|Halls Fell Ridge|
|Halls Fell Ridge|
The lower sections take you along a steep and easy enough to follow stone path, but don't be fooled, this route builds Bolero style and before long the stone path disappears leaving you to pick your own way up and over the rocky outcrops.
|Route up Halls Fell Ridge|
|The route though the rocks|
At some points you can make out a polished stone route created by the boots of a thousand hikers before you but be warned, those polished stones are mighty slippy and this is no place to lose your footing. There are ledges where you can pause, catch your breath and admire the views, though my main complaint about climbing Blencathra is that when I'm on Blencathra I can't see Blencathra and for me it is one of the finest looking fells in the Lake District. That said, the panoramas are none too shabby.
|View from Halls Fell Ridge|
As you near the top the summit ridge stretches out ahead of you with its promise of yet more breathtaking panoramas and, more importantly, somewhere to rest and enjoy a well earned break, though to be honest my slightly frayed nerves could have done with something a little stronger than PG Tips.
|Blencathra Summit Ridge|
|Views from near our lunch spot|
After such a challenging ascent we opted for a long but gentle descent along the top of Atkinson Pike before swinging down and along the valley of the wonderfully named River Glendermaken. I'm not usually a fan of descents but this one is gentle, picturesque and offers superb views of Sharp Edge calling for much pausing to soak up what was left of the summer sun and finish off the flasks of tea.
|Blencathra or Saddleback|
All that now remained was the trek back along the base of the fell to an eagerly awaited pint in the late afternoon sun at The Salutation in Threlkeld. We then eased our aching bones into the car and headed home but were waylayed en route by a rather stunning sunset over Windermere. Away in the distance a smörgåsbord of fells lined up and the debate in the car home turned to which fell, which route and in what order. Decisions, decisions...
|You're next, and then you, you and you...|