Sharp Edge Blencathra with Alan Hinkes

After fitting the new summit stone, I go on an adventure down Sharp Edge Blencathra with Alan Hinkes, the only Brit to have climbed all of the world’s 8000m mountains. Why would something like this change your life?

Blencathra

The new Blencathra summit stone
The new Blencathra summit stone

Firstly, Lesley Skyblue, was on the summit when we arrived at 2pm on Saturday and the last to leave at 2pm on Sunday! We didn’t know her, she was simply there to show support and be part of what is seriously a historic event for the Lake District. Lesley is a fine example of the Lakeland walker, true and devoted. She was on the summit for 24 hours, and the night was freezing.

I had to wait on the summit to get a photo of The New Blencathra Summit Stone by itself with Derwent behind for the limited edition map we’ve designed (link in my bio) so I was the last of our party from the top.

Alan Hinkes, a true gentleman if I ever met one, was helping Lesley pack her tent away. I had to say thank you after chasing him all week to come ?. When they’d done, he pipes up, ‘Down over Sharp Edge then?’

Descending Sharp Edge Blencathra

The last thing I was planning after such an exhausting two days was descending an arrêt but doing it with Britain’s most successful mountaineer, the only Brit to ascend all 14 8000m mountains! ? No brainer.

Climbing Sharp Edge on the Northern Fells expedition
Climbing Sharp Edge on the Northern Fells expedition

Alan grabbed hold of Lesley’s 12kg bag and hooked the handle over his head as a sherpa would. Well, he had his own bag on his shoulders! Off he goes down the gully!!!

Descending Sharp Edge Blencathra with Alan Hinkes
Descending Sharp Edge Blencathra with Alan Hinkes

Keeping up was hard enough but looking down, watching him simply walk straight over the stretches that so many people crawl filled me with a confidence I’ve honestly lacked. It transformed my view on ‘edges’ forever.

Talking Leadership With Alan Hinkes

We threw our bags down on the grass coming over Scales Fell and had one of those random ‘funny as’ conversations about phone boxes and vintage mobile phones before setting off STRAIGHT down the rest of the hillside. There’s a zig-zag on Scales Fell?

Sharp Edge Blencathra with Alan Hinkes
Sharp Edge Blencathra with Alan Hinkes

Sharp Edge Blencathra is the ultimate end to an unforgettable weekend in the Lakes.

So why has it changed my future? Well tomorrow I’m doing the same thing – after an ascent of Halls Fell Ridge! – with another Wainwrights/Lakeland legend. I’ll tell that story tomorrow.

THEN after taking a group up Scafell Pike on Saturday I’m heading for Snowdonia for a day up Tryfan, the Bristly Ridge and the next day, climbing the grade three Cneifion Arete.

This is not what I had planned this Spring. I feel like I’m on fire at the moment and it doesn’t look like the flames are dying down.

Alan Hinkes 8000 metres

Alan Hinkes – 8000 metres

Why not buy the book… Alan Hinkes – 8000 Metres – Climbing the world’s highest mountains.

Learn more…

The New Blencathra Summit Stone
The New Blencathra Summit Stone

The New Blencathra Summit Stone

After the old Blencathra summit ring was stolen, John Beamson raised nearly £1000 to replace it. We fitted The New Blencathra Summit Stone in March 2019, with Alan Hinkes, Steve Birkinshaw on the summit to celebrate.

Read the whole story here.

Read next…

Steve-Birkinshaw-Sharp-Edge-Blencathra
Steve-Birkinshaw-Sharp-Edge-Blencathra

Talking Wainwrights with Steve Birkinshaw

Halls Fell Ridge, Blencathra and Sharp Edge with Steve Birkinshaw, while discussing RUNNING the Wainwrights, his 2014 record, Paul Teirney and chronic fatigue syndrome.