Blencathra via Sharp Edge

  • A good scramble up Sharp Edge
  • Visit lonely Scales Tarn
  • Views over the rolling northern fells

I believe that the scramble up Sharp Edge on Blencathra is probably as much fun as you can have on any Lake District fell without taking a rope (summer only, winter is more serious). Sharp Edge is clearly seen on the drive from Penrith on the A66, as it falls steeply towards the perfect, but hidden Scales Tarn where the ridge starts. The only problem I have with the ridge is that it is too short and emerging on to the saddle brings a sense of disappointment that the fun is over.

In fact the ridge can be divided in to two; along the almost horizontal crest (a path to the right avoids some but not all the difficulties – best stick to the crest) before the steep slabs of Foule Crag (pick your route) complete the route. Away from the ridge the climb from Scales to Scales Tarn is thoroughly enjoyable with the return on the other side of the Tran, along Scales Fell even better. The views on this east ridge are absolutely superb. Pick a clear day

Recommend: Being on the smoother rocks of the Skiddaw Slates means this is considerably trickier in the wet and in particular if you use the ridge on the way down. Best fun is going up the ridge in dry conditions.

Download GPX file

Blencathra Sharp Edge map


All maps are copyright of Where2Walk © 2020

OS Map: O/S 1.25,000. OL5 The English Lakes North East. Buy Map
Start Point: NY 343269. There is parking on the side of the road at Scales (A66). The track is signposted just to the right of the farm.
Height to Climb: 613ms (2,011 feet)
Terrain: Sharp Edge is more of a challenge than Striding Edge and is definitely exposed. The remainder of this popular walk is on good paths.
Eating & Drinking: The White Horse is the obvious refreshment spot at the start and finish of the walk. Under new ownership the traditional Lakeland pub offers a good menu and excellent beer.
Similar Walks Nearby: Climbing Blencathra
Skiddaw via Ullock Pike
Fells of the Remote North
Places to Stay: Blease Garth, ThrelkeldPottery Cottage, nr Caldbeck