Dale Head Lake District

Posted in Dale Head Lake District on July 14th, 2011 by David Murphy

14th July 2011 I set off from my house about 12.30pm for a Wild Camp alone on Dale Head Summit In the Lake District, it took about 2 hours 30 mins to get to my destination going the scenic route I got stuck behind slow traffic, I parked about a half mile down the road from the Honister Slate Mine on the Honister Pass just outside of Seatoller.
After the steep walk up the road opposite the slate mine was the start of my path up to Dale Head summit, I reset my satmap at 15:02 and off I went as you can see from my satmap screens it took me 1 hour 18 mins total time and 50 mins time moving which means I only had about 30 mins of stops which is good for me lol.
On reaching the summit I had a walk around to find the best pitch for my Hilleberg Akto I setup my Mrs Dragonfly Stove for a cup of yorkshire tea then decided to have a walk over to Dalehead Crags there was a nice spot there for my tent with a nice view over Buttermere Lake, Crummock Water wasnt visable from here, after another brew of yorkshire tea I decided to head back to the summit of Dale Head as am a sucker for the summits even though the options maybe the more sensible at times.
After taking some video footage out came the Akto it pitched ok with only a slight breeze it was time for another brew of tea and then out came my steak for cooking as I was just awaiting the sunset which turned out a little disapointing blocked by a band of low cloud just above the horizon.
My phone signal was very patchy the best signal was over Dalehead Crags so decided to head back over there leaving the tent my backpack, tripod with my video camera on and head over to try and post on my liveblog and read my fans posts.
The moon came out first looking very orange which a captured on my video camera and later became covered at times in patchy cloud.
I  really enjoyed my night in total solitude alone on a hill without any rain with lovely views.
Morning came I must have had about an hours sleep I had my alarm set for 4.30am for the sunrise but was awake before it went off, the sunrise was hampered by low cloud but when the sun appeared it was a great sight lighting the sky red, in the distance over towards scafell Pike and great Gable there appeared to be a cloud inversion happening and the conditions at first appeared just right, the cloud was hugging the hills as a gentle breeze in my direction slowly brought it my way but after hanging around a few hours for it to surround my hill it didnt materialise how I was wishing.
I packed my tent away and was off back down the hill at 6.50am it only took 39mins total moving time and only a two min break back to the car.

Pre Dale Head Comments

My Route

 

Me On Dales Head Summit

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Buttermere

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Dale Head
Dale Head.jpg
Dale Head seen from the neighbouring hill of High Spy
Elevation 753 m (2,470 ft)
Prominence 397 m (1,302 ft)
Parent peak Great Gable
Listing Hewitt, Marilyn, Nuttall, Wainwright
Location
Dale Head is located in Lake District
Dale Head
Cumbria,  England
Range Lake District, North Western Fells
OS grid NY223153
Coordinates 54°31′37″N 3°12′07″W / 54.527°N 3.20208°W / 54.527; -3.20208Coordinates: 54°31′37″N 3°12′07″W / 54.527°N 3.20208°W / 54.527; -3.20208
Topo map OS Landrangers 89, 90, Explorer OL4

Dale Head is a fell in the northwestern sector of the Lake District, in northern England. It is 753 metres or 2,470 feet above sea level and stands immediately north of Honister Pass, the road between Borrowdale and Buttermere.

Topography

The North Western Fells occupy the area between the rivers Derwent and Cocker, a broadly oval swathe of hilly country, elongated on a north-south axis. Two roads cross from east to west, dividing the fells into three convenient groups. Dale Head is the highest fell in the southern sector.

Dale Head is the apex of two hill ridges. The principal ridge descends from Dale Head to the north-east and forms several other fells, each given a chapter by Alfred Wainwright in his Pictorial Guides to the Lakeland Fells. These are High Spy, Maiden Moor and Catbells (alternative spelling, Cat Bells). This ridge forms the western side of Borrowdale and overlooks Derwent Water. The other ridge descends to the north-west and includes the fells of Hindscarth and Robinson; it overlooks Gatescarthdale and Buttermere.

Dale Head is named for its position at the head of the Newlands Valley. This stretches away due north for three and a half miles before debouching into the floodplain of the Derwent between Derwentwater and Bassenthwaite Lake. The eastern wall of the valley is formed by the High Spy to Catbells ridge, separating it from Borrowdale. Entering on the western side are a series of side valleys which drain the main mass of the North Western Fells. The source of Newlands Beck does not however flow from the apex of Dale Head as might be supposed from the name. Instead it has its birth at the col between the main summit and the eastern top, High Scawdel (1,815 ft). The northern face of the fell forming the dalehead is ringed with crags. The main faces are Dalehead Crags and Great Gable, not to be confused with the fell of that name.

