Sunday, 17 July 2016

Dalehead from Honister

I haven't been up a high fell for a long time what with knees and hips playing up. Plus the fact that I'm getting older and could do with losing some weight does't help. I picked what is possibly one of the easier fells as the ascent of Dalehead can only be a mile or so from the top of Honister Pass. Alfred Wainwright said you could climb it with your hands in your pockets and I suppose you could if you weren't lugging around a heavy camera with an even heavier lens!

It's a straightforward ascent, you just follow the fence leading from the top of the pass. You are never very far from it all the way up and when it does disappear, there is a wide well-cairned path right up the the impressive summit cairn. If I remember rightly, an even bigger cairn was destroyed many years ago and was then rebuild.

I don't think the top of Dalehead can be surpassed in it's situation, being slap bang at the head of the Newlands Valley. The earth just falls away beneath your feet and you have an amazing view of Skiddaw ahead and the crags of High Spy to the right. Also looking back, you have all the Lakeland giants. Scafell Pike, Great Gable, Esk Pike, Kirk Fell and to the left Pillar and the Buttermere Fells. You can even see the top of the Langdale Pikes peering over the Central Fells Ridge.

It is certainly a place to just to find a nice boulder and rest your bones for a while. I had a bite to eat and a drink before dragging myself away and strolling back down. Maybe the next time I will take a walk along Hindscarth Edge where the ground drops steeply down to the pass and also gives a spectacular view of Honister Crags across the valley.

All in all, I felt quite chuffed with my small achievement and it's given me the motivation to try something a bit harder and farther in future.

Fleetwith Pike

Looking over to Kirk Fell and Pillar

Looking over to Kirk Fell and Pillar

Nearing the summit

High Spy Crags

Summit Cairn

Summit Cairn

High Spy and  Eastern Fells

Summit Path to Hindscarth

Newlands Valley

Great Gable Crag

Newlands and Skiddaw

Summit Cairn and the North Western fells

Newlands Valley

Honister Crag

Fleet with Pike and Honister Crag

A journey of two halves.

It was one of those all too frequent occasions when the weather forecast had a big wad of thick cloud and rain hanging over Cumbria whilst ...