The Newlands Round

September 8, 2010 at 10:02 pm | Posted in Walking | Leave a comment

The main peaks of the Newlands Round dominate the view from the house we rented for the week, and so this was a must-do route. But first I had to find a way of crossing over Keskadale Beck as the footbridge below the house had been brought down in the  spring floods. Safely over via some old tree roots and stepping stones,  I headed across High Snab Bank to the start of the stone path leading up to the summit of Robinson. Quite steep in places, some care is needed to pick the right way through the rocks as the path fades away. Fairly soon the ground levelled out and there were fine views back down the Newland valley before the final section to the rounded peak with views over to the Buttermere ridge and beyond.

The full extent of the Newlands Round was now visible, with the path over to Hindscarth and then on to Dale Head much clearer. Hindscarth was a relatively gentle climb from the path descending from Robinson, with fine views from the cairn just beyond the summit taking in the whole of the Newlands valley down to Derwent Water.

From Hindscarth, I returned to the path from Robinson that leads on to Dale Head. More excellent views from the summit of Dale Head, which is marked by a fine stone column.

From the summit it is then a steep descent on stone steps to Dalehead Tarn. The tarn was a good place for a break and some sustenance before the climb back up to the High Spy ridge. This ridge runs all the way along to Cat Bells, which I climbed a few years ago, and the shores of Derwent Water.  There were more walkers now, coming up from Cat Bells presumably and a slight shower as I reached the second of the High Spy summits. It didn’t last long though and it was a pleasant stroll along the ride to Maiden Moor before cutting across to the Newlands Valley at the col before Cat Bells. From the col there was also a distant view of the house, a pleasing prospect at this point.

The path home was straightforward – particularly as I avoided what should have been a shortcut via Newlands Church, deciding that the simpler way along the road to the house was bett er for my  aching legs.

On a fair day like this the Newlands round is a lovely challenge – not too tough but hard enough to give you a real sense of achievement.


Buttermere ridge

September 6, 2010 at 10:27 pm | Posted in Walking | Leave a comment

A birthday walk above Buttermere. The night before the weather forecaster had explicitly warned that this was a day to avoid the mountains, but though the wind was strong it was  still clear and it turned out to be a fine day for a walk.

I started from Buttermere with a walk around the lake then took the path up Scarth Gap. I cut off to follow the Nuttall route where a wall cuts across the path. Then according to the route I followed the remains of another wall parallel with the ridge but I missed ‘the easily identified path’ through the scree and ended up doing a fairly tricky and unnecessary scramble over scree and heather before meeting the path near the ridge. From there it was a straightforward walk up to the summit of High Crag with excellent views across the lake and across to Great Gable. The sky was clear but the wind was very strong and I made sure to keep well away from the cliff edges.

From High Crag the path is followed easily to the next peak, High Stile. After that came the most exposed section to the wind and at the summit of Red Pike I just about kept the camera still long enough for a couple of photos. Then in my haste to get away from the wind I took the wrong path of the summit, This was a short but steep and crumbling path to the ridge path below and I didn’t stop to check I was going the right way until I was already off the summit. I rechecked the map but really no choice but to retrace my steps to the summit of Red Pike. It was only a few hundred metres but there is something particularly dispiriting about having to do an unnecessary climb back uphill because of a silly mistake. Once that was done, the right route was clear – a crumbling and steep scree path that I slid down as much as I walked. When it levelled out, it was an easy walk to the summit of Dodd, a quick photograph in the strong wind, and then on down to Bleaberry Tarn, lying beneath the ridge. After that it was steep set of rock steps down to the shore of the Buttermere and a welcome pint in The Fish Inn.

So despite the forecast, it turned out to be a good walk with excellent views and a few lessons learnt about the consequences of making a hasty choice of the wrong path.

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