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.
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.
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.
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.
High Spy from close to Dalehead Tarn.
Dale Head across Dalehead Tarn.
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.
I was really enjoying the views of this craggy face of High Spy.
Looking down on Dalehead Tarn.
High Spy again.
I told you I was enjoying it!
Dale Head summit.
View down the Newlands to a hazy Skiddaw.
Meet the gang.
Another view down the Newlands Valley.
Looking back to Dale Head.
High Crags – our ridge route down.
Another brew stop – it was a bit parky.
The ridge again.
Looking back up the ridge to Hindscarth.
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.