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Fleetwith Pike and Black Star
Date & start time: Wednesday 3rd February 2010, 12.20 pm lunchtime start.
Location of Start : Honister Hause, Cumbria, Uk ( NY 226 136 )
Places visited : Drum House, Upper Honister Quarries, Fleetwith Pike, Black Star, Hooper Quarry and returning by the mine road.
Walk details : 3.1 mls, 1100 ft, 2 hrs 30 mins including lunch.
Highest point : Fleetwith Pike ft 2,126ft ( 648m)
Walked with : Ann and the dogs, Harry and Bethan.
Weather : Overcast with a cold breeze in the near zero temperatures.
Despite some ice on the road up Gatesgarth Valley, we make the top of Honister Pass and park up for a walk up on Fleetwith Pike.
Great visibility but grey skies greet us at the top but a change of circumstances on the hill below us forces us to return home a different way.
They didn't mention that at the bottom !
The steep hill was technically closed due to some ice on the road but we made it up ok after checking it out before starting the climb.
A midday start meant that he had stopped crowing a while back.
Parking at the Mine (chargeable) or as we did, at the National Trust car park (free to members) by the Youth Hostel.
The cold weather has caused ice to form on the path.
One of the many small hillside streams . . .
. . . surrounded by icicles.
" Top of the hill "
Ann and the dogs reach the first summit . . . the Drum House at the top of the tramway.
Also we get our first view of a snowy Pillar ahead.
Behind us a little cloud starts to creep over the summit of Combe Head on Glaramara.
We walk a little further along the snow filled track way before heading off towards Fleetwith Pike.
Ahead is the dark Haystacks plus the High Crag and High Stile summits.
We skirted the old open quarries on this side of Fleetwith.
As we climb we add more fells to our panorama . . . this is the elongated summit of Kirk Fell.
Rising above the slopes of Brandreth is Great Gable.
Now a full view of Haystacks and Pillar.
Nearing the top of Fleetwith Pike, Great Gable has fully risen above the slopes and we can now see the summit of Scafell through the gap.
Through the gap of Black Sail Pass is Yewbarrow.
I always have to stop and think before identifying Yewbarrow (a fell clearly associated with Wasdale) from this part of the north western fells.
The dogs are first to the summit again.
Time for a photo call on the top . . .
Whistle (and hold your cursor over the picture) to attract their attention.
You try and get them both looking this way at the same time . . . I failed !
The classic view down the Buttermere Valley.
Leaving the summit we head east along the ridge, leaving Buttermere behind us.
Views north as we walk along include the crinkles of Causey Pike, Ullock Pike and the distant Scottish lowland hills
over a slightly snowy Hindscarth Edge.
Our next summit will be the highest point of the Honister Crags . . . Black Star.
The fifty metre rise to the top has allowed this to be re-defined as a new "Birkett Fell" in recent years.
From the top we noticed the cloud has now spread across the fells and now fills the Thirlmere Valley.
[ I don't think it's sunny in St John's in the Vale today John ! ]
" Living close to the edge "
Looking down the full height of Honister Crags on the valley below.
Anyone for a touch of vertigo ?
- - - o o o - - -
When we drove up the Honister Pass we passed a parked car on the hill which had failed to make it across the ice
I looked across to see if it was still there.
Yes . . . the small car was still there . . .
but below it someone else had tried and failed to make the Pass . . . a lorry was stuck across the road and blocking our route home.
Still . . . plenty of time for them to think about moving it as we start our descent from Black Star.
Harry was thinking more of eating the ice from the frozen tarn though.
Modern Art . . . Honister style.
Mark Weir has raised several large monoliths alongside the mine road and they add an (almost) ancient humanity to this natural landscape.
He has also added a new fell . . . or will have done if this stock pile of crushed slate chippings grows any higher.
Having reached the Mine track we start our steep descent via the hairpin bends
Time passes . . . that yellow dot in the previous picture grows into a JCB front end loader before our very eyes !
As we walk down the attractiveness of the Honister Cafe grows too !
So was the tea and scones.
Outside, the poorer weather has reached us and there are flakes of snow in the air as we return to the car.
What's a picture of Brandelhow Point on Derwent water doing here with the Honister pictures ?
Simple answer . . . the lorry was still blocking the main hill and we have to divert via Braithwaite and Whinlatter Pass to get home.
Note . . . the recent cold spell has allowed ice to reform on Derwent Water, though nowhere near as thick as over New Year.
- - - o o o - - -
Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Canon 75 or my Canon G10 digital camera.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
This site best viewed with . . . a bit more sense before taking a big lorry up an icy hill !!!!
Previous walk - 1st February 2010 High Rigg and Moss Force
A previous time up here - 25th December 2008 A Christmas Walk up Fleetwith
Next walk - 6th February 2010 Blake Fell from Cogra Moss