All Hail - in July?

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July 30th 2012
Published: July 30th 2012EDIT THIS ENTRY

Weather forecast was a little mixed today, so decided to go for the lower peaks and settled for a 1000' climb immediately after breakfast!

Parked at the Honister slate mine, donned a wind-proof jacket and began the long climb up Dale Head. The only problem with Dale Head is that you don't get to see the summit until you are at the summit, so it invariably comes as a surprise that you've arrived. Today, the wind was blowing cold and, coupled with a temperature of 6°C, at the first sight of rain, I donned the waterproof trousers.

40 minutes after leaving the car, I arrived at the summit, in mist. The view was amazing - a little grey but uniformly grey all around!

With not much to see, I clambered down from the summit and across Hindscarth Edge, navigating between cairns until the weather cleared enough.

Reaching the old fence posts, I turned towards the right and began to climb again. This time, the bitter wind attacked me from the left as I moved from cairn to cairn, the wind eventually bringing sharp pinpricks of hail. I finally reached the summit and settle into the rock shelter so thoughtfully provided over the years by countless walkers.

Once the hail had subsided, began the long and slow descent along the ridge, firstly negotiating High Crags, more cairns and then Scope Edge. Unfortunately, following the hail and rain, the water was taking the path of least resistance, which meant that the paths were simply rivers! Indeed, many of the rocks underfoot were very slippery and it was at this point that I sustained an injury to my elbow. Manfully continuing, I made it across the Pan Holes and down to Low Snab farm, stopping at Newlands Chapel for lunch. It was rather pleasant sitting in the sun (so recent an addition to the English landscape) that I soon forgot the severe loss of blood caused by the rock that, for millennia, had remain static and only choosing this moment to jump out on me.

Sated, I walked from the church and across the little river bridge before taking some steps just visible in the grass. These took me to an old mine track heading south - luckily in the direction I desired.

Slowly, the track followed the river, until I called it to heel, and we
Hindscarth and Scope EndHindscarth and Scope EndHindscarth and Scope End

This is the ridge walk and the route down to lunch
began to climb. Ever so quickly, the path changed from a clear, even passage to an uneven, rock strewn river of water until, after two hours, I reached the head of the valley and boggy ground.

Dale Head Tarn lay hidden in the grass, but a compass bearing soon put me on the right track (although there wasn't one) across the moss to the nearby crags and the original path up Dale Head and down to the car.

Another fantastic day!

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