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The Newlands Horseshoe

The Newlands Horseshoe


Postby poppiesrara » Wed Oct 24, 2012 5:14 pm

Wainwrights included on this walk: Cat Bells, Dale Head, High Spy, Hindscarth, Maiden Moor, Robinson

Hewitts included on this walk: Dale Head, High Spy, Hindscarth, Robinson

Date walked: 21/10/2012

Time taken: 4.5

Distance: 16.75 km

Ascent: 1180m

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A lovely balmy autumn day to take in one of the classic circuits. A relative newcomer to the Lakes, I’d expected this route to be choked with weekend walkers, but – apart from the top few feet of Cat Bells – it’s anything but; you could have tramped for miles around Robinson and Hindscarth without seeing anyone.

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After a slightly breathless ascent to gain the ridge it’s a lovely climb along High Snab Bank and up to Robinson, grassy paths interspersed with pretty tricky short scrambles up Wainwright’s three rock steps. It’s a bit further than you expect (there’s still nearly a mile and 200m+ rise after you crest the steepest part), but well worth it when you reach the summit and the terrific views to Crumock Water and the Buttermere fells suddenly open out in full.
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Aikin Knott & Causey Pike

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Robinson from High Snab Bank

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The rock step scrambles

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Parallel north ridges of the Newlands Horseshoe, Cat Bells at rear

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Causey Pike & northern fells over Robinson ascent ridge

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Robinson Crags

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Crummock Water & Loweswater from Robinson

The route from there to Dale Head, undulating across the top of the three parallel north ridges, is very easy and pleasant, much less effort than it looks on the map; the corner-cutting routes to and from Hindscarth that I’d seen described as faint are now well-trodden and very clear even from a distance. That isn’t much of a hill from this side (although the northern ascent looked at least as good as that of Robinson), but Dale Head – reached along a narrowing rocky ridge and perched on the edge of the precipice – definitely is: and the views throughout this traverse (of the valleys and Skiddaw north, the high peaks west, and the crags of High Spy looking especially forbidding above the Newlands valley), are spectacular.
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Back to Red Pike during ascent of Hindscarth

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High Spy from Hindscarth

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Newlands valley

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Buttermere fells

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Dale Head summit

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Hazy view southwest from Dale Head

The descent path to Dalehead Tarn is beautifully crafted, rock steps embedded into the grass to look almost natural, although after that the brown and marshy surrounds of the pool are rather out of character with the rest of this area and the rough path up High Spy is something of a slog. It’s easy walking again along the cliff-edges from there to the tiny rise of Maiden Moor to ease the legs though.
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Dale Head

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Hindscarth from High Spy

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Crag Hill/Grisedale Pike range from High Spy

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Path to Maiden Moor

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North west fells over Scope End

The (very broad and worn) path down to Hause Gate winds from side to side of the ridge to make the best of the ever-improving vista all round, Derwent Water looking stunning from up here. Up and down the short rise from here to Cat Bells probably isn’t a best first ascent, but it was too close and tempting not to… Even amidst the crowds this is a beautiful spot, a rocky little top jutting steeply out into the sky with nothing to interrupt the views. The thousands that climb Cat Bells probably don’t do so from Little Town though, and the way down is pretty rough – a long slope of shifting unpathed shale and then one of those streams that is confusingly labelled as a path on the map… A few yards back in the idyllic valley cures you of that little hiccup though, simply a beautiful day’s walking.
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Cat Bells & Derwent Water

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Cat Bells backed by Skiddaw

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South of Derwent Water, Clough Head & Bleaberry Fell behind

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Approaching a busy Cat Bells

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Skiddaw & Keswick from Cat Bells

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Robinson from Little Town
Last edited by poppiesrara on Fri Jun 10, 2016 3:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Newlands Horseshoe

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Wed Oct 24, 2012 7:29 pm

Great report and pics from one of the finest corners of the Lakes. Your right about Hindscarth's North East ridge being as good as Robinson. It's pure of walking heaven :D

We walked three of those fells back in August as well, in fact looking at the pics it might have been the same day :shock:

http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=24557
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Re: The Newlands Horseshoe

Postby stevesey » Wed Oct 24, 2012 7:53 pm

Looks like it was a great day:-) Was there on the last Friday in September, very strong winds, some low cloud and hail. Was planning on going up Hindscarth and around to Robinson with a group of a dozen or so. Winds came up as we gained height and got a 10min hailstorm on the final slog up Hindscarth - summit shelter couldn't have been better placed for a lunch stop to assess the weather. Didn't fancy turning right into the strenghening wind, so changed plan and went left over dale head and then back along the valley (no one else fancied going back up into the wind along high spy/maiden moor). Plenty of other people around that day - thinking back to the couple of other times I've been around I seen more people when the weather has been bad!!
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Re: The Newlands Horseshoe

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:36 pm

johnkaysleftleg wrote:Great report and pics from one of the finest corners of the Lakes. Your right about Hindscarth's North East ridge being as good as Robinson. It's pure of walking heaven :D

We walked three of those fells back in August as well, in fact looking at the pics it might have been the same day :shock:

http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=24557


Just realised that you said autumn not august :lol:
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Re: The Newlands Horseshoe

Postby ChrisW » Wed Oct 24, 2012 9:36 pm

You really picked the day for this one P, absolutely stunning, not just the weather but the whole hike. What a perfect circuit, fantastic photos of some of the most wonderful scenery in England :clap:
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Re: The Newlands Horseshoe

Postby richardkchapman » Sat Oct 27, 2012 5:06 pm

Lovely photos, and a route I definitely intend to walk soon. Was supposed to be staying in the Newlands valley this week, but a change of plan meant we ended up in Patterdale instead. Hope to get there at Easter instead.
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