Having planned a day in the Lakes for Monday, with a good looking forecast Tom suggested we do Blencathra via Sharp Edge, a mountain we have both done plenty of times in all weathers, but what a shout this was, this was one of those days that only come along every now and again. Leaving Preston at 7am it was cold but no wind and clear skies, the car temperature reading dropping to -8 across Shap, and -4 as we headed off the M6, and what a view we got as we drove towards Keswick. Blencathra completely covered right down to the the road in snow, with a clear sky that was getting bluer and bluer as we approached. Being one of the first groups on the mountain meant we were walking on virtually virgin snow, but with the little comfort of the trail being broken for us, with the snow waist deep in places. An absolutely stunning day, clear blue sky all the way, Scales tarn completely frozen over and covered with snow, and Sharp Edge was awesome covered in snow, the day developed into a real winter mountaineering expedition. No time for messing on the edge, crampons and ice axe a necessity, until we met a guy coming down the ridge fell running in trainers, bonkers!! But a superb day, and the photos hopefuly tell the story, cheers Tom a great day.
The sun rises over the misty far eastern fells from the A66
From the same point on the A66, a distant frozen helvellyn.
And then the magical view of a completely snow covered Blencathra
A little further down the road made us realise what a good day was in store
Sharp edge looked amazing
Clough Head across the valley on the start of the climb up Scales Fell
Scales Farm, in the foreground, with Great Mell fell in the distance
The western fells getting brighter as they are lit by the rising sun
A view to Clough Head and the Dodds from a little further up the fell
The morning sun casts a pinky hue on it as Tom climbs up Scales Fell
Mousthwaite Comb full of snow, illuminated a nice pink shade as the sun rises
Sharp Edge comes into view down the valley, stunning!!
Zoomed in view from the same spot.
An interesting walk up to Scales Tarn as the snow varied from ankle to waist deep!
Getting closer now
Tough going in the deep snow
Tom on the last climb up to Scales Tarn
The view back from the same spot.
Sharp Edge from the last climb up from Scales Tarn, one group ahead breaking trail, thank god!!
Very deep snow just below the ridge, waist deep at times.
Tom on the first climb onto the ridge
Yours truly on the start of the ridge.
And a bit further onto the ridge
About halfway across the ridge, with no one following it was great to take our time and soak up the atmosphere and stunning views.
Getting busier down below us.
Tom leads the way across the narrower part of the ridge, not a place to slip here!!
The view behind us back down the ridge.
A frozen snow covered Scales Tarn way below us.
One last pic behind as we near the end of the ridge, it was camera away here for the climb up Foule crag, not without excitement as the snow was not too great for getting good foot holds and a slip backwards wouldn't be too good.
Safe off the exposed crag, looking back as teams follow across the ridge.
Sharp Edge below and extensive views right across to the Pennines.
A single track across the summit ridge, very deep in places.
looking back as teams successfully come across the ridge.
Tom tries out his new Christmas present, a snow shovel, hopefully we never get stuck and need to dig a shelter in a real emergency!
Great clear views today across to the distant Penines.
This guy had the right idea, and today could ski virtually all the way down, his dogs must have been knackered chasing him all the way down!
Halls Fell ridge looking equally good today
No other way to explain this view of the North western fells than - Stunning!!
Being one of the first up the mountain this morning meant we were heading down as lots were making the trek up Scales fell to the summitt.
The other two ridges of Doddick and Halls Fell.
Last Shot of a stunning mountain and jaw drop exciting ridge - superb day, one of the best.