In the snow above Honister

Walk Date – 10th February 2016

Distance – 5 miles

Weather – sunny start, cloudy later, dry with a cold north westerly wind


A few more days of poor weather, including Storm Imogen which turned out to be nothing more than a strong wind here, have come and gone and we are in for a settled spell say the forecasters. Putting our faith in their reading of the meteorological tea leaves we set off for Honister. It didn’t start well. A detour was still required as two bridges we could use are closed, and then two long delays thanks to roadworks, so it took much, much longer to get to Honister than it normally would.


With neither of us in the best of moods, since we were only too aware of the time slipping by thanks to the long delays, finally we get to Honister, where I wandered across to look down the Honister Pass road from the slate mine.

Sapphire skies, sparkling snow and a very cold north westerly wind. Its a beautiful day though, even Honister Crag doesn’t look quite as dark and forbidding as it usually does.

A look across the mine road at the old mining levels on the slopes of Dale Head.

A bend in the path gives a view of the slate mine buildings and the fells beyond.

Immediately behind us at the bend is the rock cutting.

The view to our right as we make our way up the old tramway path. The mine road going up on the left hand side is used to take visitors by bus up to the mine entrance, where you can take various types of mine tours, have a go at the three Via Ferrata routes or test your nerve walking The Infinity Bridge. Having been on none of them I can’t tell you what these experiences are like, but they have a web site which tells you all about them, if you’re interested in that sort of thing.

A covering of snow on Dale Head and the higher fells, all we’ve had at ground level though is rain.

On the path from the old winding house and on our right we have Haystacks, the dark mass in the middle, forever dwarfed by its big neighbours. Pillar on the left with High Crag and High Stile to the right.

Behind us is Fleetwith Pike.

A view across Warnscale Bottom, which gets its name from the beck meandering along down there.

Buttermere and Crummock Water reflecting the sapphire sky, and a little more of Warnscale Beck showing to the bottom right.The view cheers me up a little but nevertheless my irritation over the long delays still persists.

Pillar over on the right as we make our way along the snow filled path. There was a hard frost last night and the snow crunched and crackled beneath our feet as we walked along, it sounded rather like walking over spilled sugar or a bag of crisps.

Grey Knotts, not looking quite so grey today. We didn’t go up to any summits today, it was windy enough down here.

Looking towards Beck Head, the U shaped gap, with Great Gable on the left and Kirk Fell on the right.

Pillar showing off its sparkling winter coat, with Haystacks, just below it, looking a bit dowdy in comparison.

Straight in front of us is Kirk Fell.

High Crag on the left skyline with Mellbreak lower down on the right. The tarn in the shot is Blackbeck Tarn.

Water everywhere in this view, Ennerdale Water on the left, Buttermere and Crummock Water over on the right, with Blackbeck Tarn just in front of them. Its not called The Lake District for nothing. The two valleys are separated by the High Crag – High Stile – Red Pike range which is in the centre of the photo.

Green Gable on the left and Great Gable on the right. There wasn’t a lot of choice in taking this, the sun is right behind the two of them so, either I wait until a cloud comes across and get a view of them in the shade, or wait for the cloud to move and get a view of them as black silhouettes. It looks like it would have been an interesting experience walking down Windy Gap today, there seems to be quite a lot of snow in it.

Great Gable and Beck Head.

A closer look at Great Gable and its crags.

Kirk Fell and Pillar getting some sunshine.

Looking straight down Ennerdale with Pillar on the left, and the High Crag, High Stile and Red Pike group on the right.

Frozen tarns at Gillercomb Head with Brandreth behind them.

Borrowdale and the snow covered eastern fells from Gillercomb Head.

Looking eastwards from the lower slopes of Green Gable, the sun might be shining over there but over here in the shade it was very chilly indeed.

Brandreth across the frozen tarns at Gillercomb Head.

Green Gable in the sunlight at last.

Returning to Honister along the Moses Trod path, we have this view of the Ennerdale and Buttermere valleys to our left.

Water, snow, no snow, clouds, blue sky, sunshine. Now, if only I could show the bitterly cold wind, that would sum it all up very nicely.

Squelching our way back along the Moses Trod path with Fleetwith Pike and Dale Head ahead of us.

The view from the old tramway as we make our way back down to the slate mine. The path looks as though it just ends with a steep drop but of course it doesn’t, and it descends quite steadily down to the mine buildings. No summits today but we’ve had a good walk in the snow and seen some familiar fells from new and different aspects.