~A Newlands Round~
23rd November 2013
The trusty Mountain Weather Information Service provided scope for optimism. I recall they forecast - something like: a cloudy day, with chances of sunshine in the north-west of the area (Cumbria), very high percentage chance of cloud-free summits and very low chance of precipitation.
Crowds on Catbells
Scroll down for photos and a description of the walk....
Parking at Chapel Bridge, Little Town
I arrived at 08:00hrs and set off for Low Snab Farm. There's quite a few "Snabs" round here, the most confusing must be "Low High Snab". It's cloudy as per the forecast, no wind and it's looking good for a walk up to Hindscarth.
It's a new gate complete with new hinges and barbed wire along the top; the lane leads to Newlands Church and various Snabs. I like gates; I also like lanes.
Today's primary target is Hindscarth, surely not anyone's favourite fell, nor one for ashes scattering or fell top parties.
Low Snab Farm
On the slopes of Scope End are the disused mine entrances of "Pan Holes". Enter at your own risk!
Cold and quiet, a very serene scene.
Looking back and the sky is starting to fall onto Skiddaw, not a good sign.
I don't really mind the forecast (s) being wrong, there must be a fine line between full cloud cover and stuff falling out of the said clouds, I would just like somebody to explain the reason for the discrepency.
To Hindscarth Summit
Yes, it's B&W time as the colour is drained out of the scenery by light drizzle and immense dullness.
Hindscarth 2385ft asl
To Dale Head
This will be my second time on top of Dale Head this year.
It took me nearly two hours of easy fellwalking to reach the top of Hindscarth, the chap on the left was also at the car park earlier, he probably walked up Newlands Beck.
Newlands in 2013
Dale Head Summit 2473ft asl
Last time, "summit hoggers" were cluttering the view, no such problem today. Incidentally, the BBC is celebraating 50 years of Dr.Who; it's 50 years since Kennedy was shot* in Dallas (*I can't spell that long word) and it's 50 years since A.Wainwright signed off his 6th book: North Western Fells: "the most delectable of all" - who would argue with that?
Dale Head Tarn
To High Spy
Thin Ice on Dale Head Tarn
I had a short discussion with myself: do I continue over th felltops to Catbells, or should I drop down by Rigghead Quaries and walk along the quaint Borrowdale footpaths to Grange (cafes) and then back over Hause Gate to Little Town? Well, it might brighten up...
Walkers on High Spy
This is maybe a third of a very large party of fellwalkers.
High Spy 2143ft asl
The gentleman on the left from Helmsley, also here on the assumption of better weather, kindly took my souvenir photo. The couple seen in the first photo had left the rucksac and all provisions in the B&B. So armed with a guide book, no map or compass and no food they carry on their way with instructions from the well-prepared to "turn right" at the tarn.
Looking across to the ravine adjacent to Near Tongue Gill on the shoulder between Dale Head and Hindscarth.
The tops to Maiden Moor
Blea Crag and Derwent Water
The summit of non-Wainwright top, Blea Crag, offers a fine view of Derwent Water.
Maiden Moor Summit 1887ft asl
Ah! A "cloud-free" summit, thus proving that the percentages of chance give each possibility an opportunity to occur.
The view to Catbells showing the cloudy scene over Skiddaw. A large assembly on Catbells has fifteen minutes to get a move on, otherwise there will be trouble!
Catbells Summit 1481ft asl
The school group moved just before I had chance to tell them to shift. This view from the top shows Hindscarth (right of centre) with just a hint of cloud on the summit.
The Route to Little Town
A little cloud sits on Aiken Knott, part of Ard Crags. I descend off Catbells and pick up the easy track to contour around the hillsides and back to Little Town.
Scope End (and a gate)
Almost back to the car. A few miles of new territory for me along with some familiar summits.
Ideal Christmas Present: Lakeland's Gates 2014
A unique look at field entry points throughout Lakeland, showing gates, catches and even some hinges. Contact me for further details of pricing and bulk discounts etc. for this unique calendar.
Walkers: Just me.
Time taken: 7hrs 30mins over a distance of about 9.5 miles; 3,477ft of ascent.
Route: Chapel Bridge, Newlands Church, Low Snab Farm, Scope End, Hindscarth, Dale Head, Dale Head Tarn, High Spy, Blea Crag, Maiden Moor, Hause Gate, Catbells, Skelgill Bank, route around the foot of the hills to Little Town.
Weather and Conditions: Overcast with light precipiation, but two out of five cloud-free summits.
Greetings Count: Quiet until High Spy and then it was akin to Keswick High Street!
Refreshments: Coffee and cake at The Chalet, Portinscale. Fine cafe / restuarant, well worth a visit. By the time I left, there were 25 people in the cafe.
"July 2014" - The New Zealand Gate Catch, Stonethwaite
All photos copyright Richard Ratcliffe 2013 ©
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