Thursday, 12 July 2012

Souther Fell more Northern Fells fun!

Following some recent roaming around the Skiddaw range, Claire and I had a few hours on our way home from the Lakes, so we headed off the A66 for a quick stop at Mungrisdale village and a nip up the slopes of Souther Fell.

Souther Fell

Strictly speaking this is an extension of the Blencathra range and when coming eastwards on the A66 it is Souther Fell that hides the bulk of Blencathra itself. Its smooth slopes up from the pretty village of Mungrisdale mean an easy enough climb - just right for the day after a long hard slog! If you had a full day it is also a great alternative route up some of the busier neighbouring fells.

looking back towards Mungrisdale

The walk out of the village is steep but easy going up the grassy slopes. Stopping every once in a while the view behind you really stretches out, across the plains to the Pennines and over Little Mell Fell and Great Mell Fell until the Eastern and Far Eastern Fells come into sight.

looking across to the Mell Fells

Without any scrambling to do this might be considered dull by many, but for a quick walk for an hour or two this was just right. The sun was beating down but the relative ease of the fell meant it wasn't too hot. The views juest kept getting better, coming round the curve of the fell we could also see over towards Bowscale Fell and Bannerdale Crags.

Bannerdale Crags

The summit is a long flat ridge, not at all your typical textbook fell top - but a bit of level walking is always welcome after a steady climb. Once you have reached the summit plains the "saddle" of Blencathra reveals its full glory with great views of some of its classic ridges.

Blencathra rising in the distance

Instead of retracing our steps we carried on westwards slowly coming off the fell until we reached Mousthwaite Comb. Slowly the ants we could see in the distance revealed themselves to be fellow walkers making the pilgrimage up towards Scales Tarn on the way up to Blencathra via Sharp Edge.

Sharp Edge and Foule Crag

When we met the river Glenderamackin we turned back eastwards and followed the stream back along the valley, with steep grassy on either side. The descent off the fell top seemed fairly gentle and it was a suprise to see just how far we had descended when looking back up at Souther Fell.

the return route along the bottom of the valley

The rest of the return journey along the valley was easy walking and we soon walked through the gate that brings you back into the pretty village of Mungrisdale. Did I already mention how pretty Mungrisdale is?!

the gateway to the village

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