"Do you think you are wise to do this on the hottest day of the
year?" asked she who can identify Wetherlam when she sees it.
"Don't worry, we'll take it nice and slow." I replied but she
didn't believe me.
"Do you think we are wise to do this on the hottest day of the
year?" asked Tony as I picked him up.
"Not you too!" I
However as Tony and I were chatting in the front of the car and
Stan and Bryan were in the back discussing options for parking and start and
finish, some worrying words filtered through to us. "It's a brute of a climb..." and "Should we
do the brute immediately or after a mile's approach.?."
This was not what we were wanting to hear on the hottest day of
The decision was to park at the end of the Cat Bells ridge and
walk the mile or so to Little Town from
whence to pick up the trail.
It was just starting to hot up nicely. The route to Little Town was across
pleasant lanes (see photo with Hindscarth in
background on left) and farmland in the beautiful Newlands Valley. From there we went by the lovely Newlands
Church and accessed the fells at Low Snab.
The climb up Scope End towards Hindscarth wasn't exactly a brute
but it was unrelenting. None of us
seemed to be going particularly well but Tony especially started to suffer. But then he pulled out his magic flask and
swigged his secret potion and he was transformed. He shot off up the hill. He led!
Not only did he lead but he led us along a traverse with an instant death
drop to the left with nary a murmur- I don't think he even noticed it. I don't know what was in that drink- he
claimed it was just water- but it was powerful stuff. Or maybe it was the promise that he could
have his lunch once we reached the top.
After lunch (Team
Picture) we made our way along Hindscarth Edge with views to Buttermere
and Honister until, many swigs of water later, we arrived at Dale Head. Heading down to Dale Head Tarn we found a
nicely shaded area and perhaps lingered there a little too long.
the tarn Tony announced that he was now
out of water but Bryan spotted a stream from which he confidently predicted the
water would be safe to drink and top up the bottles. Personally I was rather put off by the sight
of a guy who was camping about 50 years upstream and at that moment was actually
shaving in the stream. However Bryan and
Tony are made of sterner stuff and were not bothered about ingesting any of his
debris. Talk about a drink to put hairs
on your chest. From the
The climb up to High Spy was very hard work. Partly because of the heat but also partly
because there were few views and many false summits. I remembered this climb from my school camp
days. It seemed just as bad then. On reaching the top we could see my old
school camp up beyond Stonethwaite.
The path to Maiden Moor wasn't challenging but seemed long
although we did start to get excellent views of the Coledale Round, (see BB0613)
and also of where we had travelled today. The view from Maiden Moor over Cat Bells is quite special, as is the view from Cat
The steep descent down the ridge was quite a
dramatic way to finish a somewhat punishing day. According to my car the outside temperature
was 29 degrees. The Farmers Arms at
Portinscale was just what we needed and I trust counteracted whatever bugs and follicles Tony and Bryan might have picked
up from the stream. Are you O.K.
19th July 2006
Hindscarth, Dale Head, High Spy, Maiden Moor,
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