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Blencathra or Saddleback


Quick Facts
This is the height of the mountain above sea level. However, on the climb, it is the ascent that matters, i.e. the sum of all the uphill parts of the route.
868 m (2847 ft)

This is the standard notation used on Ordnance Survey Landranger maps.

Each reference consists of two letters identifying a 100,000 metre square block then three digits defining the Easting and finally the three digits defining the Northing with reference to the South West corner of the block.

NN166712 is the grid reference for the summit of Ben Nevis. Where you are given the map number ( For Ben Nevis = 41) it is acceptable to omit the two initial letters e.g. 166712. (Instructions on how to read the references are given on the OS maps).

Grid Ref.
An indication of this mountains height rank within its class. Where two mountains share the same height they are ordered alphabetically.
The number of ascent routes currently available on Munromagic.
Mountain names are usually in Gaelic, the native language of the Scottish Highlands, or have been derived from the old Scots and Norse languages. We give the most commonly accepted meaning, but accept that some of these are disputed.
Chair shaped mountain

The UK is covered by 204 Ordnance Survey Landranger 1:50,000 scale maps. Maps numbered 1 to 86 cover Scotland but for the highest mountains (Munros) only 23 maps are required. The name given roughly describes the area covered by the map.

You can click on the map name to purchase the map for £6.29 including postage which is one of the cheapest prices we have found.

OS Landranger Maps Required
  90   Penrith & Keswick, Ambleside
Only £6.29  (£13.49 Laminated) from  

A description of the characteristics of the mountain including any hazards of which you should be aware.

The Cumbrian peak, Blencathra (2500ft+) , stands close to and N of the A66 road near Keswick in the Lake District (England), towards which it presents an array of 5 short and steep ridges (fells) separated by deep-cut valleys (gills). The main ridge of the mountain begins in the E with Scales Fell, ends in the W with Blease Fell, and between these on the S side are (from E to W) Doddick Fell, Hall’s Fell and Gategill Fell. All of these have paths by which the mountain may be climbed from the A66 village of Threlkeld or the little hamlet of Scales.

The central summit is also known on maps as Hallsfell Top: strangely for a Lakeland mountain it lacks both cairn and shelter, and its trig point is a flat and circular ground-level casting without a pillar. The E ridge (to Scales Fell) and WSW ridge (to Blease Fell) have S-facing crags for most of their length, whereas the N-facing slopes are grassy.

A third broad ridge runs N from the summit to Foule Crag (845m) then descends in a gentle grassy slope to Mungrisdale. From Foule Crag a short and narrow rocky spur, Sharp Edge, runs E to the N of small Scales Tarn. Sharp Edge’s rocky crest offers a sporting ascent route which necessitates a brief but exposed move across a hiatus.

Hazards you may encounter on Blencathra or Saddleback include
 Steep slopes on or near ascent routes.
 Crags near summit.
 Narrow Ridges, with exposure.
General Considerations
 Temperature decreases by 1degree C for every 100m of ascent.
 Wind usually increases with altitude.
 Visibility can change markedly with cloud level.
 River/Stream levels can increase markedly in one day.
A special thank you to David S Brown for his work on this and all of the England/Wales information.
Picture Gallery for Blencathra or Saddleback

A selection of weather forecasts local to #GetMountain.Top_Name#.

Ordnance Survey digital maps are also available to members.

 Weather & OS Maps
Cumbrian Fells
by MWIS (PDF format)
Lake District
by Met Office
by Metcheck
Blencathra or Saddleback Area Map
Legend  Munro  Corbett  Graham  English/Welsh Top  Accommodation

A selection of local accommodation options who advertise with Munromagic.com.

 Where to Stay
We currently have no
sponsored accommodation listings for this area.

The summary information of one or more ascent routes that include Blencathra or Saddleback.

Click on the route title to load the full content for that route.

 Routes that include Blencathra or Saddleback
  Ascent Distance Time Including... Description Rating
1 675 m 6.79 km 2.5 hrs Blencathra or Saddleback  This short but challenging route includes a traverse of Sharp Edge, Lakeland’s narrowest rock ridge, which involves a short but unavoidable exposed shuffle across a hiatus. Not for the faint-hearted, who can combine the 2 descent routes from Scales.  
2 700 m 7.26 km 3 hrs Blencathra or Saddleback  A circular route involving direct ascent to the summit, with minimal scrambling on a rocky ridge (Hall’s Fell), then a traverse above crags before descent.  

Pictures submitted by members on the summit of Blencathra or Saddleback

 Baggers Gallery for Blencathra or Saddleback

Me on the summit of Blencathra. Derwent Water behind me, and to the right is the main ridge to Gategill Fell top.

© David S Brown

Image by David S Brown
The logging section stores any entries for Blencathra or Saddleback in your own log. From here you can
  1. Add a route log entry that includes this mountain
  2. Write a full account of your route including photos
  3. Edit an existing log entry including uploading a GPX file or add a photo
  4. Delete your log entry
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 Shared Members Track Logs
Blencathra or Saddleback
by Jonathan Tole

Post a few words about Blencathra or Saddleback or read what others have had to say.

Graham Avis
wrote on
October 29, 2009
My favourite route is to park at Village Hall at Mungrisdale. Climb Souther Fell and approach Blencathra from the east. Climb the classic Sharp Edge and after walking to the summit, retrace your steps to Foule Crag and take in Mungrisdale Common to Bowscale Fell. Descend by The Tongue back to your car a Mungrisdale Village Hall or a Mill Inn for a pint!!!
Ian Paul
wrote on
May 12, 2009
My favourite mountain of all. This mountain has everything. I have climbed it in every season and mood it has to offer. I had a caravan sited within sight of it for many years. The ascent via Sharp Edge in winter conditions is exhilrating and very 'alpine' . If you think the hills of the Lake District are tame then please try this one - up Sharp Edge then down the middle finger ridge, called Hall's fell, a great day out.

A full written account of a climb submitted by our members.

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 Route Write-Ups
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