The southern flank of the fell running down to the summit of the Honister Pass road (1,180 ft) has much gentler slopes, although there is outcropping rock on either side. Buckstone Hows and Yew Crag overshadow the road.From the top of the pass Gatesgarthdale Beck runs north west to Buttermere while Hause Gill flows east to Seatoller and Borrowdale. Across the road is Grey Knotts in the Western Fells.

The ridge to Hindscarth departs north west from the summit of Dale Head, soon narrowing into the fine and airy Hindscarth Edge. Both slopes are rocky, that to the south being known as Molds. Far Tongue Gill descends from the north of the ridge, a tributary of Newlands Beck.

Although High Scawdel stands east of the main summit, the high ground takes a great loop to the south around the head of Newlands Beck. It then drives north to the depression at Wilson's Bield (1,655 ft) before climbing to the summit of High Spy. The rest of the North Western Fells bear no tarns worthy of the name, but Dale Head has two. On the northern slope near the source of Newlands Beck is Dalehead Tarn, while the smaller Launchy Tarn lies near the top of High Scawdel. Dalehead Tarn is a shallow pool providing a popular stopping place for walkers. Its varied flora include water horsetail, sedge and bogbean. Launchy Tarn is smaller and may have been formed by overgrazing and erosion of the underlying peat.[1]

Geology and Mining

Dale Head stands at the junction of the two main Lakeland geological systems, the Skiddaw slates to the north and the Borrowdale Volcanics to the south. On the northern flanks are outcrops of the Buttermere Formation, olistostrome of disrupted sheared mudstone, siltstone and sandstone. Southward march the Borrowdale series beginning with the plagioclase-phyric andesite lavas of the Birker Fell Formation, visible near the summit.[2]

The fell has seen extensive mining history. Dale Head Mine was driven below the northern crags for copper, several levels still being visible. Long Work was another copper mine a little further down the valley, worked for malachite and pyrite from Elizabethan times. On the southern flank of the fell, centred around the head of the pass, are the Honister Quarries. These are an extensive system of underground quarries, worked for Green Slate. The earliest extant records date from 1728 and since then huge caverns have been carved out on either side of the pass. The Yew Crag workings on the Dale Head side were operated until 1966, operations on the slopes of Grey Knotts continuing. In 1887 work began to drive a tunnel right under Dale Head into Newlands Valley, connecting with a proposed tramway to join the railway at Keswick. The scheme was abandoned after opposition from landowners. The main workers accommodation at the mine is now the Honister Hause Youth Hostel.[3]

Summit and view

The view of the Newlands Valley and Skiddaw from Dale Head summit cairn .

The summit is marked by a cairn standing on the brink of the northern face. There is a fine end-on view of the Newlands Valley to the north, backed by Skiddaw. All around are rank upon rank of fells, of the major Lakeland ranges only the High Street group not being fully visible.[4][5]

Ascents

One of the most popular ascent routes of Dale Head begins from the summit of Honister Pass, where there is a car park and a youth hostel. The route ascends directly alongside a fence for approximately 2 kilometres and would take the average walker some 45 or 50 minutes. Longer routes begin at Little Town in the Newlands Valley, climbing either via Dalehead Tarn or the old access track to Dale Head Mine. From Borrowdale a start can be made at either Seatoller or Longthwaite, ascending first to Launchy Tarn and High Scawdel.[4]

References

  1. ^ Blair, Don: Exploring Lakeland Tarns: Lakeland Manor Press (2003): ISBN 0-9543904-1-5
  2. ^ British Geological Survey: 1:50,000 series maps, England & Wales Sheet 29: BGS (1999)
  3. ^ Adams, John: Mines of the Lake District Fells: Dalesman (1995) ISBN 0-85206-931-6
  4. ^ a b Alfred Wainwright: A Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells, Book 6, The North Western Fells: Westmorland Gazette (1964): ISBN 0-7112-2459-5
  5. ^ Birkett, Bill: Complete Lakeland Fells: Collins Willow (1994): ISBN 0-00-218406-0
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Hike up Scafell Pike & Wildcamping Near Lingmell

Posted in Scafell Pike on March 30th, 2011 by David Murphy

Hike up Scafell Pike on the 16th September 09 from Seathwaite it remains to date the most challenging hikes i have done.

 

  

A 360 of Scafell Pike Summit may take a few seconds to load depending on your connection speed, when loaded click on the image to view larger size.

