Souther Fell, Bannerdale Crags and Bowscale Fell

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The Tongue and River Glenderamakin.

As I drove through the Tebay Gorge, the cloud was virtually down to the road and it was tipping it down. So I was pleased to arrive in Mungrisdale in sunshine. The rainbow was a forewarning of what was to come, however, and along the ridge of Souther Fell I had first rain, then sleet and finally snow. The view back to Bowscale Fell kept partially clearing but Bannerdale Crags and Blencathra were well hidden by cloud.

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Bowscale Fell.

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Souther Fell after the weather had brightened again.

Down in Mungrisdale I’d seen a sign warning of bridges which had been washed away by floods. Almost immediately after I saw the sign, I crossed one of the bridges, which must have been replaced, so I knew that the warning wasn’t necessarily up to date, but it was still a relief to find that this bridge…

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…over the River Glenderamackin had also been restored. It was raining again at this point, but this was to be the last shower of the day, and it was short-lived.

Wainwright describes this route, via White Horse Bent,  as ‘tedious’ and recommends the East Ridge. It suited me well on this occasion, but I will come back to try the East Ridge when it’s not so likely to be plastered with ice.

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Bannerdale Crags and Bowscale Fell.

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Bannerdale Crags and it’s East Ridge – looks worthy of a return visit. Note Great Mell Fell catching the sun behind, which it continued to do all afternoon.

I stopped for a cup of tea near the top of Bannerdale Crags. There was little shelter to be had, but I donned every layer I had, so that I was layered up with a thermal, a shirt, two jumpers my cag, a snood and even an old balaclava under my hat. It wasn’t as windy as it had been on Selside Pike, but it was very, very cold. In the end, I kept all of those layers on for almost all of the remainder of the walk. I can’t think when I last felt so cold on the hill.

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Blencathra threatening to appear.

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Bowscale Fell.

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Bannerdale Crags and Blencathra (almost).

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Bowscale Fell East Top, Carrock Fell behind.

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Bowscale Tarn.

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Looking back to Bowscale Fell.

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The East Ridge of Bowscale Fell.

My descent, by the East Ridge of Bowscale Fell was an absolute delight. Bar one final steep step, it was a pleasant steady route all the way down, and the views of the distant snow-capped Pennines was superb.

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Time for one last cup of tea stop.

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Looking past Great Mell Fell to the High Street range.

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The Pennines over Eycott Hill.

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St. Kentigern’s Church Mungrisdale.

A quick peek in the church and then back to the car. My photos of the Winter Aconites in the churchyard didn’t come out too well unfortunately.

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Souther Fell, Bannerdale Crags and Bowscale Fell

10 thoughts on “Souther Fell, Bannerdale Crags and Bowscale Fell

  1. You seem to be getting more ambitious with your mountain walking especially under fairly challenging conditions, but it cuts down on the wildlife photography, but all very enjoyable as I sit here breakfasting and observing the slow progress of my knee recovery.

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      I think you’re right Conrad, I have been a bit more ambitious. I’m hardly going to rival tyro’s in the Tranter mould, but I have been covering a bit more ground on my walks. The conditions weren’t too challenging. I’d looked at forecasts and the fell-top assessor’s report and had packed ice-axe, micro-spikes and lots of warm gear accordingly, but in the end the metalwork wasn’t necessary. I did see people in crampons, but whilst the path was icy, it wasn’t slippery, and the snow was soft and would only ball-up making the crampons more of a hindrance than a help I would have thought. As to the wildlife photography – with all of the stuff I was carrying, I opted to leave my camera at home. So the pictures were all taken on my phone. I did see some Ravens, one of which was carrying something quite large in its beak and I would have liked to have photographed it, but otherwise there wasn’t much wildlife to see.

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      Yes, objectively, I can’t help thinking that it can’t have been that cold – it was raining lower down and the wind wasn’t as strong as it had been a few days before, but – I’m normally a warm person and struggle to keep on any hat or even the thinnest of gloves, but, as I say, on this occasion I wore a hat and a balaclava and a double-layered pair of skiing gloves all day.

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      The east ridge looked excellent, I shall have to go back for another pop at it some time. I’m pretty sure that I haven’t climbed any of these before.

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