Bowscale Fell via the East Ridge and Around

Name of walk Bowscale Fell via the East Ridge and Around
Date of walk 2013-12-17
Distance walked (miles) 9
Duration of walk 5 hours 15 minutes
Weather Blue skies and sunshine to start then cloud, but 40mph winds.
Peaks on walk Bowscale Fell and Bannerdale Crags
Walked with Ged and blind Kas
Parking Roadside Mungrisedale

Yesterday Ged, Kas and I drove to Mungrisedale to Climb Bowscale Fell (2306ft) by the east ridge and continued on to Bannerdale Crags (2241ft) and back via the Glenderamackin Valley. A walk of 9 miles. The weather was much better than it had been for the last week or so, but we knew it was going to be very windy on the summits. I had time limits today as I needed to be back to the car by 3pm, so I could be home by 5pm in order to be showered and changed and back out for 5.35pm as I was bell ringing for a Christmas service at 6pm. I do hate being late for anything!


We parked on the roadside by the seat overlooking the river. The east ridge of Bowscale Fell ahead. (The strange shadow shape is Ged standing directly behind me and waving his arms.....I humour him!)


We called in at St. Kentigern's Church which was built in 1756.



A fine view out.


We followed the road until we reached the Rough Road track off left and followed it through to the gate. You can see the route off right leading up the fell.


A stone circle. Stones have been placed on the circular patterns on the grass.


We head steeply on up.


Left to right are Souther Fell, Bannerdale Crags and the Tongue. We would come back via the valley beside the river.


View back down the ridge.


Looking over to Carrock Fell. The wind speed was increasing steadily and the temperature was decreasing!


Bowscale Fell summit is just peaking out on the far left. The wind was about 40mph. I wore the balaclava that I picked up from a military equipment shop in Killarney in the summer. It was that cold that I wore my woolly hat beneath it!


Heading towards the summit. A cloud bank to the west is obscuring Blencathra.


From the east ridge you can look down on Bowscale Tarn. At least here we were finally out of the vicious wind for a few minutes. I was thinking that we may need to cut the walk short and descend down the side of the tongue as I didn't much fancy another hour or so of walking directly in to this wind. Thankfully as we neared Bowscale summit we gained some shelter.


Looking back along the east ridge to the right and Carrock Fell to the left from the route up to the summit.


From the summit looking to High Pike and Carrock Fell.


View over to Knott.


Looking back down Bowscale Fell's east ridge.


From the summit shelter looking over to Skiddaw and Great Calva. Note the frost on the stones. It was still cold.


We headed round to Bannerdale Crags on the left, the track was this side of the ridge so we would have some wind protection. Cloud still on Blencathra.


Another walker heading in our direction.


View down into Bannerdale. The Tongue on the left. Souther Fell directly ahead.


Heading for Bannerdale Crags summit. Its east ridge on the left. We descended by this route once before, but not today as it would be far too icy.


Kas at the summit. Souther Fell on the right. The Tongue on the left and behind that the east ridge of Bowscale Fell.


Kas and me.


The downside of not descending via the east ridge is the two and a half mile detour you need to take to end up at the bottom of the ridge. First you need to walk half a mile in the opposite direction towards the source of the River Glenderamackin, and Mungrisedale Fell (which is directly ahead), as there is no other safe way off the fell.


The head of the Glenderamackin Valley. Our path is on the left and it skirts all the way around the base of Bannerdale Crags.


Looking up to Sharp Edge on Blencathra from the back.


The more usual view up to Sharp Edge from further along the path.


Looking back up the valley. Blencathra still in cloud.


The sun comes out. We head around the fell walking parallel to Souther Fell. We would normally go over the top, but today we do not have the time.


Looking up the east ridge of Bannerdale Crags. Just past this there is a large stream to cross, about 15ft wide. Normally this is not a problem, but due to the large amount of water the stepping stones were submerged. So we have two choices. Risk a soaking by attempting to cross by the stones and slipping, or get wet feet by crossing safely in above ankle deep water. I put my camera and Garmin safely in pocket and walk across, happy to get wet feet as I'm not in the mood for a swim! Super Ged crosses by the submerged, slippery stones, does a couple of pirouettes, and grabs the end of my walking stick to get safely across. I squelch the rest of the way back!


It is a very wet route, there are several places where the paths are underwater, but at least now I no longer need to bother to detour up the fell side!


There is a bridge here, but Kas needs a de-mudding before he gets into my car!


View back from the gate. Looking towards the Tongue.

We got back to the car dead on 3pm, timed to perfection! So I made it to the church on time! The weather website said that the windchill was -6C on the tops. Still no sign of snow and no forecast for it over the Christmas period either. This time last year we had had snow for a month! Fingers crossed for January!

Christmas Greetings,