Ski Club of Manchester Lakes Weekend 29 April - 2 May 2011 Sunday Walk 1st May 2011: Blencathra or Saddleback
By Dave Miller
Sunday dawned bright and breezy as did the whole weekend, and those of us who had already walked on Saturday were raring to go after a leisurely breakfast at Middle Ruddings. For our sub-group who driving across from Braithwaite to Mungrisdale for Ian's main event the day started with a small challenge as the chosen route (by me) from Scales on the A66 turned out to be a many gated road which played havoc with our otherwise immaculate timings. We arrived at the Mill Inn start point to find everyone else already there and just about ready to walk. I should have followed Derek! There was a healthy turnout with around 18 (sorry I didn't count) human walkers plus Dolly the dog.
Setting off from the Mill Inn we followed the route prescribed by Ian and were soon on a steady climb up the northern side of Bannerdale and out on to Mungrisdale Common. The wind was ferocious at times, significantly adding to the effort needed to keep walking, and posing a real threat to hats, specs and any other loose objects. In particular it made the climb past Foule Crag up to the Blencathra ridge a real slog, although some members of the group still had spare energy to jog along the ridge path to Knowe Crag and back. The upside to the dry windy weather was the clarity of the air which enabled superb views all around, and of course not getting wet is always a bonus.
The route down Scales Fell provided no respite from the wind and we were amazed to look across the valley at a few intrepid (foolhardy?) folk navigating Sharp Edge.
Once lower levels were attained we had a more gentle stroll back north along Souther Fell and down into Mungrisdale where very welcome Tea, Scones and Cake were waiting courtesy of Ian's impeccable organisation.