by Brian Fields
Good Day to you all.
I have just returned from Scales today (May 10, 2002), after attempting your walk description from your site
The weather was clear at low level but with thick mist above 1000ft. I've done many walks in the lakes in bad weather, so it wasn't a problem for me.
The route from Scales Green was spot on although it is quite steep for the first hour. I went in full walking gear, although on a good day I think trail boots would be better for some parts.
Once at Scales Tarn, which I couldn't see for mist, I set off up Sharp Edge. It started fine along a natural path, but very soon I found myself having to spend a lot of time trying to find my way over very scary rock areas to get up. A few feet at a time was made, and no natural way to go. Twice I was stopped and found myself stuck on dangerous ledges.
I got to the top in the end, and found my way down just, by using map and compass - don't go up without them. Got back down in five hours.
The next morning, the weather was first class - clear sunny skies - so set out up again, this time using very light attire - trail shoes and shorts etc.
I ran to the tarn in no time at all, and tried Sharp Edge again in good clear weather. This time I found it even more difficult. Because I could see without the mist around, the vertical drops were very scary indeed.
Again it took me a lot of hard searching to find my way over very slight rock footholds to the top, and once again getting stuck under overhangs and very very slowly working my way up to the top. I then ran back down to Scales farm where I was staying in a B&B (which is ideal place for that walk).
I will go back again this summer, but I will never go back up Sharp Edge without a rope and another person. Its the hardest climb I've ever done, and although I did get there in the end, I did talk to four chaps who had spent nearly two hours trying to climb Sharp Edge, but had to return to the tarn because they had found the rock sections needing rock climbing equipment and ropes.
Maybe we didn't find the natural route many talked about, but even so, thats one hell of a scary walk, even for me, and I've done Striding Edge (Helvellyn Walks: ) in bad weather many times.
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