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" Four Seasons Causey Pike "
Date & start time: 11th April 2021. 11.15 am start.
Location of Start : Roadside at Uzzicar, Newlands Valley, Cumbria, Uk. ( NY 232 216 ).
Places visited : Rowling End, Causey Pike, Scar Crags, Sail, Outerside, Barrow.
Walk details : 8.5 mls, 3425 ft of ascent, 5 hours including lunch.
Highest point : Sail Fell, 2,530ft - 773m.
Walked with : Cathy, Mark, Martin and the dogs, Dylan and Dougal.
Weather : Well it started sunny, turned to snow and back to sun at the end.
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The forecast is for changeable weather which could bring bright either sunshine or flurries of snow.
Cold winds and possible squally showers from the north east means predicting the weather today would be a lottery,
especially as each Lakeland valley will be slightly different.
Today we head across to the Newlands Valley and in particular Causey Pike, a change of valley and a change of views.
After a day visiting friends in the Eden Valley we returned home to find the hills dusted in snow.
The low weather front had moved on and tomorrow we are back to a winter high pressure system and all that that may bring.
What it did bring in the morning was sunshine and blue skies.
The walk party today includes my neighbour Martin once again. He's looking forward to new summits outside the Loweswater valley.
Uzzicar is our starting point, the roadside parking taking advantage of the rough ground that was the site of the old Barrow Lead Mine
Our walk would initially climb up the steep-sided Rowling End, traversing across the ridge and then climbing Causey Pike (out of picture).
Looking down on the path as it climbs from the road.
The two people below are heading directly for Causey Pike, we've branched off and start the steep climb up the front of Rowling End.
Lovely views up the Newlands Valley today.
The buildings in the centre are Little Town and its farm, with Maiden Moor the fell behind.
Soon we are level with the Rowan Tree that we could see when we started the walk . . . a real sense of progress.
Walking this route means that over half of the climb to the summit is already done.
Now we have a gentle stroll along the ridge with the picturesque view and the prospect of a smaller, final climb ahead.
To our left we see the complexities of the "Newlands Valley" as it splits into five different feeders
each with a reasonably large fell at its heads.
Here we go . . . take a deep breath and make a start.
Photo stop or a rest break ?
Mark pauses part way up the climb to admire the view !
At the top you have the choice as to how to climb the rock step.
You can go left and climb the side, or you could go right and aim for a slight chimney.
The scramble needs care but is in essence not difficult . . . one to enjoy.
Another summit achieved . . . Martin and I reach the top. Photo by Mark
Cathy and Mark walk over, closer to the edge, to look down on Barrow Fell and the unrestricted view across to Keswick.
Looking down on Braithwaite over Barrow Door.
I stayed back on the top and checked out the view all the way round.
A little too early for our lunch stop so we'll head on towards our next summit.
Ard Crags and Rigg Beck can be seen to the left but we'll head on up to Scar Crags and Sail further up this ridge.
Scar Crags is more rocky and heathery than Causey Pike but the summit ridge is quite wide and no problem.
From the ridge there's a clear view down into the Coledale Valley.
Force Crags to the left at the head of the valley and Force Crags Mine down there in the centre.
This mine was opened to mine for lead but developed into an important mine for barites and zinc ore.
The mine extends deep into the fell on multiple underground levels and the many tracks seen here serviced the various openings.
To try and cope with difficult access during icy, winter weather the mine also had an aerial ropeway, zig-zagging down from the top of the crag
via the most right hand track bend, back to the mine buildings. It also iced up in winter so was not overly successful.
The mine became less important after the war, but a collapse in 1990 caused the mine to finally close.
A lot of the machinery sold off but in 2016 some of it was found and returned
and the National Trust now have occasional open days at the mine buildings to allow visitors to learn more about its history.
The summit cairn of Scar Crags is towards the far end of the ridge
and beyond it lies the infamous zig-zag track up Sail Fell.
The cloud is building from the north east but the sunshine is rather nice.
We find a sheltered spot below the track and indulge ourselves. Photo by Mark again.
Dougal and Dylan would like to be indulged too . . . so I had better find their biscuits or I might end up having to share my sandwiches.
The track is an over-engineered raised track designed to reduce erosion and allow the fell side to re-grow.
Unfortunately the method of construction is more suitable for urban environments than the high fells.
The old scars are gradually growing over which is good but the newer path creates an eyesore in its own right.
The old re-grown path is to Cathy's left, the new track behind her is seen on its raised plinth.
A smaller cairn graces the top of Sail Fell
but the exposed nature of the summit encourages us to add a layer of clothing.
Ahead is Crag Hill which as a summit is a significant out and back climb, should we chose to do it.
Martin has already climbed it on our Grasmoor walk a month or more back, so we'll pass on visiting it today.
That makes this summit the highest part of the walk today so hows about another all round photo.
Out of the corner of my lens I see that a wintery squall is heading our way . . . much faster than expected.
We turn and head back down.
I'd love to shortcut the new path and save a lot of time but that rather defeats the object of erosion avoidance.
From the hause below we take the High Moss / Stoneycroft path to the left.
The book suggests there was an important phosphate mine alongside this section of the track but we never found any signs of it.
Do I detect a hand signal for turning left ?
We leave the main track and head across High Moss and up the next fell, Outerside.
The blustery weather is bringing showers of hail and powdery snow across the scene.
Our fourth fell complete, we might as well make it five in the day by adding Barrow Fell ahead.
It is a natural route progression after all.
Cathy hading down to Barrow Door, the hause between here and Barrow.
Striding out towards Barrow, with the undulations of Causey Pike standing out once again.
Another squall crosses the high fells behind us.
"Five in the day" keeps Martin happy . . . His total now exceeds thirty AW summits so far this year.
The Pennines also has caught a shower and Great Dun Fell shines as sunshine bounces off snow.
A close up of the snow and you can see the radar dome on the top,
just to the left of Great Mell Fell back here at Troutbeck.
We need to be down there but we don't fancy the straight line route.
Rather rough and far too tricky as the fell falls away steeply down to Uzzicar . . . still the view is nice once again.
Looking across to the Swinside Inn.
They are presumably getting their outside seating area ready in order to open up again after Easter.
To close the walk we head on down the slope of Barrow Fell towards Braithwaite.
Once we reach the road it is now level walking,
back past the Barrow scree slope caused by the old mine spoil heap, more spoil from which can be seen in the field on the left of the road.
That's Rowling End ahead which means we have nearly completed the circle.
- - - o o o - - -
Rather than travel back via Whinlatter we completed our second circle by travelling back via Newlands Pass.
How many folk remember the old "Purple House" that used to sit at Rigg Beck ?
The lady that used to live her led an unconventional life and never really maintained the old building.
Legend has it that when the National Park complained about the state of the place she promised she would paint it.
I don't think the planners really wanted it decorated in purple ! Inevitably it became uninhabitable and after her death it burnt down.
This was the house in 2007. Subsequently, the remains were removed and a new house built.
Technical note: Pictures generally taken with my Panasonic Lumix Gx8 Camera.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
This site best viewed with . . .suncream and a winter jacket.
Previous walk - 9th April - Grisedale and Hopegill Head
A previous time up here - 7th Dec 2008 Wintery Causey Pike
Next walk - 16th April - Gowbarrow from the East