Catbells, Maiden Moor, High Spy

2 January 2015

Yesterday's weather forecast said of walking on the fells that "any movement will be tortuous", so we stayed at low level, but today it was to be merely "arduous" and the wind chill a mere minus 17.

A departure from the house in the dark saw us arrive at Chapel Bridge at Little Town in Newlands soon after nine o'clock for what proved to be a very windy walk. Here's a view up the valley of Newlands Beck along which we will return later, but for now let's turn round and head for Catbells.

Heading for the col that lies between Catbells (on the left) and Maiden Moor (on the right).

As we gained height, the wind got stronger. Note the water blowing upwards.

From near the summit of Catbells, a view up Borrowdale

Across Derwentwater past Keswick to the sun on Latrigg

It was very windy on the ridge, and I contemplated descending again after Catbells, but for all that the contours crowd together on the map, on the ground there is room to be blown around. Here we gain height on Maiden Moor and look back over Catbells, with Derwentwater on the right, Bassenthwaite Lake in the distance, and the Skiddaw massif looming over Keswick.

The head of Derwentwater merges with flooded fields of Borrowdale

A windswept Lottie and George on the summit of High Spy. Progress to get here from Maiden Moor was very difficult - the weather forecast had said that movement would be "arduous" and they were right. The dogs weren't too troubled, being near the ground, but I struggled at times to make any progress at all.

Time to descend, and from the somewhat complex area of land between High Spy and Dale Head we head down along the infant Newlands Beck

The path was fairly rough and slower than expected, with the winds still strong and accompanied by hail showers, but we gradually returned to calmer conditions in the bottom of the valley.

A hard walk in the weather conditions, but in fabulous country with wonderful views near and far. A great time had by all except in the hail showers.

Total distance 12.4 km and 806 metres of ascent in 4 hours 49 mins



Back Up Next

Unless otherwise stated, all images copyright (c) Stephen and Lucy Dawson