BB1819 : What ?  Lunch at 3:17 ? !!

Wednesday 13th June 2018

We had joked earlier in the day about sending Tony a message at noon saying we were just about to have lunch even though we weren't going to eat until later.

[Explanation for new readers- Tony wasn't with us today but is biologically programmed to have his butties at midday but we good pals usually punish him by making him eat much later!]

However there is later and there is LATER.  It came as quite a shock to me that it wasn't until 3:17 p.m. that we stopped for lunch.

This was despite an early start- we had arrived at Mungrisdale at 9:15 with the intention of knocking off 5 Wainwrights, which would include Blencathra.  The settled period of weather was expected to end this afternoon and we wanted to get the job done in good time.

I remembered from 12 years ago (BB0627) the steep initial climb up Raven Crags then the series of false summits before our first Wainwright of the day, Bowscale Fell.

I wondered if we might be able to see Bowscale Tarn which is mentioned in a Wordsworth poem as the Tarn of the Immortal Fish.  Unfortunately however that is not possible so it will have to remain unvisited until we can undertake the short stroll from the Bowscale hamlet.  I hope the fish will still be alive!

What you can see from Bowscale Fell is Bannerdale Crags to which we circled round the precipitous drops for our second Wainwright.  

From here we had a good view of Blencathra and in particular the dreaded Sharp Edge which looked to me highly intimidating but then I do suffer from what I now know to be called Cremnophobia (see Guy W's comment on last week's report).

However our next target lay in a different direction- Mungrisdale Common. Why this features as a Wainwright is beyond me, unless he was fulfilling a publisher driven quota for Book 6- the Northern Fells,  It was a long trudge over moorland to an inconspicuously tiny pile of rocks.  Fortunately the ground was as dry as you could reasonably hope for so the going wasn't too bad.  Before turning for Blencathra we visited a more significant cairn which proved to be a fine viewpoint for the Skiddaw range..... Derwentwater and the Borrowdale fells.

After trudging back across the moor, the ascent of Blencathra began, the latter stage of which is quite steep but with a well developed path zigging up the stony hillside.  Eventually we emerged quite close to a cross of stones, the origin of which is unknown, on the ground, a feature that I had not previously seen.

From there it was an easy climb to the summit which offered spectacular views but sadly the visibility wasn't as good as we might have hoped.  

The drops from the summit to the east side disturbed my Cremnophobia and I was glad when the boys had finished marvelling at the vista and began the safe descent of the Scales Fell ridge.

I was getting hungry and when I looked at my watch which said 3 p.m., I knew why.  This lateness for refreshment was getting to my legs.  Taskmaster Stan however was determined to find somewhere sheltered from the increasingly strong wind. It was 3:17 before he allowed us to refuel.  Nearly 6 hours without significant rest! No wonder I was exhausted.  I couldn't understand why Brian and Robin seemed so fresh.  I joked that this was Stan's revenge for the time when he reckons I drove him on and on along the Kendal Scars, not letting him eat until nearly 4.  A great exaggeration of course.  A puzzled look crossed their faces.  "What do you mean 3:17" they asked?  "It's only 1:17.  That's quite early for us."  I rechecked my watch.  It still said 3:17.  Something clearly was wrong and I had to assume it was on my wrist.  All of a sudden I had the strange combination of feeling much restored in body but rather foolish of mind.

At last I could enjoy the view down to Scales Tarn and, beyond, the profile of Sharp Edge where several people, including a man with his Border Collie dog and another holding the hand of a small child, could be seen negotiating the rocks.

How they could do that in the gusting wind escapes me.  I won't even go there on a perfectly still day.  

We continued down the ridge and began the final climb of the day, relatively gentle in comparison to what we had undertaken earlier, Souther Fell.  

Again there was a detour to a view point, this time a final look at Blencathra and Sharp Edge.

Once we reached the summit we continued down the nose on a distinct path that would take us directly to our car and the pub.  Or so we thought. Wrong.  It took us to the bottom of the hill and a stern notice telling us not to enter the field.  The farmer was clearly adamant that they shall not pass and forced us into a lengthy detour before we could return along the road to the pub.  

Guess what time we got there?

What?  Drinks at 3:17?

Yes.  Of course.  That's what my watch had been telling me!

Don, Wednesday 13th June 2018



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We had hoped that Bryan would be with us today but unfortunately he was exhausted after his Scottish expedition based in Ullapool about which he reports:

My main target was the Fisherfield Six - a round of five Munros plus one that has been downgraded by one foot from Munro status. Three of us did it with a bivvy on the 5th top. This is A'Mheaghdean, the most remote mountain in the country (based on distance from the nearest public road). It was hard work getting there - 12 hours on the move, 18 miles / 8,000ft - in 25+ degrees.

But worth every ounce of sweat. We watched the sun set into the sea at 11pm;

..... the full moon glisten on the loch below us;

.....and the sunrise at 3:30am over the mountains.

We did the last Munro at 7:30 on the 12 mile / 3,000ft walk out. 

I think I'm now paying the price!



Comitibus: Robin, Brian, Don, Stan


Map : OS 1:50k


BB1819 : What? Lunch at 3:15? !!


Wednesday 13th June 2018


Bowscale Fell, Bannerdale Crags, Mungrisdale Common, Blencathra, Souther Fell

Distance in miles:


Height climbed in feet:


GPX track



Brian, Don, Robin, Stan

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