Height: 338 metres / 1109 feet Grid reference: NY 24489 20568
There was a lot of snow around when I set of on the climb to Catbells this morning. My original intention had been to do the full Newlands Round but things didn’t quite turn out as expected and shows that you don’t necessarily have to get to the highest fells to get the views. It turned out to be a bit of an odd walk really, read on to see what happened…
The weather turned out much better than I expected today. Driving through the Lake District early the early morning fog, I knew this was inversion weather – Coniston, Windermere, the Vale of Grasmere, St John’s in the Vale and the Vale of Keswick were all covered by a thick carpet of mist but I only made up my mind where to walk at the very last minute. It was a good decision too I think as the mist lifted as the sun rose and covered many of the fell tops. I never saw another soul today!
I could not believe the difference between the south Lakes and the north today. Travelling over Dunmail Raise is was as if I was transported from the dull and dreary south to the bright and frosty north on a different day. The day promised much when I set off for Catbells from Hause End but a lot of the high fells ended up being covered in cloud after the sun rose. The views from Catbells, though, made getting out of bed that bit earlier today well worth it.
Today I met up with Andy Lang for an early start to complete a circuit of Dale Head. After looking a bit grim at the start of the walk, it did seem as though it was going to brighten up before the weather took a turn for the worse during the climb to Maiden Moor. From there, across High Spy, Dale Head and Hindscarth, the weather was pretty horrendous with very strong wind and rain and of course, views (and photos) were non-existent on this portion of the walk. Miraculously, at the end of the walk the sun shone and, at valley level at least, all was calm.
‘Better a volunteer than a pressed girl’! This was a walk Connie requested that we repeat after enjoying it a couple of years ago. Catching the launch from Keswick and returning on it after the walk extends the appeal of this one, as does searching for Mrs Tiggywinkle’s house, buried somewhere in the side of Cat Bells according to Beatrix Potter! Today we were joined by Nick, Maya and Busta and the weather really was lovely with only the haze to spoil the view. It looked like hundreds of other people had the same idea as us too with a constant stream ascending the fell in the sunshine.
Today we had a walk up to Cat Bells (the setting for Beatrix Potter’s ‘The Tale of Mrs Tiggy-Winkle’, Connie’s favourite – of course!), getting there and back using the Derwent Water launch from Keswick. It was a warm day and Connie did brilliantly completing this climb, her hardest yet I think and she absolutely loved it on the launch.