Next my Wildcamp near Lingmell on way back down

 

 

 

Scafell Pike
Scafell Pike.JPG
Scafell Pike viewed from Wastwater
Elevation 978 m (3,209 ft)
Prominence 912 m (2,992 ft)
Ranked 13th in British Isles
Listing Marilyn, Hewitt, Wainwright, County Top, Nuttall, Country high point
Location
Scafell Pike is located in Lake District
Scafell Pike
Lake District National Park, Cumbria, England
Range Lake District, Southern Fells
OS grid NY215072
Coordinates 54°27′15.2″N 3°12′41.5″W / 54.454222°N 3.211528°W / 54.454222; -3.211528Coordinates: 54°27′15.2″N 3°12′41.5″W / 54.454222°N 3.211528°W / 54.454222; -3.211528
Topo map OS Landrangers 89, 90, Explorer OL6

Scafell Pike (pron.: /ˈskɔːˈfɛl/) or /skɑːˈfɛl/[1] is the highest mountain in England at 978 metres (3,209 ft). It is located in Lake District National Park, in Cumbria.

It is sometimes confused with the neighbouring Scafell, to which it is connected by the col of Mickledore. The name Pikes of Sca Fell was originally applied collectively to the peaks now known as Scafell Pike, Ill Crag and Broad Crag, which were considered subsidiary tops of Scafell (which looks higher from many angles). The contraction Scafell Pike originated as an error on an Ordnance Survey map,[citation needed] but is now standard.

The summit was donated to the National Trust in 1919 by Lord Leconfield in memory of the men of the Lake District "who fell for God and King, for freedom, peace and right in the Great War".[2]

Scafell Pike is one of three British peaks climbed as part of the National Three Peaks Challenge, and is the highest ground for over 90 miles.

Listed summits of Scafell Pike
Name Grid ref Height Status
Ill Crag NY223073 935 m (3,068 ft) Hewitt, Nuttall
Broad Crag NY218075 934 m (3,064 ft) Hewitt, Nuttall
Middleboot Knotts NY213080 703 m (2,306 ft) Nuttall

Topography

Scafell Pike is one of a horseshoe of high fells, open to the south, surrounding the head of Eskdale, Cumbria. It stands on the western side of the cirque, with Scafell to the south and Great End to the north. This ridge forms the watershed between Eskdale and Wasdale, which lies to the west.

The narrowest definition of Scafell Pike begins at the ridge of Mickledore in the south, takes in the wide, stony summit area and ends at the next depression, Broad Crag Col, c. 920 m (3,030 ft). A more inclusive view also takes in two further tops: Broad Crag, 934 m (3,064 ft) and Ill Crag, 935 m (3,068 ft), the two being separated by Ill Crag Col. This is the position taken by most guidebooks.[3][4] North of Ill Crag is the more definite depression of Calf Cove at 850 m (2,800 ft), before the ridge climbs again to Great End.

Scafell Pike also has outliers on either side of the ridge. Lingmell, to the north west, is invariably regarded as a separate fell,[3][4] while Pen, 760 m (2,500 ft), a shapely summit above the Esk, is normally taken as a satellite of the Pike. The gloriously un-anatomical Middleboot Knotts is a further top lying on the Wasdale slopes of Broad Crag, which is listed as a Nuttall.

The summit of Scafell Pike, seen from neighbouring Broad Crag

The rough summit plateau is fringed by crags on all sides with, Pikes Crag and Dropping Crag above Wasdale and Rough Crag to the east. Below Rough Crag and Pen is a further tier, named Dow Crag and Central Pillar on Ordnance Survey maps, although also known as Esk Buttress among climbers.[5] Esk Buttress and Pikes Crag are well known rock climbing venues.

Broad Crag Col is the source of Little Narrowcove Beck in the east and of Piers Gill in the west. The latter works its way around Lingmell to Wast Water through a spectacular ravine, one of the most impressive in the District. It is treacherous in winter, as when it freezes over it creates an icy patch, with lethal exposure should you slip. Broad Crag is a small top with its principal face on the west and the smaller Green Crag looking down on Little Narrowcove. From Broad Crag, the ridge turns briefly east across Ill Crag Col and onto the shapely pyramidal summit of Ill Crag. Here, the main crags are on the Eskdale side, Ill Crag having little footing in Wasdale.

Scafell Pike has a claim to the highest standing water in England, although Foxes Tarn on Scafell is of similar height. The water body in question is Broad Crag Tarn, which (confusingly) is on Scafell Pike proper, rather than Broad Crag. It lies at about 820 m (2,700 ft), a quarter of a mile south of the summit.[6]

The summit ridge from Ill Crag to Mickledore is notoriously stony, the surface being composed in many places of fields of boulders. Paths are not marked by the usual erosion of soil, but by coloured marks on the rock following the passage of many thousands of booted feet. The summits of Ill and Broad Crags are bypassed by the ridge path, but it leads unerringly to the highest point. This bears an Ordnance Survey triangulation column beside a massive cairn, not now in the best of repair, but unmistakable from any distance, still six feet high and much greater in diameter. A little distance away is the lower south peak, a place to escape the crowds and marvel at the view over Eskdale.

