Sharp Edge. The Lake District
One of the Lake Districts most famous scrambles and not for the faint-hearted. If you do this one you need to be prepared with proper footwear and be a confident climber. Mistakes here can be fatal.
Sharp Edge is a ridge that leads up to the top of Blencathra a mountain near Keswick. It’s a bit of a trek to even get to the start of the climb but once you reach Scales tarn you will start the scramble. The track leads up to the rocky ridge. I’m wary about giving to much advice here as if you’re asking if you’re ready to do the climb, the answer is probably no. I’m fairly experienced and once had a bit of a panic on a sunny day.
If you’re a confident walker/climber you can follow the ridge up and get exposed views down each side over the jagged rocks and down onto Scales tarn. I’ve had different weather conditions each time I’ve done the ascent but the most memorable was on a misty day.
The forecast had said it would clear early but real life didn’t work that way and we sat at the start of the ridge for a few hours watching the clouds come and go, creating patterns on the rocks. It was great for photography and a pretty cool experience sat on the edge watching the world go by. The clouds did eventually clear and we carried on with the walk.
Once you reach the top I usually head left up to the top of Blencathra to get the views down onto Keswick and Derwentwater.
Challenging – It’s quite a strenuous walk before you even reach the ridge. Then once you’re climbing Sharp Edge there are a lot of places where things can go wrong, quickly.
OS Grid Ref: NY 32620 28317
Latitude: 54° 38′ 43″ N
Longitude: 3° 2′ 44″ W
On the walk up Sharp Edge offers great dramatic views of the rocks leading up to the top of Blencathra. Higher up the ridge you get to look back down the ridge and down onto Scales tarn, which offers a totally different perspective.