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" Frozen in Honister Time "
Date & start time: Tuesday 2nd April 2013, 2.45 pm start.
Location of Start : Honister Hause car park, Honister, Cumbria, Uk ( NY 225 135 )
Places visited : The waterfall, the Drum House, Black Star and back.
Walk details : 2.4 mls, 900 ft of ascent, 1 hour 20 mins.
Highest point : Black Star (part of Fleetwith Pike) 2060 ft - 634 m.
Walked with : Myself and the dogs, Harry and Bethan.
Weather : More overcast, but with interesting sunlight effects on the fell sides. Cold !
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A cooler day with fresher winds but, as ever, the dogs need a walk at some point during the day.
The snow is leaving the lower fells so I thought a trip back up to Honister may be interesting . . .
but this time on the opposite side of the valley from Dale Head.
Less snow today as I drive up Honister Pass from the Buttermere side.
More holiday traffic though so I'm happy to let a short queue go on ahead as I stop for a photo ;o)
Another consignment of stone is leaving the quarry, this time on a slightly smaller lorry !
Trail-blazing through what remained of the snowdrift that blocked the National Trust car park, I park close to the mine buildings.
Looking east from the car park, there's less snow on the Borrowdale side
but those high fells of Helvellyn still carry a strong "winter warning" for walkers . . . go fully prepared with winter gear . . . or stay low !
I'm staying low today as well, as I cross the mine area aiming the footpath that heads up towards Grey Knotts.
Once past this enclosure with the weather station and rain gauge, the path follows the fence steeply up the fell.
- - - o o o - - -
However, I decide to head up to the waterfall . . . seen here on the open fellside to the right of the fence.
I imagine the stream normally supplies the mine buildings with water but today most, if not all of it,
is frozen into a spectacular looking icicle some twelve to fifteen feet high.
The sun comes out to illuminate the small snow cornice, set against a lovely patch of blue sky.
Looking down the gully, past a small hidden reservoir, to the mine buildings below.
Safely across the gully and climbing out the other side.
The view down to Borrowdale is once more centre stage.
Where now ?
I think a visit to the Black Star summit opposite is in order . . . catch up you two hounds . . . stop playing in the snow !
Our route takes us across the fell side and over the track of the old mine railway
which extended from Dubbs Quarry over to the mine buildings at Honister Hause below.
On the summit of the old track . . . at the Drum House.
Pillar rises like a new moon above the horizon.
On the other side, the High Stile Ridge has also "risen" into view.
I continue on towards Black Star . . .
leaving the old dram road behind and crossing over to the new quarry roadway.
A rather sad looking corrugated mine building being slowly engulfed by the mountain of crushed stone cleared from the quarries.
I wonder what it was used for . . . a tally hut, a tearoom, an equipment store . . . I bet it would tell many stories if it could.
From the open quarry I look across the slopes of Brandreth to the sunlit summit of Great Gable in the distance.
As I continue on, the remains of the Ash Crag Quarries are to my right
This old mine building still had a roof and was basically weather proof fifteen or twenty yeas ago when we first discovered it.
I wouldn't like to use it as a bothy nowadays !
This tunnel is used as part of the modern Via Ferrata track up through the mines.
Topping out on Black Star . . . with that familiar view back down the Buttermere Valley.
Time to be heading back . . . the sunshine is playing games on the fells too . . . lovely to see it.
The lines on the fell side opposite are the Yew Crag inclines that I walked down the other day.
There's less snow there now, as the cool breeze and sunshine are melting it despite it being still close to zero up here.
Down past a small radio transmitter, back towards the modern mine track.
This small "erratic" boulder ought to have a name in recognition of its artistic attributes.
Down the zig-zags of the steep descent . . . back to the car . . . still quite a way below.
A modern sculpture to mark the re-opening of the mines by the Weir Family after many years of closure.
The stone records the visit of the Duke of Edinburgh who bestowed royal patronage on the mines in 2001.
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Technical note: Pictures taken with my Canon 1100D SLR digital camera.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
This site best viewed with . . . adventures on your doorstep.
Previous walk - 28th March 2013 - Dale Head in the Snow
A previous time up here - 27th March 2008 Black Star and Fleetwith Pike
Next walk - 4th April 2013 - Blake Fell with Jo and Alan