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Scales, Mungrisdale, Bannerdale Crags, Atkinson Pike, Blencathra, Cumbria.
[14.3 km]  Wed 07 Mar 2018

Lat/Long: 54.635805, -03.009817
OS Grid ref: NY 34917 27211

I had a clear drive north along the M6 then off at exit 40 (Penrith) and along the A66 west. My plan was to park in the layby at Scales but the highways people are doing some work on the carriageway and have decided it was a good idea to barrier off and close all the laybys.

View towards Great Mell Fell
I took the old road by the White Horse Inn and set off to drive along the narrow lane towards Mungrisdale and keeping an eye open for a parking area. I soon came to the gate at Comb Beck where there is a large parking area by the road.
Still snow on the lane

I left my car and started walking along the lane. Some sections still had drifted snow on and it looked like only farm vehicles had been through. After passing through several gates I reached the Mill Inn at Mungsdale.

Southerfell

1695 date stone
I left the road and took the track heading west along the bank of the River Glenderamackin. The overcast weather had now turned to slight rain as I headed up the valley. Part of the river had washed away the track and I had to make a wide detour across some very boggy ground. Once back on route I put on my waterproof trousers as snow had started.
The Mill Inn, Mungrisdale

Glenderamackin and The Tongue
I took the diagonal track up the south side of ‘The Tongue’ which was partly covered in snow and rather slippery. I fitted my ice studs which made a great improvement. It was a steady slog up of about a mile and just below the summit I stopped for my sandwiches as I knew I would get any shelter further up. The ground was now totally covered with snow and low cloud kept the visibility down. I followed the top of Bannerdale Crags before turning to the right and the descent to the saddle on Mungrisdale Common.
Atkinson Pike

Looking across to Sharp Edge
 I had a view of the imposing Sharp Edge and the steep snow slope up ahead. The climb up to Atkinson Pike was steady and not a problem. Over the plateau it was windy with bad visibility so I was glad to be descending Hallsfell Top to the east. I was on a reasonable snow packed path but still needed care.

View from Scales Fell
Crossing Scales Fell I met a man walking up. He said he had crampons but asked if an ice-axe was necessary as he hadn’t brought one. I find that difficult to believe as for me crampons and ice axe go together. By now the snow cover was thinning and just above Scales Farm it had gone. I took the direct path down to the beer garden at the White Horse Inn then the short walk back to the car.