8th December 2010

Souther Fell from Scales


Walk Overview
Time 11.20 to 14.55
Duration 3 hr 35 min
Distance 6.1 mile
Ascent 1300 ft
Walking with Jennifer
Scales - Mousthwaite Comb - Souther Fell - Hazelhurst - Far Southerfell - Comb Beck - Scales
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Roadside parking, Scales, Threlkeld

I'm sure anyone who has driven along this stretch of the A66 will have noticed the line of cars along both sides of the road. To hazard a guess, I'd say almost all of the occupants had headed out for a walk up Blencathra; and probably via Sharp Edge.

There is actually space for quite a few cars along here, but thoughtless parking often reduces the number of cars that can manage to get a spot. Parking is free, but it does fill up pretty fast, at all times of year.


Route Map

And the sub, sub zero temperatures just keep coming. On the drive through this morning the local radio was quoting temperatures last night of -10, -14 and even a -18 in Cumbria. Amazingly the guy said he couldn't wait until Friday because he'd had enough of this and it was forecast to rain. OK, fair enough, and while I know all this has caused an awful lot of disruption to so many people up and down the country, at least you get decent days like this. I say decent, but if I'm talking from a fell walking point of view decent just doesn't go far enough; this really is as perfect as it gets.

Just outside Scales and we started to follow this minor road, which if you walk to its end, takes you into Mungrisdale.

You just never know what you're going to see do you.


We decided to walk up Mousthwaite Comb now instead of walking down it at the end of the walk.

Great Mell Fell seen from the same place as I took the previous picture.

I wouldn't go too fast, it's going to be hard work walking through the snow on the ridge.

A view back around the edge of Mousthwaite Comb.
The fells in the background are Clough Head and the Dodds.


Blencathra comes into view as we reach the crest of the ridge.
It was here that Jennifer said "why don't we go up Blencathra instead of walking across Souther Fell". If only she'd said this at the car. We did have everything we'd need for a walk up Blencathra in these conditions, unfortunately I hadn't expected it so I left crampons, ice axes and most of the food in the car.

Looking down to the River Glenderamackin.

"It's unlikely that anyone will ask you to go to the North Pole, but if they did, at least you can't say you've got nothing to wear"


Not the summit cairn, the summit doesn't have one.

Winter sunshine.

Heading across the ridge to the summit of Souther Fell.

The views were so clear today, as this picture of the Pennines shows. The highest point on the skyline is Cross Fell, 21 miles away (in a straight line).

Shifting snows on Souther Fell.

When we set off there wasn't a breath of wind, across the ridge it was a bit breezy, but down the northern end of the ridge, , , the wind just seemed to pick up from nowhere. We were going to carry on to the wall at the bottom of the ridge but enough was enough and we decided to take a short cut straight down to the road.

"there must be some food around here somewhere"

Great Mell Fell, seen from the road we followed back to Scales.


Long shadows as the afternoon draws on.

This must be what you get if you cross an emu with a sheep.

"Yes, OK, you're much better looking than the shemu in the previous picture"

Well, that was a gorgeous few hours that was, even if we didn't get up to the dizzy heights of Blencathra. Next time Jennifer suggests a walk I'll think about what else is close by and set off better prepared.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks