August 21st 2011 -
This was the year I became hooked on the Lake District, we had booked a cottage in Borrowdale only 100yds from the famous Ashness Bridge, this gave us a whole week to explore instead of the previous trips of 4 days.
I had spent a great deal of time planning the walks for fhis visit, there were to be 4 altogether and the first would be up onto Dale Head calling in at Castle Crag on the return.
On our last trip I had been overawed by the scenery of the Newlands Valley from Maiden Moor and wanting to get up on this great slab of rock at the head of the valley to look along the full length of it.
We set off from the lovely riverside village of Grange in Borrowdale heading south following the River Derwent upstream, it started as a delightful riverside walk, but once we passed through the fell gate the landscape changed dramatically. Castle Crag rose majestically to our left and Goat Crag to our right, the path was now rugged loose stone and we were climbing steeply. Once we passed Castle Crag we emerged out onto a high path looking towards the high western fells, a little further along we took a right turn heading west up Tongue Gill for a long laborius climb through the slate spoil heaps of the disused Rigghead guarries and onto Dalehead Tarn. We had now made 1500ft of ascent with a 1000ft of steep fell walking to go, however the views from the summit of Dalehead (2473ft) were worth the effort, absolutely stunning . Lunch in the summit shelter and then we retraced our steps all the way back to Castle Crag.
Castle Crag (951ft), although being the smallest of the Wainwrights packs a punch, it was an extremely steep climb especially through the huge slate spoil heap, I would'nt want to come down there in the rain it was quite treacherous, however the views over Derwent Water were gorgeous.
A hard tiring day but worth it.
2 Wainwright's completed. Total so far - 8
Dalehead - 753 mts.
Castle Crag - 290 mts.
Dale Head summit cairn