Outline of Route
Threlkeld - Hall's Fell ridge - Blencathra - Blease Fell - Threlkeld (Grid ref. NY 318257)
Total Distance 4.3 miles, Total Ascent 2500 feet, Equivalent Distance 9.3 miles
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Details of Route
My stated intention has been to provide interesting full-day routes for fellwalkers. Blencathra, by its very nature, does not avail itself of incorporation into such routes. It is essentially a solitary mountain: you ascend it and descend from it. Its proximity to Bannerdale Crags and Souter Fell is of little help to the route designer. I have therefore provided two of the many interesting routes up; see the (photo) from Sandbeds Moss and (photo) from Great Dodd; and a common, easy, route down. This one need take no more than three hours.
People park all over the place in Threlkeld but there is an official car park (free) to be found by following the road indicated by a large, low-level sign to Blencathra, in the middle of the village. Along that road, about five yards from that sign is a wooden signpost indicating a footpath. Follow that past the back of some tin garages and over a wooden footbridge. The well marked path takes one through gates and over stiles to Gategill farm and on through another gate onto the fellside. Bear right and cross the gill and take the well-worn path that goes straight up the shoulder of the fell (Hall's Fell) (photo) and keep going - up. You cannot get lost on this ridge, there is only one destination, a sharp arete (photo) and then the summit. It is a wonderfully exhilarating route with an early sighting of Blencathra's summit ahead, at the top of the ridge. The arete is about as safe as Striding Edge - so avoid it in snow and ice or strong winds - but should provide no great difficulty for the average fellwalker, contrast Sharp Edge.
Climbing up the ridge will have kept you sufficiently occupied not to notice the view of the ridge (photo); but once at the summit the vista opens in all directions. It's water that catches my eye first rather than mountains, with Derwentwater to the south-west and the Solway Firth to the north-west, but as one might expect, the panorama of the Lakeland Fells is unsurpassed.
Follow the summit crest to the west, to Gategill Fell Top, and on to the top of Blease Fell. Keep following the path with Knowle Crags on the left then leaving the crags for the grassy slope downwards. This meets a grassy path crossing the fellside, which you follow to the left. This meets and roughly follows a wall downhill, passing through a gate at the bottom and along between two walls to reach Blease Gill. Cross the bridge and follow the gill back into Threlkeld.
Rev. 17 July 2012