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" Yew Crag Quarries and the Window  "

Date & start time:      5th September 2021.   2.30 pm start.

Location of Start :     NT car park, Honister Pass, Cumbria, Uk. ( NY 143 211).

Places visited :          Yew Crag Quarries and the 'Window'.

Walk details :              1.5 mls, 750 ft of ascent, 1 hours 15 mins including a building stop.

Highest point :           The Rock Window approx 1925ft - 592m above sea level.

Walked with :              Myself and the dogs, Dylan and Dougal.

Weather :                      An overcast, slightly cool but hazy day.  Dry.


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I had spotted a rock sculpture earlier in the year on Honister, but it was soon after the start of a longer walk so didn't divert across to explore it in detail. 

Today I decided to take the dogs on a walk to the same area once again

in order to investigate what I had seen and hopefully get a few more detailed pictures.

My starting point was the National Trust car park at Honister Mine.

The weather was dry and these guys were busy taking their own personal photos

whilst I was photographing the fells behind them.

These are the Honister Crags with the mine road that climbs up to Dubbs Quarries.

The orange, single decker bus is carrying clients across to start an underground mine tour

or perhaps a 'via ferrata' climb across the face of the crags.

In the spring I took this picture of a rock window on top of a slate heap. I didn't realise the importance of it

but subsequent discussions on Facebook and the like talked of several that has suddenly appeared across the Lakes.

A 'Banksy of the Fells' had been at work . . . today I have chance to re-visit and take a few close up photos.

To find it there's a bit of a climb up the Dale Head path from the mine complex.

As I gained height the northern end of Buttermere appears around the side of the crags.

In the distance is the start of Crummock Water and distant Blake Fell, part of the Loweswater fell group.

I hadn't really made a note of how far up the fell the rock window actually was,

so my initial enthusiastic pace has slowed slightly as I continue the climb up from the hause.

I'm sure it was here somewhere ?

The path continues and I follow another couple ever closer towards Dale Head.

Hang on though . . . there's something on the slate heap to the left.

Looking back as I cross the fence line and make my way over to the rock structure.

Yes . . . this was the window . . . but sadly it has fallen or collapsed due to the hand of man

or the effect of the weather in this rather exposed location.

Time is not exactly at a premium this afternoon so I had a go at re-building it.

Using only the materials around me I make a stone scaffolding to prop up the structure as I attempt a rebuilding of the round arch.

As I started to remove the inner slates the structure started to wobble . . . so I grabbed a quick photo of my work.

Sadly my amateur efforts failed as the flattened arch was structurally unstable and removing the last support brought it crashing down.

I tried unsuccessfully a second time (no photos) but I really needed a wooden former the shape of the hole to make the rebuilding easier.

Full marks to the original artist who built it . . . it takes more skill than I seem to have exhibited today.

Maybe I'll return soon to have another go ?

The dogs had been very patient as I "played" with the stones,

so it was time to move on and allow them a little more mountain exercise.

I made my way across to explore more of the Yew Crag Quarries.

This was an old workman's hut alongside one of the open workings.

Down the slope now, avoiding the obvious pit-falls !

An open quarry with an overhanging rock chasm.

Difficult to say whether this was a quarry or a collapsed addit close to the surface.

Down to one of the more substantial buildings found amongst the workings.

My unplanned route found me across at the top of the inclined slope where there is an old winding drum

and a collapsed pylon that once would have supported an elevated cable.

Looking down the Yew Crag Incline.
Elsewhere a short rail emerges from an underground addit.

Time to be heading down, so I make my way back towards the fence in order to rejoin the Dale Head path.

A fine almost aerial view down on the road as it climbs Honister Pass.

Take care if you head over here as the slates are loose and slippery in the wet . . . and it's a long way down !

Much more solid ground now as the dogs and I cross back towards the fence.

Almost back to where I started.

The car park is full of visitors and the bus is lining up for another journey, taking folk up to the mine.

My personal transport will be taking me home in a few minutes once the dogs are safely back in the car.

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Technical note: Pictures generally taken with either a Panasonic Lumix TZ60 or my Panasonic Lumix Gx8 Camera.

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Previous walk - 2nd September Blencathra - The 51st State -

A previous time up here - 24th March - Dale Head to Buttermere

Next walk - 7th September Rannerdale with and Ice Cream