Blencathra – 868m


Come and walk Blencathra  – One of the Lake Districts most iconic mountains, and a must on a Keswick walkers tick list. Blencathra can be walked with or without climbing Sharp Edge. In fact it can just be walked using one of the marked routes shown (see picture) But it’s certainly more fun getting to the top by Sharp edge. Firstly the edge is not classed as ‘climbing’ but come in to the ‘scrambling’ classification and are graded as level 1. Check out are Scrambling grade description here.

It’s in the name…

Blencathra or Saddleback as it was first known, due to the shape of the mountain looking from the east.

Like all mountains Blencathra commands respect, and with any mountain weather conditions can change when hiking this mountain.  We will provide you with a recommended kit list. On request, we will send this out at the time of you’re booking.

Due to the walks length, Ideally you should be hovering around, or at our Bronze fitness level. This means you’ll get the most out of your time up Blencathra and Sharp Edge.

Of course that said, we have guided people of all ages and abilities up this mountain, over our 2 decades of guiding in the hills of UK and Europe. Your day with us will be one that is fun and run by our highly experienced and qualified instructors.

Blencathra via Sharp Edge is generally walked in the spring/summer months of the Lake District. Likewise it can be tackled in the winter months too. This is a different undertaking, as the days are shorter and colder. Snow also makes the journey far harder than the spring/summer months. In winter extra clothing is needed. Again full kit list will be sent out on booking confirmation.

If you are considering a winter ascent of Blencathra / Saddleback, then we recommend a training day with us in preperation. In truth you will need to use crampons and ice axe to gain the summit. The ground via Striding and Swirral edges becomes a lot trickier in winter and you will need to have a confident approach to walking this mountain.


To explain the routes up Blencathra, please see our attached map. Here you will see 3 route variations. Starting with the red route, this is the classic way up Sharp Edge from Scales.  This route takes in Scales tarn, Sharp edge and Blencathra / Saddleback summit. Afterwards we make our way back down Scales fell. An easy fell that’ll let you admire the ridge you’ve just climbed – Sharp edge.

The blue route misses out Sharp edge, and makes it’s way to the Col between Mungrisdale common and Bannerdale crags. Incidentally the latter has a fine scramble on it’s eastern flanks, and also makes a great edition to the day. As a result this is considerably longer in time. Likewise we would finish down Scales fell.

The orange route makes a fine day, and one that is recommended in the classic Keswick walks guide. Again making our way up Sharp edge, and onto the summit. But instead of Scales, we head down Hallsfell ridge which is, if you stick to it a lovely easy scramble. Subsequently makes for a lovely finish to an iconic mountain.

In conclusion there are many ways to ascend this beautiful mountain. Get in touch if there is an alternative you prefer.

Walking map routes of Blencathra

For a group of 4 persons the price is £50 per person.

A £50 deposit is required to book a place. See our Contact and Pricing page for more details.

For larger groups please get in touch for pricing.

*  We operate a 1:4 instructor policy on Sharp Edge. For larger groups, or if you are just walking Blencathra, then get in touch.