06 December 2008

Winter wonderland

Yesterday I said I would be playing in the snow at some point this weekend. Today was that day, but I may do the same tomorrow. A quick search on Friday night gave me a route, which would take in Cat Bells, on the western shore of Derwent Water and then many miles of high level walking, guaranteeing snow covered fells, before descending back down to the valley floor.

Saturday morning came and there was a distinct lack of get up and go, however we managed to leave Carlisle at 9:30am. Only half an hour later than planned. We were off walking at 10:30am and walking along the Allerdale Ramble so that we could ascend to Hause Gate.

Blencathra peaking through the trees on the ascent to Hause Gate.

Once at Hause Gate we skirted north to reach the summit of Cat Bells where it seems that every man and his dog, and every other relation to that same man and dog, were picnicking on this fine December day. Why wouldn't they be here? There was no cloud in the sky, the views were amazing, there was snow on the ground and even light exercise kept you warm as the December sun burnt down.

Derwent Water from Cat Bells.

From Cat Bells we back tracked for a short period, before we were on new trails taking us across Maiden Moor with amazing views over the Derwent Fells to the west, but also the Helvellyn Range to the east, and back north was Skiddaw towering over Keswick as well as Blencathra off in the distance.

Looking, from Bull Crag, towards the Derwent Fells.

The beehive cairn at 650m on High Spy with the Helvellyn Range in the background.

Our final summit today was High Spy (650m), which had an amazing beehive shaped cairn marking the summit, but even more amazing were the panoramic views. We could look down on the Newlands Valley and then north to Skiddaw and Blencathra before looking out east to the fells rising up from the shores of Derwent Water and those beyond. There was also to the south, views of Great Gable and it's neighbouring fells. From here we made a descent to Wilson's Bield and then off through the disused, Rigghead Quarries and down Tongue Gill to rejoin the Allerdale Ramble.

Looking downstream on the Upper Derwent as we traverse the fell side via the Allerdale Ramble.

More pictures from the day can be found here.

Good lines, stay safe and see you on the wet stuff...

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