High Spy & Maiden Moor

Saturday 27 June 2015. With my caravan site being just 5 minutes walk from the bus station it makes sense to use public transport, whenever possible. It is free for us pensioners, saves on car parking charges and opens up the possibility of linear walks. For today’s 7.3 mile walk with a total ascent of 2,240ft, I took the bus down Borrowdale and got off at Rosthwaite. A mug of tea and a bacon butty set me up well for the slog that lay ahead of me.

Leaving Rosthwaite I crossed the River Derwent on stepping stones before starting the 1,300ft climb up to the top of Rigghead Quarries. I had a few breathers on the way but had only one 5 minute rest before pushing on for the last 200ft of this initial climb. I was now at the foot of Dale Head which towered another 700ft above me. Luckily, I wasn’t going that way but I still had another 350ft to climb to the cairn on High Spy. This was a checkpoint for a couple of charity walks that were passing this way.

With the climbing behind me I could enjoy the views as I made my way across Maiden Moor and down towards the hause just before Cat Bells. It was along this stretch  that I had a couple of chats with a guy taking part in the 5in5 charity walk. We were walking in the same direction and, as he didn’t seem to aware of the route, I gave him a few pointers. I had walked off the side of Cat Bells when doing my navigation assessment to become an HF Leader many years ago and made the mistake of missing the path down towards Little Town. I told him to be careful not to go down this path but I could see him, some way ahead off me, having taken the wrong route. I followed the path around the side of Cat Bells that I had mistakenly taken all those years ago, but this time, for me, it was the correct route as it would eventually lead me to Hawes End where I could catch the ferry across the lake. I knew that I was tight on time to catch the hourly ferry service and, after pressing on for the last couple of miles, I arrived at the jetty just as the passengers were boarding the boat.

There was a real treat whilst making the ferry crossing as the last flying Vulcan passed overhead on its farewell tour of the UK. I mentioned the guy I met doing the 5in5. There were two other races taking part in the area today: the 10in10 and a 110km Ultimate Trails Challenge. I passed through a checkpoint for this much longer race as I walked through Rosthwaite and thought myself luck that I only had 7 miles to walk and not the 70 miles that they were facing.

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