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Showing posts from 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 fe…

Tilberthwaite and Hodge Close Quarries.

Tilberthwaite was once a thriving centre for slate quarrying. The quarries have been idle for decades and nature has pretty much reclaimed them; blanketing them in deciduous woodland. These days the actual quarries are of most interest to rock climbers and divers as Hodge Close Quarry will testify.

I just dropped by whilst on my way to Coniston to meet up with Sal and her parents who had their motor home by the lake. The morning had started off beautifully but dark clouds were rapidly approaching by the time I got there. I was only there about half an hour but was lucky enough to catch a few breaks in the clouds. You have to be there to really appreciate the degree in which the quarries and spoil heaps have changed this landscape. Some people might say it had been ruined but with the right light on the trees, it can look quite interesting to the eye. I was going to write beautiful but I think that would be exaggerating things somewhat. I always like to begin walks in to Little Lan…

Stockley Bridge

I wonder how many times in their life an active fell walker walks over Stockley Bridge. I've done it more times than I can remember, the first time being over twenty years ago when I made my first ascent of Great End. Whether it be the path up Grains Gill or the path over Sty Head Pass, the end result is the same. You will end up in the middle of the high fells of the Lake District.

This is the start of the walker's route up to The Scafells, Great End, Great Gable and Esk Pike. It is also the start of the route to major crossroads of paths and bridleways. Styhead Pass leading from Borrowdale over to Wasdale, Esk Hause where paths from Great Langdale, Borrowdale, Eskdale and Wasdale meet, all can be attained from this starting point. Throw in Sprinkling Tarn and Sty Head Tarn and its easy to see why it is so popular. Oh and I forgot to mention Taylor Gill Force which is one of the largest waterfalls in the district.

On the day I walked up there it was rather dismal and I fully …

Watendlath and its tarn

I think this was the most enjoyable day I've had all summer so far. Again Sal was with me and we called in at Surprise View on the way up as she hadn't been there before. There I got talking to an old local, sorry I'll rephrase that, an old local pounced on me and then began to rant about the wind turbines which had been installed at the top end of Bassenthwaite Lake. He then moved on to local government corruption before finishing off on the Tory Government and their corruption. He kept referring to David Cameron as Camairon so at first I was at a loss as to what he was going on about. Eventually the penny dropped though so I joined in with my four penneth. Sal couldn't understand a word he was saying so she discreetly strolled off to take some photos looking down on to Derwentwater.

We carried on along the narrrow road up to the hamlet of Watendlath and it's tarn. We both needed a bit of a leg stretch so we put our walking shoes on and, after watching the local …