Sharp Edge - 13th October
3 hours 45 minutes
We parked one car at Threlkeld at the public
carpark near the Blencathra Centre ready for our descent from the
fell, and then drove up the main road to Scales where we managed
to park in a small car park at the end of the road. From here we
started the long and fairly steep hike to Scales Tarn. Although
it was quite a warm day, Sharp Edge was engulfed in mist as we approached
Scales Tarn. We had a break and a sandwich next to the tarn, and
then Jim (Fletcher) and I set of for Sharp Edge whilst Jim, Lesley,
Jill and Tony headed off up the path to the side of left hand side
of the tarn.
After a short climb to the ridge, we contoured
behind it for a while before climbing and scambling up to the ridge
itself. The route is a bit exposed and you wouldn't want to fall,
and eventually come to a flat, very smooth tongue of rock which
leads slightly upwards. At the end of this a large rock blocks the
path, and you have to skirt around it with your feet, while your
body passes over the top. After this there is a pronounced step
downwards which is quite exposed. The best way of traversing this
is by sitting on the last rock and lowering your feet down, one
either side of the ridge. There is a short section of shuffling
along with one foot either side of the ridge, and then you move
off to the right and start climbing again. Whilst you have to be
careful on the next section and pick your way carefully, it is not
so exposed and you soon reach a path which leads to the top. The
last part of the walk is similar to the last stages of Striding
Edge leading to Helvelyn.
By the time we reached the top and linked
up with the other group the mist had come in completely; you could
only see 20 foot ahead of you and could see nothing of the views
over the valley. We dropped down to the Blencathra car park and
then headed to the Horse & Farrier pub in Threlkeld for libations!
Sharp Edge is not for the faint-hearted; the
Keswick Mountain Rescue centre reports that since 1947 there have
been 69 incidents and 10 fatalities.
Start of the walk to Blencathra
Approaching Scales Tarn
Looking back to Scales Tarn on the climb to Sharp
On the Edge. Jim sitting on the rock at the end
of the smooth rock tongue.
Tricky bit! Slippy as well!
Looking back down the Edge. The smooth rock tongue
can be seen mid picture.
The rock was quite slippy and you have to ensure
you have a good footing.
A rather apprehensive looking Mick!
Have we got to go up there?
View improved as we descended.
Jim, Jill and Lesley with Derwent in the background