Date & Time: Thursday 27th March 2008. 11 am start.
Location of Start : The Mine Shop, Honister Slate Mines, Cumbria, Uk. ( NY 225 135 )
Places visited : Bell Crags, Black Star summit, Fleetwith Pike, Honister open quarry and back.
Walk details : 3 mls, 1100 ft of ascent, 3 hrs 20 mins.Highest point : Fleetwith Pike 2,126ft ( 648m )
Walked with : Jo, John, Ann and the dogs, Megan, Jodie, Polly, Harry and Bethan,
joined by the boys at the top of the Via Ferrata.
Weather : High cloud but cold following the recent snow. Sunshine and a shower on the top.
Jo, John and Ann set off up the Honister mine road
The Mine road rises steeply from Honister where we left the boys getting kitted up for their trip.
By the time we neared the top we had climbed above the snow line.
The views up here are spectacular - we are looking over the top of Honister's Bell Crags toward the Rosthwaite Fells and High Raise.
Below is one of the old bothies that formed part of the Ash Crag Quarries complex.
The boys emerge from the tunnel and make their way up - Roger, Jack and Matthew are the three at the back of this group.
They reach the top of the fixed rope of the "Via Ferrata" so we go over to join them.
The group splits and some go back down. Others, like us, decide to continue the walk along the ridge to Fleetwith Pike.
First we reach the summit of Black Star, naturally the boys are first . . . after the dogs.
Beyond, the valley of Buttermere is flanked by High Stile and Red Pike on one side and Grasmoor on the other.
In the distance is the grey form of Mellbreak with Loweswater beyond.
It takes a extra moment to identify the fells in their winter mantle, but this is Pillar Fell, as seen over Fleetwith and Haystacks.
Black Sail pass is on the left where the cloud envelopes the rising slopes of Kirk Fell.
Jo stands near the edge of the crags. The green slopes belong to Robinson Fell.
Below Black Star is a small tarn which we skirt round on the way to Fleetwith Pike.
The Gable Crags form the high fell background behind this winter scene.
Roger, John and Jo stop to look at the classic view of Buttermere unfolding below is.
One without us blocking the view.
Ann and Jo walk the final few yards to the summit of Fleetwith Pike. Behind is the snow covered massif of Helvellyn.
Summit photo by Ann of course.
Roger is the only one with warm gloves tucked in their front jacket pockets !
The view down Buttermere from Fleetwith Pike summit includes a fast approaching wintery shower.
Dramatic scenery as clouds sweep across Kirk Fell.
This was our view from our brief lunch spot as the snow shower swept past us.
A close up of Yewbarrow, seen across Black Sail Pass.
Turning for home now, we start back along the ridge, passing the tarn near Black Star for the second time.
Dale Head in dappled sunshine as the cloud clears to reveal bright blue skies.
John in deep conversation with Ann as we make our way back to the mine road for the walk back down.
Sunshine makes all the difference to the picture. It has started to melt the snow seen earlier on the way up.
Double hairpin bends on the mine road, with Honister Pass and the mine complex below.
Two shots for those that appreciate mechanical things ! An old Mann Truck and a new JCB front loader. Honister is very much a working mine and despite the drive to offer a full tourism experience, the company is still very involved in producing roofing slate and other related products.
Today the combination of a Honister "Via Ferrata" trip and the walk to Fleetwith in the snow has been very enjoyable. You should try it sometime !
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Technical note: Pictures taken with my Cannon G7 or Ann's Ixus Digital cameras.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
This site best viewed with . . . the correct number of walkers at the end of the day (we started separately you understand)
Previous walk (this morning) - 27th March 2008 The Via Ferrata at Honister
A previous time up here - 20th March 2006 Honister and Fleetwith with Angie