Geology

Scafell Pike consists of igneous rock dating from the Ordovician geologically part of the Borrowdale Volcanics. The summit plateau of Scafell Pike, and that of other neighbouring peaks, is covered with shattered rock debris which provides the highest altitude example of a summit boulder field in England.[7] The boulder field is thought to have been caused in part by weathering, such as frost action. Additional factors are also considered to be important, however opinion varies as to what these may be. Clifton Ward suggested that weathering with earthquakes as a secondary agent could be responsible, while J E Marr and R A Daly believed that earthquakes were unnecessary and suggested that frost action with other unspecified agents was more likely.[8] To the north of the summit are a number of high altitude gills which flow into Lingmell Beck. These are good examples in Cumbria for this type of gill and are also biologically important due to their species richness.[7]

Ascent routes

The ascent of the Pike is most often attempted from Wasdale Head. This is at the north end of Wast Water to the west of the Pike, and is at about 80 metres above sea level. There is a famous climber's hotel here, the Wasdale Head Inn, made popular in the Victorian period by Owen Glynne Jones and others. On summer weekends, crowds of people can be found attempting this steep but straightforward walk. An alternative ascent from Wasdale approaches up a hanging valley whose head is at Mickledore, which is itself ascended, before following the path from Scafell to the Pike.

A view of the classic corridor route taken from Sty Head Stretcher box

A more taxing, but scenically far superior, approach begins at Seathwaite Farm at the end of Borrowdale, proceeding via Styhead Tarn, then taking the Corridor Route (formerly known as the Guides Route), a delightful walk along the western flank of the Scafell massif with intimate views of the fell, before joining the route from Wasdale near the summit. The return journey can then be made along a high ridge, taking in any or all of the neighbouring summits of Broad Crag, Ill Crag, Great End, Allen Crags and Glaramara. An alternative route from Borrowdale, longer but perhaps less taxing than that via the Corridor Route, runs from Seathwaite via Grains Gill and the high pass of Esk Hause.

File:Scafell Pike and Scafell.JPG
Scafell Pike (left) and Scafell (right), with the ridge of Lingmell in the foreground.

A further ascent may be made from Langdale. From the Old Dungeon Ghyll hotel, the route proceeds up alongside Rossett Gill (which perhaps has a more fearsome reputation than it deserves), past Angle Tarn, and then onto Esk Hause before joining a rocky path to the summit. Energetic walkers can vary the return route by ascending Esk Pike and Bowfell from Esk Hause and then descend Bowfell via The Band. Another variant which avoids simply returning down Rossett Gill is to head north at the Angle Tarn, over Rossett Pike to join The Cumbrian Way, and descend via Stake Pass adding a mile to the walk. The total distance is about 21 kilometres. Esk Hause is also accessible from Styhead Tarn, making another possible route from Seathwaite.

Another ascent can be made from Eskdale, the longest and most arduous way up but it has some very fine scenery. The route follows the River Esk as far as the Great Moss boggy plateau; walkers then have a choice of ascending steeply up to Mickledore, the low ridge between Scafell and Scafell Pike, or following the Esk to its source at Esk Hause. A third possible route up from Great Moss is Little Narrowcove, a steep ascent which emerges onto the ridge a few hundred metres north-east of the summit.

The view from Scafell Pike

A panorama from the summit of Scafell Pike, August 2007
View from the summit of Scafell Pike

As the highest ground in England, Scafell Pike naturally has a very extensive view, ranging from the Mourne Mountains to Snowdonia. On a clear day, the following Marilyns can be seen from the summit.

Data from the first 'external link' below.

North

East

South

West

References

  1. ^ Daniel Jones, Everyman's English Pronouncing Dictionary (13th ed.), p. 421.
  2. ^ Scafell Pike on UKNIWM
  3. ^ a b Richards, Mark: Mid-Western Fells: Collins (2004): ISBN 0-00-711368-4
  4. ^ a b Wainwright, A. (1960). The Southern Fells. London: Francis Lincoln. ISBN 0-7112-2230-4.
  5. ^ British Mountain Maps: Lake District: Harvey (2006): ISBN 1-85137-467-1
  6. ^ Blair, Don: Exploring Lakeland Tarns: Lakeland Manor Press (2003): ISBN 0-9543904-1-5
  7. ^ a b "Scafell Pikes SSSI citation sheet" (PDF). English Nature. http://www.english-nature.org.uk/citation/citation_photo/1001922.pdf. Retrieved 2006-11-10.
  8. ^ Hay, T (1942). "Physiographical Notes from Lakeland". The Geographical Journal (The Geographical Journal, Vol. 100, No. 4) 100 (4): 165–173. doi:10.2307/1788974. JSTOR 1788974.

External links

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