I could tell the conditions were not going to be ideal for this as I drove past the Howgills on the M6. The sky was a mixture of gray and white cloud, the windscreen wipers were more on than off; but more than anything else it was extremely windy. I arrived shortly after 10am and parked in a layby on the A66 at Scales. The rain came down as I walked up the narrow tree lined lane that led to the beginning of the path.
I followed the path beside Mousthwaite Beck, which started to climb steeply as it rose up into the comb. At the top there was a wet grassy shelf between Scales Fell and Souther Fell. It was at this point that the Saddle of Blencathra came into view, just visible below the white cloud blowing across the plateau. However the thing that really grabbed my attention at that point was the dramatic drop at the east end of the plateau, where Foul Crag joined with with the knife edge ridge of Sharp Edge. From this vantage point the route looked almost impossible for a walker to accomplish.
As I made my way towards the end of the shelf to join the path to Sharp Edge, the clouds cleared for a time, and I got a clear view of the dramatic scenery.
Turning right at the end of the shelf the path skirted the lower slopes of Scales Fell above the river Glenderamackin. Soon the path began the steep climb beside Scales Beck where it flowed down from the Tarn above. Sharp Edge was getting closer with every step. As the path levelled out at the top of the climb, Scales Tarn stretched out before me below the towering face of Sharp Edge and the rock wall below Blenchathra's Saddle.