28th December 2009

Souther Fell, by a much longer route than I'd expected it to be


Walk Overview
Time 11.00 to 14.30
Duration 3 hr 30 min
Distance 8.4 mile
Ascent 1520 ft
Walking with On my own
A66 Mungrisdale junction - road to Mungrisdale - Souther Fell - Knotts - road below Souther Fell - Low Beckside - road back to the A66
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Roadside parking, A66, Mungrisdale junction

This isn't somewhere I'd normally begin a walk, but on the occasion it did set out from here, the road to Mungrisdale was simply too icy.


Route Map

Souther Fell in front of Blencathra.

What a gorgeous day, and what a hard frost it was last night. Hard enough to freeze all yesterdays slushy snow into solid ice, making for treacherous conditions on some of the minor roads. What I had intended to do was drive to Mungrisdale and walk up Souther Fell, returning via Bannerdale Crags and possibly Bowscale Fell. As soon as I turned off the main road however, I thought there's no way I'm even trying to drive along here. It may look like snow and slush in this photo, but believe me, the whole lot was frozen solid. At one point I even thought about going back to the car to put my crampons on.

Looking back along the road towards Clough Head and Great Dodd.

Talk about hard work. I can't believe it took over half an hour to walk along the road to here.


Great Mell Fell, seemingly towering above the fells in the distance.

Looking back through knee deep snow to the distant Pennines.

Almost on the ridge now and Blencathra comes into view.

Blencathra and Bannerdale Crags, seen from Souther Fell's summit.

Leaving the summit, with a fantastic view towards the eastern and the north western fells.

Looking back to the summit.


Normally I wouldn't give a pair of gaiters the time of day. Some people may disagree, but unless there's snow on the ground, I find them to be the most needless piece of clothing ever invented. Today on the other hand, I was more than glad I'd put them in the bag. Particularly as the snow was about to get even deeper as I took an off path route down to the road.

Blencathra taken somewhere near the place I left the ridge.

A close up of Sharp Edge.


Down on the road now and the slipping and sliding began again.

Great Mell Fell seen from the road. I know I sound like a record that's stuck, but this wasn't nice soft, fluffy snow on the road the whole lot was frozen solid, and to say the least, it was extremely tricky to walk along.





A group of hardy Souther Fell residents.

Almost back at the car and looking across to Blencathra and Souther Fell.

It was only half past two and it was already starting to freeze again. The windscreen was iced over and it took a couple of attempts to get the car back onto the road again.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks