Monday, 17 January 2011

Derwent Fells

Walk Statistics
Walk Date - 17 January 2011
Start Point - Gutherscale Car Park (GR-NY 24648 21154)
Start Time 09:55
Finish Point - Gutherscale Car Park (GR-NY 24648 21154)
Finish Time 17:20
Duration 7hrs 25mins
Average pace - 1.49mph
Distance Walked 11.05miles
Height Ascended 1160.59metres

Peaks visited
Nuttalls (253)

High Spy North Top (154)

High Spy (155)

Dale Head (76) first visited 16/09/2009

Hindscarth (77) first visited 16/09/2009

Hewitts (178)
High Spy (111)
Dale Head (54) first visited 16/09/2009
Hindscarth (55) first visited 16/09/2009

Marilyns (176)
Dale Head (19) first visited 16/09/2009
Wainwrights (214)
Catbells (97)
Maiden Moor (98)
High Spy (99)

Dale Head (59) first visited 16/09/2009
Hindscarth (60) first visited 16/09/2009

Birketts (541)
Skelgill Bank (165)
Catbells (166)
Maiden Moor (167)
High Spy (168)

Dale Head (104) first visited 16/09/2009
Hindscarth (105) first visited 16/09/2009

High Crags (Newlands) (169)
Red Knott (170)
Scope End (171)
HuMPs (444)
Dale Head (31) first visited 16/09/2009
High Spy (56)



Click on photograph to view slide-show

Walk Description
The first proper day peak bagging after Saturdays washout.
Starting from Gutherscale Car Park throws us straight into a steep climb up Skelgill Bank, followed by a short descent and a further steep climb up Catbells. After Maiden Moor the first Nuttall of High Spy North Top was reached about mid-day from where we could see the peaks just climbed and remaining tops including steep climb up Dale Head from Dalehead Tarn.
Not a bad view over Derwent Water and Keswick either.
Even though there was some cloud on some tops mainly the Scafells, other tops including Helvelyn, Blencathra and Grisedale Pike was clear enough.
Onwards to High Spy and then down to Dalehead Tarn. It was a really hard climb up Dale Head but 2nd wind and a steady pace got us above the cloud line, passing residue snow to the familiar cairn.
This marked the half way point in terms of distance but as usual I try to arrange walks where the last half is down hill, so although we had been walking 4 hours could expect to be back in 3 hours by 5pm.
There was still a fair bit of ice on the lip between Dale Head and Hindscarth which framed a beautiful view towards Portinscale, but disappointingly the cloud gathered along the south side of the Hindscarth Edge restricting views into the Honister Pass. As we turned north towards Hindscarth the cloud remained depriving us of the view west along Buttermere and Crummock Water and remained until we started to descend Hindscarth revealing a stunning view towards Little Town along the High Crags, Red Knott and Scope End ridge.
The descent was a bit tricky down a well marked path of crumbling shale which takes you along the eastern edge of the ridge. If you want to bag High Crags you must leave the path and walk along grassland at the top of the ridge. After bagging High Crag we returned to the path where a lovely view towards High Spy and Dale Head at the head of Newlands valley and the source of Newlands Beck could be enjoyed.
Returning to the path continue following the ridge over Red Knott, again the top is just off the path and onto Scope End. Scope End is the last top of the day but by no means time to switch off at the end of the walk. There is still nearly 3½ miles to go and the descent from Scope End at times has you wishing you would rather be climbing here than descending. The path is easy enough to follow but there are several craggy patches. Nothing too difficult or serious drops but requiring care none the less.
At the bottom of the ridge follow the path back on yourself and reach level ground at Low Snab. From here it is easy road walking past Newlands church and to the small settlement of Little Town. At Ghyll Bank we looked out for the footpath across fields to Skelgill, but because we were, by now tired we opted for an extra ½ mile, by sticking to the road rather than crossing a muddy and possibly boggy field.
Didn't want to get our new boots muddy again did we?
Home by 5:20 just as it was getting dark, but not a problem as the last 2 miles was along road.

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