This route climbs Blencathra, the third highest peak in the lake districts. The route is rated hard due to a combination of different.
Circular | 13.1km (8.15 miles) | Difficulty: Hard
|Please note that the route given is a rough guide and should not be relied upon solely when planning a walk. Remember to plan ahead, get a proper map and ensure you have the right equipment.|
While not the longest walk the steep ascents long descents make it seem longer. These steep climbs and drops can take a toll on walkers. In addition to this the route offers the option of crossing sharp edge, a notoriously dangerous ridge due to its height and difficult footing. In addition to this some rock scrambling at high altitudes, and after long distances may be required.
1: The route starts out near The White Horse Inn. There is some parking here but not much so walkers are advised to get here early. The route starts by following a lane uphill.
2: Walkers will eventually reach a footpath which leads away from the lane towards Blencathra. Walkers along this section have a choice in direction, the route assumes a clockwise approach is taken as it gets the ascent out of the way first. The first ascent is covered by this section of the route. Its steep but the track is well maintained so a good pace should avail most walkers. After the climb the path levels out and heads across moorland towards sharp edge in the distance.
3: The route reaches Scales Tarn. Here walkers have another choice. Heading left will lead to a steep path which leads directly to the top of Blencathra. This is recommended for when conditions are wet, icy or windy. Alternatively, walkers can go right here for a challenge.
4: Heading right at the tarn leads walkers to the notorious sharp edge. The path here heads to the left of the ridge before required walkers to climb on top of it. There are lower paths along the ridge sides but they can be often covered by subsidences. After the ridge there is a lot of scree which walkers will need to scramble up to get to the top of the slope. With the huge drop below this can be quite intimidating. Once at the top of the hill the track is relatively flat, the top of Blencathra is more or less a huge plateau. Here the path is clear and joins the alternative route up from the Tarn. The route follows the path across the top of Blencathra.
5: Eventually the path starts to descend. This is a long descent which can take a toll on walkers’ legs. On the way down the route slowly turns towards the East.
6: At the bottom of the descent the route skirts along the edges of fields near the bottom of the hill. This section of the route eventually leads back to the start but as it leads quite close to the foot of the hill does contain some brief drops and climbs amongst the valleys of streams leading off Blencathra.
Despite the route’s challenges the views it offers are amazing. Its worth saving this route for a clear day for both the views and for an easier crossing of sharp edge if walkers wish to cross it.