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Threlkeld, Blease Gill, ‘gulch’ valley Blencathra, Scales, Cumbria.
[9.5 km] Tue 15 Mar 2022

OS Grid ref: NY 31847 25601
Lat/Long: 54.6209290,-3.0569940

There are several routes up to Blencathra via the south side. Probably the least used is the one via the higher reaches of Blease Fell shown in Wainwright's guide book. I started the walk from the car park in Threlkeld and headed up the path by the gill. Through the gate at the wall I headed straight up the fellside with the wall on my right. The path was easy and distinct but the route shown in Wainwright doesn’t follow a defined path higher up.
Ruined sheepfold.
   
I continued north along the steep fellside with Blease Gill below. It was tricky going for a while trying to find the best way through the heather. My first objective was an old stone sheepfold and I eventually reached its remains. It is on a very steep slope and probably the most difficult location for a sheepfold that I’ve visited. There is no flat ground anywhere and the walls have been collapsed for many years. Up ahead is a junction on Blease Gill and my way is to the right. Wainwright says the bed of the gill is impassable so I had to start my ascent above it through difficult deep heather.

 Looking up the 'gulch'.
 
 
To the west I could see what looked like a reasonable path reaching the gill junction from the far side of Blease Hill. It may be route to investigate in the future. I continued up and descended to gill bed as suggested by Wainwright to reach “The canyon - Wild West stuff - ‘gulch’ might be a better word.” Overall he describes the walk as “Hard travelling over tough ground and wastes of scree making this no route for genteel walkers, but rough-necks will enjoy it.”
The cave, wet inside.
It was much easier ground to follow as I occasionally hoppe across the river to find easier going. I climbed up the north side to investigate a cave entrance but it turned out to be shallow and very wet inside. Higher up there was a welcome strip of grass that headed up to the right and the summit ridge of Gategill Fell. There was a flat spot just before the top which was big enough for a tent but no water nearby.
Looking down the gorge

 Looking back down Gategill ridge.

 Summit Ordnance Survey trig point marker ring.
 
I followed the path up towards Gaergill Fell Top where the last bit is a diagonal scrabble across scree. At the top the position is marked with a small cairn. I was then on the easy path to Hallsfell Top and the Ordnance Survey circular trip point. The weather continued clear but slightly hazy. I then descended to the east via the main path down to Scales Fell and the busy A66. Then to Threlkeld and up to the car park along the path by the lower reaches of Kilnhow Beck.
 
   
 
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