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Catbells, Maiden Moor, High Spy, Dale Head & Hindscarth

Catbells, Maiden Moor, High Spy, Dale Head & Hindscarth


Postby foggieclimber » Sat Jul 13, 2013 9:05 pm

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

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

Date walked: 13/07/2013

Time taken: 5.75

Distance: 16.3 km

Ascent: 1125m

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Today, I opted to ascend some hills not too far from my base at Bassenthwaite. My guidebook described the circuit of Catbells, Maiden Moor, High Spy, Dale Head and Hindscarth as, “One of the all time favourite horseshoe walks, on a par with the Fairfield Horseshoe”. This sounded pretty-good so I decided to give it a go.

I was fortunate to get the last free parking space at the start of the Catbells ridge walk. (There are circa 10 parking spaces which are free of charge. There is further parking available nearby at a cost of £3 for the day)

By 08:45 this morning it was already 23ºC and by lunchtime it was:
Image

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

Literally within five minutes of setting off, up the Catbells ridge, I was provided with excellent views across to Keswick and Derwent Water. If you do not fancy undertaking the entire horseshoe, an ascent of Catbells on its own is still a cracking walk.

Keswick and Derwent Water from lower slopes of Skelgill Bank:
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Derwent Water from lower slopes of Skelgill Bank:
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During the ascent of Catbells, I passed several other walkers. I was definitely going too fast given the heat!

Catbells and Skelgill Bank:
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As I gained height, the views got better and better.

Looking down to Swinside and beyond to Bassenthwaite Lake:
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Looking across to Causey Pike from Catbells:
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Catbells:
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I reached the summit of Catbells in about 50 minutes. Catbells is a Wainwright.

View towards Skiddaw from the summit of Catbells:
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From Catbells, I made my way across to Maiden Moor which is also a Wainwright.

Heading for Maiden Moor:
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Looking back to Catbells and Derwent Water:
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The high point on Maiden Moor is a short distance from the small cairn.

Cairn a short distance from the summit of Maiden Moor:
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Looking towards High Spy and Dale Head from Maiden Moor:
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From Maiden Moor to High Spy was fairly busy with people, mostly coming in the opposite direction. I think there was some kind of Adventure Challenge taking place.

I didn’t stop at the North Top of High Spy as it was too busy.

Approaching the North Top of High Spy:
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Looking towards the summit of High Spy:
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On reaching the summit of High Spy, I had a five-minute break where I guzzled down almost a litre of water.

Large cairn at the summit of High Spy:
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The next section was fairly pleasant as it was all downhill. However, given the next hill was the highest one, every metre lost in height would need to be re-gained.

Descent from High Spy towards Dale Head:
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Looking back at the descent from High Spy:
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Dalehead Tarn:
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The path ascending Dale Head was excellent.

Path ascending Dale Head:
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On ascending the final section towards the summit of Dale Head, I passed a group of teenagers who were all carrying heavy packs with camping gear. It must have been hard work carrying such heavy packs in the heat.

Final ascent to the summit of Dale Head:
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View from the large cairn near the summit of Dale Head:
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At the summit of Dale Head:
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From Dale Head, I continued on towards Hindscarth - my fifth and final Wainwright of the day.

Heading from Dale Head towards Hindscarth:
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As I walked along the track, I got nice views down to Buttermere.

Buttermere:
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Heading for Hindscarth:
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There are two shelters on Hindscarth. A small shelter at the summit and a much larger shelter a short distance away.

Looking back to Dale Head from the summit of Hindscarth:
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The initial descent from Hindscarth was fairly steep.

Descent from Hindscarth:
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Beyond the steep section, I followed a highly-visible path winding its way along the ridge.

Following the winding path along the ridge:
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There were several sections of easy scrambling during the descent.

Final descent from Scope End:
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Looking back to Scope End:
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On reaching the bottom of the track, I wasn’t quite sure how to get back onto the road. The track I wanted to take had a sign advising “Permissive Path – contact the Landowner for permission”. So I took another path that started off ok but then veered off the wrong way from where I wanted to go. I therefore climbed a fence into a field and then over a barbed-wire fence at the other end of the field to reach the “Permissive Path”. I am normally pretty-good at crossing barbed-wire fences but not so today – I cut my leg while climbing over (just a flesh wound :wink:).

