Date & Time: Tuesday 26th December Boxing Day 2006. pm start.

Location of Start : Honister Hause car park, Cumbria Uk. ( NY 226 135 )

Places visited : Dale Head and back

Walk details : 2.25 mls, 1280 ft of ascent , 1 hr 50 mins.

Walked with : Ann and the dogs.

Weather : Cold, damp, misty in the valley but with an inversion possible with an upper cloud limit forecasted at about 700 meters ( Dale Head altitude is 745 meters )


Today was a shorter walk

due to having a slightly longer lie-in,

and the prospect of afternoon guests ariving mid afternoon.

What was the chance of a view ~ too difficult to call !

We had had two excellent walks with brilliant cloud inversions and another was forecast for today. Unfortunately the cloud top was forecasted higher so we had to pick a fell that would be high enough, but which could be walked in a reasonably short space of time . . . answer drive as high as possible first . . .

Harry wanted to bring his Christmas presents on the walk !
As a result of our deliberations, we decided on a Honister start.

The temperature up here was low enough to form hoarfrost on the stone sign at the Honister entrance.

The conditions were clearer further down but up here the cloud was much thicker.

Leaving the road behind, we climb full of hope.

Follow the fence, crossing the stile if you started on the wrong side.

Wind-blown ice on the rusty fence wire . . .
and wonderful displays on the grasses.


Higher up the frost was thicker . . .
and the fence took on a three dimensional aspect


Can't understand why these humans have to wrap up ?
Climbing up the light suddenly increases.

(Ed note: the vagaries of the internet cause the lines in the photo above, they didn't exist in real life )

Harry and Bethan come running back from near the summit with the good news . . .

Yes there are people there with sandwiches !!!

Now it's the first time I can remember seeing a white rainbow ahead of us as we climbed.

Within 150ft (50m) or so of the top everything suddenly cleared and we emerged into a winter wonderland.

Frost on the ground, cloud below us, and sunshine and blue skies above. All the high fells were like islands.

Here was Skiddaw and Skiddaw Little Man, and you can just make out the Longside Edge / Ullock Pike ridge starting just above the trekking pole handles.

Raise and Whiteside with Helvellyn and Nethermost Pike across a sea of cloud.

Click here or on the photo above for a fuller, anotated panorama of the inversion

The best Broken Spectres that we can remember seeing.
Here my shadow is projected on the cloud

Broken Spectres are a phenomena of the light as it is reflected and refracted in the cloud droplets. This forms a rainbow-like halo ahead of you, and is always centred about your own shadow. It is best viewed with the sun behind you and a layer of cloud as close as possible in front.

For a full explanation of Broken Spectres, buy your copy of the Online Fellwalking Club Lost Sheep magazine on sale today via this link !

When viewed in the right conditions, the Spectre, the halo and the now 360 degree white rainbow seen earlier combine to great effect.

Ann's Spectre as she has a go with the camera
This time her shadow, her halo plus the cairn of Dale Head

The cloud base was continually changing, and just before we left it rose again, staring to obscure the view once more.

Turning for home we follow the cairns on the path back to Honister.

The Youth Hostel back at the hause is still in mist, as if it had all been a dream.

- - - o o o - - -

Technical note: Pictures taken with a Canon G7 Digital camera.

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

This site best viewed with . . . the sun on your back.

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Previous walk - 25th December 2006 Candles, Tinsel, Inversions and Altitude on Christmas Day

A previous time up here - 15th August 2003 Dale Head with the Batchelors and the OFC