6.07: Dale Head (with Maiden Moor)
Finally, a clear view on the fifth attempt showed the day's route.
The penultimate day of this particular trip dawned clear. The penultimate breakfast of this particular trip was enough to ensure enough energy to get me up the initial climb - 1300'!
I can't believe that the time has gone so quickly. The weather must be joining in celebration as it dawned clear and hot.
I set off from the Honister car park, climbing in the already hot sun towards the summit of Dale Head. This was my fifth attempt this week to have a clear summit of Dale Head and the windless morning was looking promising. Various stops for a sip of water en route
were met with hot, humid, lifeless air.
Before long (well, roughly 40 minutes), the summit came into view. Shortly after, the view came into view. In the mist, I'd not realised just how close the drop was to the cairn - I knew it was close, but not that
After enjoying the view around Hindscarth and High Spy, I headed off down the Eastern flank to Dale Head Tarn. Below, I could see that someone was camping in the old sheepfold and was swimming in the tarn. In the still air,
the reflections in the tarn were incredible.
Crossing the beck, I began the climb up to the cairn on High Spy. The day was getting hotter and, with no cover, my water supply was getting lighter. Fortunately, there were still several pints left!
The summit cairn provided a useful coffee stop, before heading through the lifeless air onto the flat top of Maiden Moor. The sun was relentless, but the detour to Blea Crag in that sun gave a great photo opportunity.
Having gorged on the delights of Derwent Water from the top, I was looking forwards to gorging on my lunch and so I made for Bull Crag. Sitting and admiring the view across Newlands towards Hindscarth, Robinson, Eel Crag and Grasmoor, etc., I ate my lunch, all the while being scorched by the hot sun.
Finally, I could stand it no more - an ice-cream was definitely called for!!
Dropping down into Hause Gate, I found the steps taking me from Hause Gate towards Walpole's house and into the trees behind Ellers. Here, I was shaded from the worst of the heat and could make my way to Grange, where the (still) grumpy
lady in the tea-shop would curse my existence. No wonder her client-base is small! Mind you, the ice-cream was welcome!
After a break in the hot sun, I walked down to Gowder Dub which, over the part few weeks, was losing more water that was being gained. Even the feeder streams were running dry. Then it was up the old coach track below Castle Crag, before taking the long and hot walk towards Seatoller.
Finally, with the end in sight, I made the old toll road to Honister. Ten miles of utter pleasure.
Tomorrow? Not sure yet - let's see what the weather beings.
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