gates onto the open fell . . . well Dougal seems to be waiting for me.

Actually the only reason for walking on ahead was for Richard (our leader for today) to be able to stop at a point

where he could outline the features of the route we would be taking on our walk . . . up the valley to the left and then up the distant crags.

Roll call: myself, Sue, Ian (sitting), Chris, Pip, Richard, Kathryn, Hugh and Peter.

A retrospective (rearward) view of the slabs that avoid the bog.
The first bridge we meet crosses the Bullfell Beck.

Bullfell Beck is a tributary of the Glenderamackin and our path continues on without crossing the main river.

In the distance is our route up through the winter bracken and followed by a steep ascent of Bannerdale Crags

at the point in the crags in line with this current path.

Another river crossing, this time Bannerdale Beck that has drained down from beneath the main crags.

Sue concentrates as others watch and wish her a safe and dry crossing !

Our path splits off here and we head up the slope behind.

A sudden steep pull up warms the body and soul but thankfully it levels slightly,

so we can enjoy the views ahead before we start the second part of the climb, up through an old slate mine working.

Pip points out the adjacent summit of Bowscale away in the distance.

Her view (more or less) across the crags, albeit from a bit further up.

The highest of the grassy tops over there is Bonscale at 702 metres (2,281 feet in old money).

- - - o o o - - -


The upward ridge we climb

was once worked as a slate quarry.

Whether there were any mine addits is difficult to tell.


The path zig-zags up through the old workings

and provided a steep but easy ascent.


Very few clues remain of the miner's techniques used here.

The prominent gully up the fell, parallel to the workings

appears to be just a water eroded feature.


- - - o o o - - -

Just one feature remains, that of an old mine building, now adapted as a sheltered seating area.

Looking out from the seat, across to Souther Fell and the distant Pennines.

The river is a distance away now, flowing south (left to right) under the slopes of Souther Fell.

Our first named summit, that of Bannerdale is a great place to stop for a coffee.

In Mob tradition, this is normally accompanied by a home made communal biscuits or a tin of flapjacks.

- - - o o o - - -


Our thanks go to John and Rosamund Macfarlane today

as they provided the rather fine 'left-over' confectionary

from an invitation yesterday to Wordsworth House

to see their Wildlife photo exhibition.



Their free exhibition is open to the public over the summer.

[ Normal NT Admission rules apply to Wordsworth House]


- - - o o o - - -

Across the top of Bannerdale and we pick up the path that heads off in the Mungrisdale Common direction.

Across the way are the twin summits of Blencathra, with Sharp Edge leading up to the closer one, Atkinson Pike.

Our path has skirted around the top of the Glenderamackin Valley

which has by now completed a southern loop around Bannerdale Fell, passing White Horse Bent along the way.

A pause for breath and contemplation as we look up the Foule Crag ridge.

Pip picks up and shows us the small white Kyastelite crystals in the local Skiddaw Slate rock.

Mob walks are full of surprises sometimes !

On the way once again . . . heading for the top.

On the steepest part of the climb the path takes a few wide zig-zags to ease the ascent.

The view down Sharp Edge arête from near the summit.
Blencathra's "Harold Robinson" stone Cross

Wainwright attributes the white cross to the work of a Mr Harold Robinson of Threlkeld

who placed the stones during his many visits to the top from 1945 onward.

The group stops behind Blencathra's Infinity Pool . . .  though not a swimming pool in which you would normally take a dip !

Hallsfell Top, the true summit of Blencathra, looks crowded as we approach today.

No trig point but a survey ring and a central spot-height bolt.
Sadly the cement ring has been damaged over the last few years.

The view west from the summit . . . with Derwent Water in the distance.

Our lunch stop for today was to be the slightly sloping ground just away from the summit.

This gave us extensive views down the front of the fell and over to Penrith and the distant Mell Fells.

It also sheltered us from the slightly cool northerly breeze.

I think Hugh has found a bonus flapjack in his picnic box !

Halls Fell Ridge falling away beneath our feet,

with Threlkeld below and the Helvellyn Ridge extending away in a southerly direction.

Ian looks down the Scales Fell Ridge

and contemplates the route from here down and across to Souther Fell, the last of the high ground below.

We're on the way now, down the ubiquitous machine made zig-zags.

Sadly they have not grassed over due to the high volume of walkers, though the scar of the old path at the base of the photo has done so.

Over time a few short cuts have developed as some walkers prefer the straight line ascent/descent.

" Mountain Man "

Chris tops out on a subsidiary crag, creating a photo suitable for a magazine . . . if only the weather was sunnier !

To the other side of the path we could look down on Scales Tarn and over to the Sharp Edge path that climbs the arête behind.

The slope eases as we reach the bottom of Scales fell and we can contemplate the gentle climb to Souther Fell ahead.

To our left you can see the dip of the pronounced bend in the river, as the Glenderamackin curls around White Horse Bent.

Looking back at our descent route from the summit of Blencathra.

A fine cairn adorns the slope at seemingly a random spot.
I persuade the group to go the extra yard to reach Souther Fell Summit.

I haven't been up her for many years so this and Bannerdale today count towards my fourth round of Wainwrights.

I'll not be selfish, everyone else can claim the summit points for themselves as well.

A diagonal path leads down the far side of the fell, back to the minor road at Low Beckside.

The road directly back to the pub or the footpath across the local foot bridge to reach the cars first ?

Decision made . . .

We head back to the cars to end the walk and drop off bags and poles.

We then follow this guy . . . (Peter's photo)
. . . and make a bee-line for the pub.

A little gentle re-hydration followed

and the weather meant that the seating outside was a great place to really enjoy the end of the walk.

- - - o o o - - -

Technical note: Pictures taken with my iPhone 11pro mobile phone camera.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

This site best viewed with . . . that sociable pint of re-hydration afterwards.

Go to Home Page . . . © RmH . . . Email me here

Previous walk - 16 April 2024 - Ribblehead Viaduct

A previous time up here - 25th April / 5th May 2022 - Blencathra - Twice

Next walk - 22 April 2024 - Not Kirk Fell