“ Sightseeing National / Lake District / Cumbria / England „
Blencathra is one of the North-western Fells in the Lake District. Also known as Saddleback this mountain stands at 2828 ft above sea level. This is a massive imposing mountain that really stands out when you drive along the A66 on the way to Keswick.
This is one of my favourite mountains. If you have ever seen this mountain it stand out with its jagged peak and imposing ridges. There is something dark and brooding about this mountain, steep approaches and sharp cliffs and yet quite a long flat peak.
I have been up this mountain three times over the years. Once when I was 16 with my dad, again a few years later with some friends and then last winter, crampons and ice axe wielding up sharp edge in snow and ice.
There are several ways up this mountain, but there are really two routes that stand out. If your into a good quality walk that will have you on airy ridges without too much scrabbling or exposure then Halls Fell Ridge and Doddick Fell is for you. This walk is not to long, it is very steep and the ridges are fantastic without being to challenging.
If you want something special and slightly more testing there Sharp Edge is for you. This is the most exposed and tricky ridge in the Lake District, it is shorter than Striding Edge on Helvellyn but the short walk is on a knife edge. The walk is quite spectacular as it takes you sweeping up over a small tarn and the views on the way up are wonderful. When you reach the top the walk levels out and you can relax somewhat. Then you have a choice of which way to go down.
Both of these two walks start from the A66. After you have done your walk you can go into Keswick where there are lots of excellent places to eat or have a well earned beer! Or try some of the classic Lakeland Ale, put your feet up in front of a cosy open fire and have a snooze!
One thing that is important is that if you take the right gear if you are going up this mountain. A good pare of boots, map and compass, whistle, rucksack and plenty of supplies. If you are attempting this mountain in winter you need crampons and ice axe and the skills to use them. When me and my friend were up there in January I got myself in a tricky situation and very nearly had a nasty fall. I was lucky I had an ice axe with me or I might not be here writing this review today! Mountains like this are great fun but you must respect them!
If you don't fancy climbing this don't worry, it's still a great mountain just to look at. There are lots of pictures on the internet and some truly spectacular views from the top that have been photographed, so if your not up to climbing up there have a look on line.
As I said this is a wonderful mountain, it has a real Alpine feel to it and it stands out as one of Lakelands finest. I will no doubt go up this one again in the future and recommend that anyone who likes climbing or walking gives this a try! Blencathra is a true classic mountain.