Date & Time: Wednesday 7th June 2006. 3.15 pm start. ( Map ref: NY 231 194 )

Location of Start : Chapel Bridge parking area, Newlands Valley, Cumbria, Uk.

Places visited : Yewthwaite Comb, High Crag, Bull Crag, Maiden Moor, High Spy. ( A short circuit of the Newlands Valley )

Walk details : 6 mls, 2,020 ft of ascent , 4 hrs 30 mins including a stop for tea and a swim.

Walked with : Ann and the two dogs.

Weather : A sunny afternoon with a slight breeze on th tops. Delightful summer walking conditions.

Starting point at Chapel Bridge, Newlands Valley.

 

We wanted a shorter walk today as we set off at 3.15 pm., so one or two of the more local north western fells would be suitable.

We also decided to walk these two particular fells as we had not climbed them since we have had our two new retrievers, Harry and Bethan.

There was ample car parking on this mid-week day at Chapel Bridge, adjacent to the little Newlands Church.

From there it was a small road walk towards Little Town before we crossed through this gate onto the fell side leading to Yewthwaite Comb.

Yewthwaite has a long history of lead mining, the scars of which are still evident to this day.

From here the main path climbs up the centre of the comb to emerge on the ridge between Cat Bells and Maiden Moor at Hause Gate.

However we had consulted Mr Wainwright's book which suggested an interesting route directly up through the crags on the right of the picture to gain more direct access to the summit of Maiden Moor.

He described the route as "less frequented" but that could mean it has disappeared completely over the years, or that it was now so popular that it was overused and eroded. The start of the path can be seen as a lighter green patch rising to the right, in front of the couple further ahead of us. There is a hint of it too on the O.S. map.

We set off, climbing steeply, but decided that "less frequented" really did mean exactly what it said.

 

There was evidence of a path but it was hardly used.

 

Still it was gaining height fast which is what we wanted.

 

At the appropriate moment the path swung right onto a wide rock shelf and walking became easier.

 

Wonderful open views as we climbed above Yewthwaite Comb.

 

Delighted by the small sheep track sized path and the lush, undisturbed vegetation we continued on up the fell side.

New season growth on the Bilberry plants looked a soft rich green in contrast to last year's faded marsh grass and heather.

Scope End and the ridge to Hindscarth, and Robinson behind

encompass two of the three valleys that feed into the main Newlands Valley.

We skirt round the corner, climbing up High Crags.

We were now able to look down the whole of the upper reach of the valley with Dale Head in the distance.

Bull Crag, effectively the top of Maiden Moor, was ahead of us now

and all that remained was to walk over to the sheepfold (a short grey line under the left hand crags) and a fifty yard scramble to the top.

 

Once at the sheep fold the view was quite extensive, looking down on Cat Bells in the middle distance

and Skiddaw and Blencathra on the far horizon.

A better view of the sheepfold well worth a visit if only to get a different perspective on the local fells.

Beyond the sheepfold was a clear path up from Yewthwaite Comb that had climbed further left than our ascent, and fitted Wainwright's route description better. We had obviously not found his path, but it was a great ascent nevertheless.

The last fifty yard scramble turned out to be a simple sloping path that took us up onto Bull Crag

and allowed a more extensive view of Derwent Water, a deep blue under today's brilliant blue sky.

   
Looking down on the old Goldscope Mine.
The final short climb to the top.

Maiden Moor summit, a small cairn for such a broad fell top.

The highest point is rather indistinct, so the main path along the ridge actually passes it by, but it is worth the visit in order to enjoy the view down into Newlands from the top of the crags a short distance to the right.

   
West to Dale Head.
Northwest to Causey Pike and the Coledale Fells.

High Spy - now that's a real cairn.

Its size makes Ann look smaller than usual !

A few wispy high clouds in the late afternoon

cast the occasional shadow

as we descended off the southern end of High Spy

 

and turned right down towards Dale Head Beck

 

 

   
Blue rock pools in the beck . . .
and the first of a series of waterfalls.

 

   
Dale Head and the top of the main waterfall.
The lower section of the same falls.

 

The weather was so warm down here in the valley

( due to the lack of the fell top breeze )

that I felt moved for a swim in the plunge pool of the main falls.

 

Had I seen this lower falls I would have waited a little longer

as its pool was wider and deeper.

 

The low water flow, and the warming effect of the sun

meant that the water temperature was on the warmer side of cool

so much so that I was almost tempted to go for a second swim !

 

Suitably refreshed I dried off

and followed Ann down past the white-blossomed May trees into the bottom of the valley.

Looking back at the falls and the top of the valley.

Dale Head to the right, and Dale Head Mines below it on the line of the shadow cast by Hindscarth.

The miners here were searching for richer copper ores, traces of which show up as green veins in the mine's spoil heaps.

More mine workings and a view down the valley this time.

A classic "U" shaped glacial valley taken from the old Castle Nook Mines.

   
The top quarried excavations and short tunnel.
The filled in lower addit (tunnel) entrance to the main workings

The remainder of the walk was a fine meander down the old mine road

retracing our steps under the high crags of High Spy and Maiden Moor that we had climbed earlier.

On the way down an old enamel sign on the end of the building just about managed to point out that the building belonged to the Carlisle Mountain Climbing Club.

Now known under its more modern name of the Carlisle Mountaineering Club

they now maintain the bothy for their members use.

 

 

   
Causey Pike in the evening sun, pots of tea in the farm.
A fine old gatepost sadly missing its opposite number.

Out of the shadow of the higher fells we return to Chapel Bridge and the car.

Dale Head, Hindscarth and Scope End.

A final photo looking back from the road out of Little Town.

Yewthwaite Comb again, but with our diagonal route up standing out as a fine green line underneath High Crags .

 

- - - o o o - - -

Technical note: Pictures taken with a Canon IXUS 400 Digital camera.

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

This site best viewed . . . after a delightful swim in a high mountain stream.

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Previous walk - 4th June 2006 The Mosedale Round with Pillar and Steeple

A previous time in this area - 2nd March 2006 Dale Head, Hindscarth and Robinson in the snow