~Blencathra & Mungrisdale Common~
A "214" Special
18th October 2015
Scroll down for photos and a description of the walk....
Setting Off at 10:15hrs - Scales
Ah well, the rest of them parked as per the photo on the right and I managed to mis-park at The White Horse pub, just down the lane. So after Sharon rang me to ask where I was, the rest set off and Molly and I marched on in the expectation of catching up. Scales is a little hamlet just set back from the busy A66 at the foot of Blencathra.
The Walking Party
Sharon and Gary are jointly completing their round of all 214 "Wainwright" summits on Mungrisdale Common. This is good news for me as I need a direct ascent of MC as part of my ongoing and frequently interrupted mission to visit all the felltops in Wainwright's Guides by a direct route, not first visiting a different fell.
We walked up Mousthwaite Comb (left) to reach the col and head towards Brunt Knott, the crag under Sharp Edge (right).
The infant River Glenderamackin occupies the valley floor as we contour towards Scales Beck. The party is led up the beck to Scales Tarn and it becomes apparent to me that Blencathra is to be the main ascent and Mungrisdale Common will come later. Gary explained that a forecast he'd seen said that cloud would clear and maybe it was better to lead the youngsters up the "big one" first, in case they didn't fancy it the other way round.
Me 'n Molly with Holly
- photo courtesy of Jeanette Williams
Holly the Black Labrador is in the tarn. Shortly before, a group of walkers had insisted that the dog (Holly) be put on a lead. The crime, a sociable and free-wandering dog investigating the local environment. I'm sure opinions vary on this matter and generally speaking dog owners must have their dogs under control, but it seemed a bit odd at the time as Holly was not intruding on their space or threatening to spoil the enjoyment of their walk.
Up from Scales Tarn
A well-worn path leads up from the tarn to the top of Blencathra. Soon we enter mist, but have no difficulty finding the top.
No views today and the dog bowl is empty. Not to worry, it's a simple route to Atkinson Pike and hence to Mungrisdale Common.
1 hour and 17 minutes later, we arrive at the "summit" of Mungrisdale Common. Navigation in mist can be difficult and the writer's opinion is that "mobile mapping" is not to be relied upon. Not least because the device's battery could fail. Also looking at one screen, I saw "Mungrisdale Common" written, maybe in the right place, but not where we wanted it to be. The "Common" is a shepherd's territory, not a mountain top. Map and Compass - very useful if you know where you are.
To The Summit
The party arrives at the accepted summit of the immensly flat Mungrisdale Common.
Gary and Sharon with their Daughters
214 Summits over the spread of the Lakeland Fells, as documented by A.Wainwright in his Pictorial Guides. Hats off to all those who set themselves the task to cover the vast distances to reach all the tops. My hat's back on again as it is with most folk who find themselves somewhat unburdened upon completion and free to find fresh goals.
Sharon and Gary are frequent visitors to the slopes of Snowdon and were visibly disappointed to discover that there is no cafe on top of Mungrisdale Common, but equally there are no crowds either.
Molly detached herself from the celebrations, she doesn't much care for summit hogging and prefers to keep her distance.
The return journey was a case of retracing our steps back to the col and back along the valley sides of the River Glenderamackin.
Walkers can take the paths on either side of the valley, we go for the right-hand side.
Clive, here, is rewriting the Wainwright books under the instruction of the publishers. I suppose if he wasn't doing it, someone else would be, so I won't hold it against him. Too many undertakings are conducted under the "Wainwright" name that the man himself would not approve of, but then I suppose one particular drawback of dying is that you lose the right to have your say....
The White Horse Inn
Walkers: Gary, Sharon, lots of others along with Holly & Molly The Dogs and Me.
Weather: Somewhat dull but no rain.
Time Taken: 5 hours and 30 minutes over a distance of about 9 miles.
Route: Scales, tarmac road to car parking area, Mousthwaite Comb path up to the col. Path on the left of the valley to Scales Beck, Scales Tarn, path up to Blencathra Summit. Atkinson Pike and down to the next col at the head of the Glenderamackin and then contour path to the stones at the nominated "summit" of Mungrisdale Common. Reverse of the same to both cols and back to the cars, missing out Blencathra on the way back.
Refreshments: Taken after the walk back at The White Horse Inn, Scales. Dogs welcome and a warm friendly atmosphere.
Most photos copyright Richard Ratcliffe 2015 ©