A blue sky frosty morning today meant that a walk was irresistable and after defrosting the car (-6 degrees C overnight at Fornside) I headed for Chapel Bridge in the Newlands valley.
Normally I do a big horseshoe walk from there, but today I wanted to climb a new route for me - Dale Head via the mines on the north face and I also wanted to descend Scope End which I have only ascended before. So a short 7 mile walk it was.
The only downside about such a beautiful walk on a beautiful frosty day was that I was pretty much in shadow until I joined the route from Dale Head Tarn a few hundred yards from the summit. So, I saw the sun for 15 minutes in the first hour and a half! Brrrrr! Even Polly seemed delighted when we finally reached the sun.
I don't know why the mines route is so lightly trodden; it is an excellent route. The gradients are quite good and the route is easy to follow providing it isn't misty. It would even be easy in descent and joins the Dale Head Tarn path at the top of Dale Head Crags with a small cairn showing where the north face route leaves the main path.
Lunch on the summit chatting to a Doctor's wife who had opted for Dale Head whilst her husband did Pillar. Her knees were not up to his walk.
Then along Hindscarth Edge to Hindscarth meeting loads of school parties on the way and plenty of solitary walkers - all with big grins on their faces - it was that good a day!
Scope End is an interesting descent, not too steep and with superb views all the way down. Back at Chapel Bridge the carpark was packed to overflowing with cars stretching along the lane.
Enjoy the pictures http://outdoors.webshots.com/album/561160128yOvWzl