Ski Club of Manchester Lakes Weekend 29 April - 2 May 2011 Saturday Walk, 30 April: Newlands Round

By Paul Prentice

The advance walking party on Saturday, guided by Dave Miller, comprised nine people plus one dog. Wayside parking at Little Town, the day fresh, clear and sunny with a stiffening chill wind from the north-east. We passed an old graphite working and walked up to the saddle between Cat Bells & Maiden Moor, to be rewarded with wonderful views of blue Derwent Water dotted with islands. Derek said one had been used to isolate foreign miners from the good people of Keswick.

Cat Bells, topped by tiny walkers in silhouette, was a temptation but Dave and the wind drove us on up to Maiden Moor and High Spy with its pinecone cairn. Increasingly aware of the wind, we dropped down to a little tarn at the top of the valley and stopped for lunch in the sunshine.

The sun continued to brighten the walking experience as we toiled up to Dale Head (highest point of the day at 753m) and Hindscarth, with lovely views down the valley, and clear outlines of Scafell, Great Gable and the sea to the south-west.

The final steep descent down a scenic rocky spur was made difficult by strong gusts of wind and big rock steps that were smooth & slippy even when dry. The principal incident of the walk occurred when Vanessa got blown off her feet and lost her favourite hat in a blast of wind. The hat search, led by Derek, provided a distraction while she recovered her equilibrium. We were glad to get off the ridge without further accidents.

A very pleasant walk-out through sheltered sunny fields and along a lane past a picturesque chapel and churchyard led us back to the cars, where we thanked Dave for his great leadership and choice of route, and then went to the farmhouse tea-room for guess what!