Dale Head and Hindscarth

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The ridges of Hindscarth and Robinson extending into the head of the Newlands Valley.

Before I set off for our weekend away in the Newlands Valley I had been obsessively following the weather forecast. Saturday was looking like being the better day, with a good chance of clear summits and good views. Sunday didn’t look so good. In the event, the weather on the Saturday was a bit of a disappointment, but Sunday brought great compensation. The sky started clear and stayed that way all day.

You may have gathered, if you’ve read a few of my hill-walking posts over the years, that when I’m walking with my old cronies from my Manchester days I have a modus operandi for the day. I’m very conscious that I walk very, very slowly – so I set off whilst everybody else is still faffing about with their boots, gaiters, rucksack etc. “You’ll catch me up,” I always say as I set off. “You always say that, but we never do.” is the habitual response. But they always do, and usually quite quickly. On this occasion however, with a long steady walk in, I almost made it to Dalehead Tarn before I was overhauled.

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Due to some of my usual camera muppetry, this time leaving my memory card at home, I was using a different camera for the day, a little point and snap which I’d borrowed from TBH for using in the bar in the evening. I took a lot of pictures with it, but mostly out and about on the Sunday. The picture above shows a spoil heap from the Castlenook Mine and, behind that, Squat Knotts, which looks to me like an interesting alternative route on to Hindscarth – one for the future.

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I passed a shepherd just after I left Little Town and he and his dogs were now driving a large flock up the valley behind me.

There’s a pretty impressive waterfall on Newlands Beck. I dropped down off the path to try to get a decent photo, but without a great deal of success. Andy may have better photos when he gets around to posting about this weekend – the main party missed the path and followed the stream up – perhaps why they took so long to catch me.

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We climbed Dale Head last year via a cracking path which takes a steady line up into the coomb below Hindscarth Edge and then traverses back above Dalehead Crags before a final ascent up a shoulder to the summit. You can see the first part of that route angling up from right to left in the photo below.

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High Spy from close to Dalehead Tarn.

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Dale Head across Dalehead Tarn.

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A stop.

We like stops. Lots of them. Often for a long time. I’d finished my flask of tea whilst everybody else still looked settled, and as usual, ever the tortoise, I was climbing again long before anyone else. This time though, the hares were past me fairly quickly.

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I was really enjoying the views of this craggy face of High Spy.

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Looking down on Dalehead Tarn.

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High Spy again.

I told you I was enjoying it!

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Dale Head summit.

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View down the Newlands to a hazy Skiddaw.

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Meet the gang.

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Ever onward.

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Buttermere.

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Hindscarth.

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Another view down the Newlands Valley.

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Looking back to Dale Head.

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On Hindscarth.

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High Crags – our ridge route down.

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Another brew stop – it was a bit parky.

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The ridge again.

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Looking back up the ridge to Hindscarth.

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When the path contoured below the ridge line, Andy and I stuck with the pathless, precipitous, western edge – well worth a little extra effort.

The day held one final treat – mist gathering in the valleys and a pink alpenglow on the fells, particularly Skiddaw and Blencathra.

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Magic.

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Dale Head and Hindscarth

7 thoughts on “Dale Head and Hindscarth

  1. One of the best days of the year that. I loved that area around Dale Head Tarn and finally at the umpteenth attempt I got a view off Dale Head itself. The walk along that edge on the way down Hindscarth was a real treat, off piste is always the best 🙂

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