Blencathra, 3-4 December 2016
Last weekend there was enough snow for skiing, but it all melted away. The weather this weekend promised to be fine albeit frosty. We realised that we hadn't wild camped for a while - it was time to make up for the lost time! We got to the Lakes late on Saturday evening, parked the car in total darkness and went up with headtorches. We got to the top of the hill, pitched our tent and went to sleep. We love coming to the Lakes like this: you wake up in the morning surrounded only by the mountains.
The temperature dropped below freezing overnight, and the tent, grass, rocks, tussacks were all covered with frost. The weather was gorgeous: very little wind, and wall to wall sunshine.
Enjoying the sunrise...
We were going to climb the Sharp Edge to the top of Blencathra. We were not the first to arrive at Scales Tarn. Zoom in to find people climbing on the ridge.
The only snow field we crossed today.
The patches of snow on the mountains. It last snowed a couple of weeks ago, most snow is now gone. The ridge we are walking on is frosted over in the shadow.
Scrambling on the icy rocks is a slippery affair. We belayed Sonya in a couple of places. People take care on the ridge which sometimes created queues.
Belaying Sonya on a slippery ledge.
The plateau above Sharp Edge leads to Blencathra. Several ridges come down from the plateau; we went down Hall's Fell Ridge. The peak behind the plateau on the right is Skiddaw.
Keswick and Derwent Water down below.
Walking down Hall's Fell Ridge. A bit of scrambling here but easier than Sharp Edge. And the rocks aren't icy any more!
After getting down, we had to walk a couple of kilometres towards the car. The low sun illuminates golden hills. It was probably our first trip to the Lakes in winter but without any snow. We got very lucky with the weather: unbroken sunshine all day, although it was cold and quite windy at the top.
We visited the same place 4.5 years ago. Here are a few old photos.
This was in August, there was no ice, and Sonya was much younger.
Sharp Edge - with Lova.
The rocks were not slippery at all! Climbing in Winter and in Summer are very different affairs, even in good weather.
Descending Hall's Fell Ridge. We did exactly the same walk, we even camped overnight on the same spot.