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Most lovers of the Lake District know Blencathra's towering and dramatic front, a front which sees three muscular spurs (Gategill, Hall's and Doddick) rise from the valley floor and narrow into glorious, narrow ridges. Many will also know that tucked around its eastern flank is the magical Scales Tarn and the intimidating arete that is Sharp Edge.


Fewer know of the charm that can be found on its less lofty satellites of Bowscale Fell, Bannerdale Crags and Souther Fell. This trio are typical in character to their Northern Fell brethren: rounded slopes of bracken that make for strenuous days out - perfect then for a run out with the dogs. But it is their proximity to the glorious odd-one-out of the area in Blencathra that gives this day a sense of undeniable grandeur. Here Blencathra is seen from its lesser-known aspects, yet two of its most famous features remain in view almost the entire time. The saddle between Atkinson Pike and Blencathra's summit is seen beautifully; no wonder the (inferior) moniker of Saddleback held sway over Blencathra until a sense of romance won out.


Then, of course, there's the aspect of Sharp Edge, beckoning and daunting all at once: a crest of rock and ice that quickens the pulse quite unlike anywhere else in the Lake District. Blencathra is a mountain of tremendous character and I have no doubt I have yet to discover all of it. This day spent in the delectable company of my Father and two slightly mad canines helped me to at least imbibe slightly more of what this unique mountain has to offer.

Back O' Blencathra

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