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" Dale Head with Ian "

Date & start time: Wednesday 16th February 2011, 3.05 pm start.

Location of Start : Honister Hause, Cumbria, Uk. ( NY 25 136 )

Places visited : Honister Pass to Dale Head and back.

Walk details : 2.6 mls, 1300 ft of ascent, 2 hrs 20 mins.

Highest point : Dale Head 2,473ft - 753m.

Walked with : Ian (Smith), Ann and the dogs, Harry and Bethan.

Weather : A lovely afternoon but clouding over towards the end of the day.



 Dale Head, Cumbria, with Ian at EveryTrail

[ Alter the settings to zoom or change the Map, use Everytrail to download the Gps route ]


Red sky at night . . . delights the locals as well as the shepherds around here.

After Ann's walk up Low Fell Saturday afternoon the evening of the 12th Feb produced a stunning close to the day.

Evening sun over the cottage in Loweswater.

- - - o o o - - -

You'd think we'd get a period of fine weather after that but it was not to be.

Over the next few days it was low cloud and rain which fell as snow on the tops.

- - - o o o - - -

Ian was due over for a walk on the following Wednesday and the prospects were once again good for a fine afternoon out.

We drove up the Buttermere Valley, past the Buttermere Pines, heading for Honister.

If that snow is too deep or the high fells proved to be wet and unpleasant, then we'd walk down here in the valley.

Surprisingly the snow had melted and the Pass was completely clear.

We parked down below the hostel in the National Trust car park.

Our car is the dark green vehicle in the picture.

The other green vehicle parked in the last picture is seen here in close up.

[ We would see more of Mark Weir's helicopter later in the day as it happens.]

Honister was in shade but the skies were blue and, as we climbed, there was the prospect of sunshine ahead.

We set off past what looked like some water supply equipment for the mine buildings and made our way up towards Dale Head.

Beautiful views down Honister Pass

looking toward Mellbreak and the distant Loweswater Fells.

Zooming in on Robinson to the right with its slight covering of snow.

It was still frozen as it was protected from the full effects of the sun on the north facing slopes of the fell.

Our companion today was Ian who wet met many years back through the OFC.

He was staying in Seascale and came over to enjoy lunch at our home, an afternoon walk and no doubt a bit of a chat.

As we climbed we commented on the delight of walking

with green turf beneath our feet, warm sun on our backs and blue skies ahead.

The views today were excellent and they improved as we climbed.

In the distance . . . the snow covered Helvellyn fells.

Looking around

the summits of Glaramara, Esk Pike and Great End were rising up from behind the flanks of Grey Knotts.

We reached the snow line and record the fact for all to see.

The views west were difficult as it was directly into the sun but the subtle shading of the four ridges made the effort worthwhile.

Looking across we could recognise the slopes of Fleetwith, Haystacks, Black Sail Pass and distant Red Pike in Wasdale.

Our view now extended to the "Southern Fells" of Bowfell, Esk Pike and Great End.

With the weather clear enough the view continued away to the right, to the highest summit in England, Scafell Pike.

Odd wisps of cloud just caught the tops in places, such as in this close up of Glaramara opposite.

" Spot the dog "

Sunshine lighting up the winter vegetation meant it now matched Harry and Bethan's colours.

The highest fell appears to be Great Gable,

but it is an illusion created by the fact that it is closer to us than Scafell.

Ian stops to find some gloves.

It was warm in the sun but the cool breeze up here was noticeably cold on the hands.

"Spot the dog 2 "

It would be nice if Bethan stayed a little closer . . . but it wasn't a great problem.

Don't try too hard to find her . . . she's behind you !

The cloud builds from the west over the high fells.

Take care where you step . . .

as the small pond and peat bog on the way up is covered in a benign-looking coating of snow.

The start of the last pull to the top . . .

It always seem just that little further than you remember from your last visit !

The summit was reached and although the sun had temporarily gone behind a cloud the views were as good as ever.

On the last part of the climb we heard the helicopter take off and head in the direction of Keswick

but from the sound it was making it seemed to turn and fly below the face of Dale Head.

I reached there first, or should I say second after the dogs, to try and see it flying past.

All of a sudden it rose up ahead of us.

I don't know who was more surprised, the other couple of guys up here or the dogs.

Being closer to the cairn I was able to get this shot as he hovered close by.

I wonder what the photo of us that his passenger took was like ?

[ If he sees this and sends me a copy I'll add it here later ]

Then with the twist of a joystick he was gone . . .

Excitement over, peace returned to the high fells.

The view west over the snow cornice took in Hindscarth, Robinson and the Grasmoor Fells.

To the east, High Spy, Bleaberry Fell, High Seat and the snow covered Helvellyn Range.

Ian was keen to get close to the edge . . . but not too close . . . so he leant back a bit !

The moon has now risen over Helvellyn.
That's me standing by the cairn for a photo.

The tables turned, Ann and Ian stand still while I capture this full 360 shot.

Click here or on the photo above for a Loweswatercam 360 degree annotated panorama.

With the temperature dropping it was time to leave.

One last photo was requested.

One last look from the summit . . .

Across the frozen snow covered top.

On the way down the sun provided a final grand display . . .

Finding a gap in the clouds above Pillar . . .

Shining like a jewel for a few brief moments . . .

As we followed the old fence post down . . . the colour it brought was gone

There was one last chap climbing up as we descended

He stopped to acknowledge the dogs but he was travelling much faster than we were and would be up to the summit

and back to Honister before we reached the bottom . . . fit these fell runners !

A final view of Honister Crags and Buttermere from the descent.

That cloud was only forming over the high fells and as the sky to the north was still clear

it kept the last of the light on this lovely winter afternoon.

The camera emphasised what is left of the light here

but the yellow lamp on the shed showed it was nearing the end of the day.

Snow-melt enhances the small waterfall on Grey Knotts.
Another red sky as the clouds catch the last rays of the sun.

High red clouds over the High Stile ridge

as we drove down Buttermere to end the day.

- - - o o o - - -


Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Canon 75 or my Canon G10 digital camera.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

This site best viewed with . . . one little bit of excitement in every walk.

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Previous walk - 13th February 2011 The Bothy and the Beck

A previous time up here - 10th December 2007 Dale Head and the first real snow