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" Indian Summer on Fleetwith Pike "
Date & start time: Thursday 29th September 2011, 4.45 pm start.
Location of Start : Honister NT car park, Cumbria, Uk ( NY 225 135 )
Places visited : Honister Dram Road, Black Star, Fleetwith Pike, Black Star and back.
Walk details : 3.3 mls, 1000 ft of ascent, 2 hrs 10 mins.
Highest point : Fleetwith Pike 2,126ft - 648m
Walked with : Ann and the dogs, Harry and Bethan.
Weather : Warm and dry but a bank of cloud hid the sun for a while.
[ Alter the settings to zoom or change the Map, use Everytrail to download the Gps route ]
Suddenly the wind has changed and the temperature has jumped ten degrees.
The continental blocking high pressure has forced the bad weather away into the Atlantic and today we reach once more for the shorts and t-shirts.
A busy day at home will only hold us back for so long in this weather, so mid-afternoon it is down tools and off to the hills.
Where shall we go . . . how about Honister !
The Honister mine buildings straddles Honister Hause, which offers easy parking
and a number of good shorter walks for this time of day.
Colourful Via Ferrata helmets hung out to dry
Honister is not only a working quarry, mine and tearooms, it is also a great centre for tourism.
Looking past the coffee tables and the old bridge supports, down the valley to Robinson summit.
They've moved the old engine out, to take pride of place at the entrance to the car park.
We head off up the Dram Road footpath, passed the freshly painted locals, with new markings ready for the winter.
We've been recognised . . . the dogs first of course.
We stopped and had a great chat with Amanda and Bill, long term Loweswatercam viewers from Kent.
Time for a sensible photo . . .
but Bethan wanted to say hello in her most enthusiastic way !
They took the down slope after their walk up Haystacks,
we however, headed onward and upward to catch a summit before the afternoon ended.
The last of the Honister work force make their way down at the end of their day.
Plenty of blue skies but the shadows lengthen as the sun slowly drops .
This track up onto the high fells was an old cable-hauled railway, hence the alignment . . . straight up and down to the mine buildings.
Sunshine catches the top of Seatoller Fell, shadow covers Bessyboot,
sunshine on Ullscarf and so on, all the way to Dollywagon Pike in the distance.
Climbing the last few feet to the Drum House footings.
Dale Head from more or less the same place.
The old winding drum has long gone but a few bits and pieces remain.
We've crossed from the old railway over to the more modern mine road.
The track heading off the into the distance is Moses Trod, heading towards Great Gable.
It was surprising to find the wreck of the Titanic quite so high up the fells . . . I thought it was mid-Atlantic.
[ It was Ann that first spotted the optical illusion ]
That magical first view of the fells from the top of the ridge . . . the distant Lad How Ridge up onto Grasmoor
The notice said "please don't throw stones at this notice" . . . only kidding.
The plan was to ride from the top of the Via Ferrata back down to the mine in one continuous swoop.
Unfortunately the planners threw it out by a majority vote. One reason was apparently the potential noise .
Hopefully it will go forward to appeal as tourism and local people would benefit from the development as well as those that would enjoy the ride.
That's me on Black Star . . .
There's a great view of Buttermere from the top of Honister's second summit.
Slow walking as we check out the view this lovely evening.
The northern panorama as we walk along towards the true summit of Fleetwith Pike.
Scafell makes an appearance from behind Great Gable.
There's a new cairn just beyond the summit . . . we don't remember seeing it before.
Ann takes a break at the top cairn.
A band of cloud has been making the sunshine a little scarce for the last half hour but it is clearing nicely now.
Suddenly it was bright again . . . worth a second photo.
Shorts and t-shirt weather.
Hairy coats for them . . . whatever the weather.
Chance to take a quick panorama before we turn for home.
The sunshine has spread to distant Scafell
and adds light and shade to the Scafell Buttress and the rocks of its northern face.
Golden light on golden retrievers.
Bethan's turn to take to the spotlight.
We had a little time left so Ann climbed to the summit of Black Star on the way back.
An old mine building above the now disused quarries.
Disused, but brought back to life as the ending point of the Via Ferrata,
the "iron road" that has climbed up through the old mine workings.
Our last view of the sun for today
as we drop back down to the car and make out way home.
- - - 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 . . . late summer sunshine and warm breezes . . . for a change !
Previous walk - Saturday 17th Sept 2011 Hail and Hearty on Scafell
A previous time up here - 11th August 2007 The Honister Via Ferrata
Next walk - Saturday 1st October 2011 Gowbarrow on a Hot Day