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Mungrisdale, Bannerdale East Ridge, Bowscale Fell East Ridge, Raven Crags, Cumbria.
[9.6 km]  Tue 05 Jan 2021

OS Grid ref:
Lat/Long: 54.6637720, -2.9912820

The new Covid lockdown rules become law tomorrow. I have escaped to Cumbria for what may be my last Cumbria walk for a while. I set off earlier than normal and when on the motorway didnít notice a reduction in traffic. I reached Mungrisdale in the dark and parked in the short lane by the telephone box & parallel to the River Glenderamackin. It was coming light as I set off west along the frozen track towards the stone slabs crossing the swampy area. Many were coated in ice and I had to walk on the frozen ground adjacent. Up ahead I could see my objective of the Bannerdale East Ridge which higher up was plastered with snow. I could still see the fell top as I approached but the cloud soon began to drop. Crossing Bullfell Beck at the bridge I followed the fractured remains of the path by the River Glenderamackin. I took a higher route in places to avoid the wet and ice.

 Approaching Bannerdale East Ridge.

The water level at the Banenrdale Beck ford was shallow enough to hop across the stones. I took the right path branch up the ridge and climbed steadily up towards the cloud. The wind felt cold and was coming in from the north. When the gradient eased I headed towards the old slate mine workings where Iíd decided to have my sandwiches. There were tracks in the snow and one set seemed fairly fresh and probably from yesterday.

Looking up a snowy Bannerdale East Ridge.
They weren't boot prints but running shoes. I reached a depression in the quarry area and tried to find some shelter from the wind at the bottom. I put my ice studs on my boots and managed to eat one of my two sandwiches before getting too cold, it was -4degC. I continued upwards in the snow and was very glad of the running shoe tracks as I had something to follow in the steep snow and poor visibility.
Old quarry workings.
I pressed on without stopping to get out of the danger zone and onto the higher and flater summit. The wind was quite strong and thick cloud meant there was nothing to see. I reached a small cairn and then headed NW to pick up the main Bowscale Fell path. With the snow and low visibility it was difficult to identify the paths and even the Bowscale summit shelter stones didnít come into view until the last minute.
At last,
I've reached the Bannerdale Ridge summit.

 View from Raven Crags to Bannerdale & The Tongue.
Over the summit I turned east to head towards Raven Crags and more snow and poor visibility. On the steep descent I eventually dropped below the cloud base at around 400m and had a good view of the descent below. Two lady walkers were coming up as I approached the muddy path through the gorse. I was soon down amongst the Mungrisdale houses and the road back to my car. The sign in the lane asked for a £2 parking charge donation which I gladly paid. As I drove home I noticed the parking spaces used by walkers had cars in them.
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