We are fortunate in Scotland to have such good access arrangements. If I hadn’t initially heeded the stupid Permissive Path sign, I wouldn’t have cut my leg.

School:
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After walking a short distance back along the road, I left the road to take the public footpath leading to Skelgill.

Catbells from public path back to Skelgill:
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My guidebook suggested this walk would take 8Hrs - definitely an over-estimate.

A cracking walk with great views :D.
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Re: Catbells, Maiden Moor, High Spy, Dale Head & Hindscarth

Postby simon-b » Sun Jul 14, 2013 5:16 pm

You've definitely been choosing some of the very best Lakeland routes, FC. Some people do the Newlands horseshoe, Maiden Moor to Hindscarth and Scope End, omitting Catbells. But I think the full round you did is much better. One of the great things about climbing the Wainwrights is the visits to so many beautiful lower hills, as well as England's highest.
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Re: Catbells, Maiden Moor, High Spy, Dale Head & Hindscarth

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Mon Jul 15, 2013 11:33 am

Great walk that one Foggie. :thumbup:
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johnkaysleftleg
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Re: Catbells, Maiden Moor, High Spy, Dale Head & Hindscarth

Postby SusieThePensioner » Mon Jul 15, 2013 12:07 pm

That's a great walk and fantastic weather!
Thank you for posting those lovely photos; a real trip down memory lane for me :D
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Re: Catbells, Maiden Moor, High Spy, Dale Head & Hindscarth

Postby L-Hiking » Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:38 pm

That's a nice walk that one FC some great pictures and nice report...The weather has been kind to you too :D
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Re: Catbells, Maiden Moor, High Spy, Dale Head & Hindscarth

Postby Sarah86 » Tue Jul 16, 2013 2:24 pm

Great report and wonderful views. We were in the Lakes last week and had hoped to visit Catbells but didn't have the time, after seeing your report it is now a must for our next visit!
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Re: Catbells, Maiden Moor, High Spy, Dale Head & Hindscarth

Postby Circles » Wed Jul 17, 2013 8:37 am

a great looking walk...didn't consider tacking Robinson on the end? did it look a fell too far as I see some have done it and I'm thinking of the same (when it cools a bit) :lol:
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Circles
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Re: Catbells, Maiden Moor, High Spy, Dale Head & Hindscarth

Postby foggieclimber » Wed Jul 17, 2013 4:37 pm

Circles wrote:a great looking walk...didn't consider tacking Robinson on the end? did it look a fell too far as I see some have done it and I'm thinking of the same (when it cools a bit) :lol:


I did consider it but only briefly :lol:
If it han't been so warm, definitely.
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Re: Catbells, Maiden Moor, High Spy, Dale Head & Hindscarth

Postby Circles » Wed Jul 17, 2013 5:06 pm

cool (except it wasn't) :lol: ...I did Red Screes etc on that day and nearly melted going up Middle Dodd (was recovering from a cold which didn;t help...spent the walk sneezing and barking/coughing)...did nice easy Ard Crags on the Sunday which had great views of the hills you did (which I'd planned for that day) as I wanted something a bit easier and I wanted to llisten to the cricket as I thought we still had a chance (was worth it...would have been a pity not to have listened to it)
Can't wait to get up there
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Re: Catbells, Maiden Moor, High Spy, Dale Head & Hindscarth

Postby ChrisW » Thu Jul 18, 2013 9:33 pm

That scenery takes some beating in those conditions Foggie, near makes me homesick :( You made good time up that initial ascent, no wonder you needed a litre a water in one go. I love that shot from the summit of Dale Head with the large cairn on the left and the valley reaching off into the hazy horizon....beautiful. :clap:

"This week I av mostly been eating taramasalata" :lol:
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Re: Catbells, Maiden Moor, High Spy, Dale Head & Hindscarth

Postby dooterbang » Fri Aug 02, 2013 3:14 pm

Dale head was one of the first hills I did in the Lakes - think I walked straight up the valley to asend it.

Great views towards Skiddaw, and if I remember Honister mine was to the South.

Cheers.
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