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~Bowscale Fell to Souther Fell~

28th January 2012

Last time in the Lakes, it was a perfect winter's day, but without the snow. This time, the sky was not quite so obliging but there was snow in abundance and yet again - no wind on the tops!

Back o' Skiddaw

The Back of Skiddaw

Scroll down for photos and a description of the walk....



Start time of 08:16hrs from the lane next to the red phone box in Mungrisdale. This is, roughly speaking, a walk I've done before but then it was in summer and the other way around.

Mungrisdale Village

Mungrisdale Village

Souther Fell is clear to see behind The Old Vicarage in Mungrisdale Village.

Raven Crags

Raven Crags

Wainwright offers four routes of ascent of Bowscale Fell from Mungrisdale and I chose his recommended choice of No.4, up on to the East Ridge above Raven Crags. I have packed crampons - just in case!


Blencathra over Bannerdale Crags

Bowscale Fell Bowscale Fell
Up onto Bowscale Fell
Subsidiary Summit
Bowscale Fell Bowscale Tarn
The way to the summit
Bowscale Tarn and Carrock Fell

Walk Views

Carrock Fell shows the snow line quite well - about 1500ft above sea level. And up above that height the snow was uneven, sometimes deep and not very crisp. Difficult walking, but I had the pleasure of being the first onto the virgin snow on this side of Bowscale Fell. You don't need crampons in these conditions, but freeze/thaw could cause the snow to turn to ice - beware!

Bowscale Fell Summit

Bowscale Fell Summit

Just short of two hours to the top of the fell. I was first to the top of this one today. A walker in the next photo appears to be ahead of me, but he had climbed up "The Tongue" and avoided the summit on his way to ?? He also avoided Bannerdale Crags and Blencathra.


Blencathra from Bowscale Fell

Bannerdale Crags Bannerdale Beck
The way to Bannerdale Crags
Bannerdale Beck
Bannerdale East Ridge Bannerdale Crags
Bannerdale East Ridge
The Crags' Summit

Bannerdale Crags

This walk is more about Bowscale Fell and Blencathra than Bannerdale Crags, but it was well worth a ridge route around to the top of this fell, which is clearly named after the rocky features on the north-east side. The "summit" isn't the highest point on the fell, but who's bothered with that sort of detail? The East Ridge looks exciting! The footprints in the top left photo could be those of a fox.

Sharp Edge

Sharp Edgers

A good number of climbers were tackling Sharp Edge, you won't find me on there in these conditions.

Eden Valley

Eden Valley

The Eden Valley spent the day under a cloak of cold misty stuff; a temperature inversion, no less.

Foule Crag

Foule Crag

Hello! Greeting No.1, nearly four hours into the walk. This was mighty hard work and I was down to a t-shirt as layers were discarded. Every step was a gamble, the snow varying in depth over the grass and stonework. The sky was not as blue as had been hoped for - thin high clouds had encroached from the west.

Crowds on Blencathra

Busy Blencathra

I reached the summit territory of Blencathra at the north end - Atkinson Pike - and then made my way to the top of Hall's Fell - the summit of Blencathra. I was making notes of who got there when, ten minutes maximum and then move away. It's all rather untidy.

Halls Fell

Hall's Fell

The Best Way up Blencathra!! Almost the best way up anything in Lakeland, in my opinion.

Gategill Fell Top

Gategill Fell Top

I had dropped a walk to Mungrisdale Common off the plan, but only due to the rigours of snow plodding, so instead I added a walk to Gategill Fell and back. Nobody up here wanted to leave.

The Mell Fells

The Mell Fells

Little (distant) and Great Mell Fell with the mist almost reaching their eastern slopes. Those with a keen eye might just see the disused Mosedale Viaduct.

St.John's In The Vale

St.John's In The Vale

Looking towards Thirlmere. The next photo shows the view back to Hall's Fell Top.




"hi m8, im on top of blncthr" "i no, im rite bhind u"

Scales Fell

The Route Down

The way down went over the top of Doddick Fell and then onto Scales Fell.

Souther Fell

Souther Fell, beyond Doddick & Scales Fells

Icebows Souther Fell
Ice Bows
Souther Fell

The route down over the snow was a lot easier with the path well trodden. Access to Souther Fell is across Mousthwaite Col, centre of the photo on the right. I could easily have avoided Souther Fell with routes, left and right, but the name of the game is fellwalking, not valley dawdling, so it was up and onto the fourth fell of the day.

Souther Fell

Me on top of Souther Fell

A passing walker kindly offered to do the honours.

Souther Fell

Looking South-West

That's him.


Souther Fell Descent

Note how the sky is bluer to the north-east, this area was right on the edge of the hazy high-level cloud.

Mungrisdale Village

Mungrisdale Village

The way down is a bit longer than necessary due to no access being allowed through the field below the fell.

Walkers: Just Me.

Time taken: 7hrs 40mins over a distance of about 10.5 miles. 3,500 ft of ascent.

Route: Mungrisdale Village, Raven Crags, Bowscale Fell, Bannerdale Crags, Glenderamackin Col, Foule Crag, Atkinson Pike, Hall's Fell Top (Blencathra Summit), Gategill Fell Top, Hall's Fell Top, Doddick Fell Top, Scale Fell, Mousthwaite Col, Souther Fell, back to the car at Mungrisdale Village.

Weather and Conditions: Sunny, no wind.

Greetings Count: Everyone I met was delighted to be there! A happy bunch today.

Worth It? 193 mile round trip; 2hrs up the longer M65/M6 route to avoid icy country roads and roughly the same time, but a shorter return using the A65. About £33 in fuel cost.

Richard's Refreshment Review: Nothing to report today.

All photos copyright Richard Ratcliffe 2012 ©

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