Weather: Bright & sunny with occasional snow showers; good visibility; lying snow above 400m
|High Spy Summit|
Yesterday was one of those days where we ended up doing something quite different than planned which subsequently turned into one of those gems the outdoors frequently turns up. I won't go into the details of what we planned and why it didn't happen but it became effectively an impromptu In2venture staff day out.
We started out from Grange and did the scramble at Nitting Haws that Glyn Mitchell & myself did the other week.This is not really an area I would automatically associate with a top day in the mountains but the scramble got us off to a good start: the lower slabs and rock outcrops are straightforward & avoidable if that is your wish. Traversing adjacent to the holly tree gets more interesting and on the day as the rock was quite greasy in places we continued the traverse to the far end of the pitch where the scrambling remains exposed but the consequences of a slip are much less serious. Even after the main event there is still further optional scrambling to be enjoyed.
|Some Additional Scrambling|
From the top of this last outcrop we crossed the scree slope to our south and followed the line of the gill - an off piste route, "the beaten path is for beaten men!! "
The gill runs out in and around some crags & we continued through ankle deep snow across numerous false tops to the summit ridge. Conditions on approach were excellent with deep drifting powder snow which was being picked up and swirled around in the cold wind. The views north across Derwent Water towards Skiddaw & Blencathra were excellent:
There weren't too many folk about at the popular cairn of High Spy but after the bright sunshine of the scramble and lower slopes we were privileged to enjoy an early taste of winter:
To descend we followed the summit ridge north in the direction of Maiden Moor again dropping off to the east side of the ridge in the general area of the footpath leading back down to Derwent Water. As in ascent we did not follow the path instead taking a line down initially through the snow & then through the scree alongside the gill.
The day was relatively short at 6km & 600m of ascent, however, the quality was excellent.
I carried the rope & packed on top of the usual camera so all todays photography is via the HTC One X phone as discussed in a previous post.