Blaen Cathrac

If the title looked vaguely familiar then it is because it is likely that these two words from the old Celtic language, Cumbric, (spoken in northern England, southern Scotland and similar to that spoken in Wales until sometime around the 12th Century), meaning 'bare hill top' and 'chair', and which describe the mountain's topography arguably more accurately than 'Saddleback', are what gave us the name:
Blencathra.
Whatever your preference, it is a striking mountain that stands as northern outpost to the Lake District fells: Crag Hill and Grasmoor seen here...
...the Pennines to the east...
...and which presents a compelling array of ridge lines, particularly in full winter condition when, from the valley at least, it is almost alpine in appearance.
In fact, Hall's Fell ridge, above, is more often used as the descent following the traverse of Sharp Edge but on this day, with icy winds funelling down the valley between Blencathra and Bannerdale Crags, I elected to climb in the sun and shelter following the more sheltered arete directly to the summit.
The position is perhaps best appreciated from here, watching others begin their descent.
Skiddaw with Little Man and Lonscale Fell to the west; walkers approaching Blencathra's summit from Knowe Crags. 
With the valley air temperature a frigid -12c and extreme wind chill on the summit, I was soon heading down, along the open slopes of Scales Fell.
From here, the ridges of Hall's Fell and Doddick Fell are seen in sharp and spectacular profile.
It has probably been more than 10 years since I last traversed Blencathra's bare summit; on a day such as this it seemed worth the wait.

Comments

Ian said…
Great stuff again will, love the spindrift image

Ian
Will Herman said…
Hi Ian - my fingers paid dearly for the photos that day!