Hello, my name is Mal Tabb.
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Friday, 11 May 2012

Dale Head & Robinson

With: on my own
Weather: cold; initially persistent rain but clearing later; fresh north easterly wind
Where; Newlands, Lake District

Dale Head Summit

The last week at Blaithwaite has been exhausting, a few days off is welcome. Today our daughter is spending some time with Kay so I'm taking a few hours in the fells.

It has poured down for the last 36 hours, the weatherman said the rain would clear to showers this afternoon but its still persistent, at Chapel Bridge car park the temperature is just 5 degC - cold for a md May afternoon. Over-trousers and winter mountain jacket on the rain still falling as I head up the miners track. Goldscope mine dominates this end of the valley to the right, the name is thought to be a corruption of "Gottesgab" (God's Gift) the name given to the copper mine by the early German miners of the Elizabethan era, we have enjoyed several underground trips in this area.

Past the Carlisle Climbing Club Hut the valley soon narrows with the imposing Red Crags to the left and an alternative Great Gable ahead. Dropping down to the beck the path was shunned in favour of following the water course, it was a more interesting route and the recent rain had swollen the stream making a crossing place harder to find. Once across I continued alongside Far Tongue Gill until re-joining the path and continuing the long ascent through more disused mine workings. The rain still hadn't stopped and in the upper reaches of Dale Head Crags began to turn to a sleety-hail mix. A quick photo at the summit "obelisk" above and the best part of the day was enjoyed along Hindscarth Edge and Littledale Edge.

Looking Back Along the Edge to Dale Head

Ever so slowly over the course of this section the rain eventually eased giving way to sunshine and a bitingly cold wind. It was at this point that I passed just the second person I was to see all day, a rarity in the Lake District.

The big views began to open up - Blencathra to the north; Fleetwith Pike & the High Stile Ridge seemed almost close enough to touch; below was Buttermere.

Passing Hindscarth a good deal of height is lost before the final ascent up on to Robinson. The first brief stop of the day provided an opportunity to take on some fluids and calories, I thought back to some of the running I have done around this area- these ridges would provide an exhilarating run.

Heading in roughly a northerly direction past a couple of small tarns the days climbing was done and the sun was now lighting up the sky.

Causey Pike From Robinson

The walk along the Robinson "spur" was enjoyable. With a good deal of height now lost the reservoir close to to the head of Littledale came into view below and I opted to take an off-piste route through the scree directly towards it. Now I don't get many calls from my middle brother but bizarrely when picking my way through the scree the mobile rang and it was said middle brother - my preference is to ignore the phone when out in the fells but this was a rare event! Viewed from a distance what happened over the ensuing minutes was quite probably hilarious as I stumbled, tripped and slid with the phone held tightly to my ear only to promptly lose the signal upon arrival at the reservoir.

I've never walked in Littledale anywhere close to valley floor level but discovered today that it is one of the Lake District's hidden gems, yellow gorse to the left, a cascading beck to the right and not a soul in sight.

It wasn't far now to another gem of the area - Newlands Church where I went inside and stopped for a while, a good finish.

Newlands Church

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