~Maiden Moor & More~
15th August 2010
The final day of this short camping trip and a desire to walk from the tent. I chose to make Maiden Moor the primary target and walk up from the Grange side. I suspect most walkers who count the summits just trot along the ridge and observe the lumps and bumps that make up MM's top and tick it off at the end of the day. I wanted to add this one to my list of fells that I've climbed from the foot....
Scroll down for photos and a description of the walk
Hollows Farm Campsite at 06:40hrs
The visit to this campsite was my first. The price is £6 per adult per night. The showers are 200yds from where I pitched my tent, but they are very good and at no charge to campers.This site is situated within Wainwright's "loveliest square mile of Lakeland" and as usual, he's spot on. In every direction from the site, the landscape is wonderful, it's a great place for families with young children.
Hollows Farm and Maiden Moor
My route is shown with red dots in the photo below. It's not quite what I intended, I was going to head for Hause Gate (between Catbells and this fell), but spotted a scramble and got carried away.
I suggest that most walkers avoid this route, it's very steep in places and could be dangerous in wet conditions.
The highest tree on this part of the fellside offered me a little sun shade. It's rather hot.
On the Eastern side of High Spy there are two crags: Nitting Haws and Goat Crag, the former is nearer the camera and offers outstanding views of Borrowdale. I'm stood next to a tree and you can see two more further along the fellside.
Near the Top
For much of the sramble and climb, the camera was put away. Here, I am quite near the top of the gully.
It's the heather season and this and many other fells will take on a purple shade. My only wish just now is that I should have set off one hour earlier. Tardy.
Taken from the "false summit" cairn on the approach from Catbells.
Maiden Moor Summit
One day, I'll be up here at the same time as someone else and I'll get a "Me on top of" photo; this is my second visit and it's about as busy as last time.
North Western Fells
The route to High Spy and it's Dale Head over there to the right.
High Spy Summit
Summiteer spotters will notice that I was previously here just six weeks ago, but it was hard to avoid on the way from MM to DH.
At this point, I thought that one more fell top would make my total this year to 100. What better way to achieve this total than to climb Dale Head from the tarn? 700ft of steep ascent. I found out the day after (Mon 16th) that I was still one short, so DH would actually be number 99. But in ignorant bliss, I decided that the gruelling ascent on a hot day was well worth it.
Dale Head Tarn
I've just passed a walking couple, 2hrs and 45mins after setting off, not bad. Numpty had forgotten the sun cream, so wrapped a damp towel around the back of his neck to keep cool and keep the sun off.
I reckon that first time visitors to Dale Head summit, climbing from Honister, will get the greatest surprise in the Lake District. Not at its very best today due to haze, but still an awesome sight to enjoy. It's Eccles Cake time.
Me on top of Dale Head
I met two wild campers up here, they had enjoyed a night of peace and quiet in the vicinity of Far Tongue Gill, north of the summit. One chap kindly took this photo. From here it was down in the direction of Honister Pass, with a diversion to look at Yew Crag Quarries.
What appears to be a tunnel joins two parts of Yew Crag Quarries. AW maybe mentions this as "old level" on DH7, but it's function appears to be that of a conduit between two parts of the quarry. I wandered through.
F£eetwith Pike and Buttermere
Soon you'll be able to zip-wire from one side of the valley to the other, or something like that, if the owner of the Honister Mine gets his way.
Yew Crag Quarry
Fleetwith Pike and Winding Drum
Wire rope remains wrapped around the old winding drum.
Fleetwith Pike and Honister Pass
Soon I rejoined the proper path and followed the route down to Honister Pass summit.
I called in at the Honister Mines building and bought, significantly now I've had a recount, a "99". I also took notice of AW's assertion that "a good fellwalker never tramps a road that has a bus service". But the next bus to Grange was an hour away. All objectives done, I would have taken a prompter bus, but as it was I reckon I could get back to the campsite quicker on foot, so off I went.
Rosthwaite Fell etc.
Castle Crag at 12:30hrs
Nearly six hours since the first photo of Castle Crag and taken from the other side. If I hadn't been due to pack the tent and go home, I think I would have paid the top a visit.
The last photo from a good weekend's walking. I strongly recommend this walk, albeit via Hause Gate, the only bit missing from the usual ridge walk is Catbells, but so what? I got back to the tent ahead of the bus timetable to Grange.
Walkers: Just Me
Time taken: 5hr 50 mins over a distance of approx. 9 miles, including 3,400ft of ascent.
Route: Grange Campsite, directly up Maiden Moor, ridge to High Spy, Dale Head Tarn, Dale Head, Yew Crag Quarries, Honister Pass, the "Allerdale Ramble" route back to Grange Campsite.
Weather and conditions: Sunny and very warm.
Greetings Count: A couple at Dale Head Tarn, father and son on Dale Head summit, then the "tourists" and busy thereafter.
Richard's Refreshment Review: Not much to report, it was a mad dash home to beat the Sunday afternoon retreat. The "99" at Honister was OK, but £2's a bit steep for what it was and I don't like lining MW's pockets. I'd rather have visited a quaint little tea shop.
My tent and car, 14th August 2010
All photos copyright Richard Ratcliffe 2010 ©