Thursday 21 July 2011

Walk 57
11.1m / 3160' ascent
Phil G4OBK, Nick G4OOE & friend Geoff
Time Taken 7.5 Hours

208. LDW-014 Blencathra
209. LDW-121 Mungrisdale Common
210. LDW-087 Bowscale Fell
211. LDW-096 Bannerdale Crags

Route taken on 21st July 2011 from A66 Car Parking at Scales
It was day one of a short break to finish off the 214 Wainwrights a project which had taken me over two years since I started with my first climb on LIttle Mell Fell on 23 March 2009 .  Once complete, the next day, I would be the first radio amateur to have ham radio contacts from the summit of all AWs 214 fells. On this trip I drove over early morning to Scales near Penrith with Nick G4OOE a fellwalking friend, who lives in Scarborough.  We met our friend Geoff who had driven up from Malvern, in the lay-by alongside the A66 at Scales and were walking by 9.30am.  

After one mile Nick took off on the well hewn path over Scales Fell and Geoff and I continued towards our first ascent of Sharp Edge which we could clearly see ahead of us. None of us had ever climbed Blencathra, the second highest of the Northern Fells group after Skiddaw,  before. The weather was fine, cloudy but dry with little wind, and this boosted our confidence.  At 10.45am we were at the foot of Sharp Edge.  From there to the top took Geoff and I just 15 minutes. We could pick out Nick in his red jacket ascending the ridge on Scales Fell as we went across. All three of us arrived at the top within a minute or so of each other.

Geoff starts his ascent of Sharp Edge
Geoff completes his ascent of Sharp Edge
The activation for WOTA/SOTA was underway almost immediately on the 8 point SOTA summit and Nick and I made 20 contacts each on 2m FM, the best ones being summit to summit QSOs with Terry G0VWP on Bishop Wilton Wold (Garrowby Hill), Frank GI3RMD in Northern Ireland on Slieve Donard, and Derek 2E0MIX on Great Gable.
Geoff - Nick - Phil - the three of us reunited on the top of Blencathra
We picked out what we determined to be the actual summit - a stone ring embedded in the ground and placed there by the Ordnance Survey. presumably in lieu of a Triangulation Pillar which was absent:
Ordnance Survey stone ring on Blencathra
Whilst packing up our gear Arthur and LInda Jenkinson came over for a chat. They were aware of what we were doing as they are good friends of Colin G4UXH and Heather M6UXH from Milnthorpe! It's a small world.

Keen Fellwalkers Arthur & Linda Jenkinson - friends of friends (see text)
We left the summit at 1205pm and dropped down the 235 metres to Mugrisdale Common LDW-121. This was a most disappointing "summit" and one which we all thought Wainwright chose just to fill the book alongside the 36 pages he devoted to Blencathra.  In my opinion the 6 pages AW devoted to Mungrisdale Common was over generous! We followed this with two more to the east  - the slightly higher and more summit like Bowscale Fell and finally Bannerdale Crags, from which we departed at 3.25pm, arriving back to Scales just before 5.00pm. 

The disappointing Mungrisdale Common "summit" 

We both completed 41 radio contacts over the four summits.  
From Scales we drove across the Lake District to Great Langdale to check in at our B&B for the night. We stayed over at an excellent spot called Robinson Place Farm, run by Vicky Edmundson. This  turned out to be a tenanted farm owned by the National Trust. I was so delighted with this establishment that I made an entry in Trip Advisor and said so, which I do on occasion if I am delighted or if I am dissapointed.
The next day I was to complete my round of 214 Wainwright Fells with a climb over Bow Fell, Esk Pike and finally Rossett Pike which was my last of the 214 summits listed in the pictorial guides. 

For an alternative walk I did in September 2012 up Blencathra via Hall's Fell ridge, continuing to Lonscale Fell, Skiddaw and Carlside check out this link:

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