Whitestone Crag, Newton Fell, was often climbed on as a stop-gap if the central crags were wet. But I always liked the place, the easy angle and the rough rock, enjoying many sunny evenings there. Remember spending what seemed like hours belaying Tony on the overhang of the V or maybe W climb as he repeatedly slumped back down. The top fell side was a delight to relax on post-climb. So today, the first day of 2016, I found myself walking up to the crag and scrambling up on its right side, the steep climb punishing my post-Xmas body. Reaching the top, as the weak sun did its best to burst through, I was rewarded with views up to the snow smeared Coniston Fells, Langdale Pikes and the Helvellyn range. My object was to walk along the ridge to the highest point Saskills 239m, another of Wainwright’s Outliers. Keeping to the east of the wall I reached the ‘summit cairn’ with open views over reservoirs down Newton Fell to Arnside and Morecambe Bay. An unsightly communications tower was unceremoniously plonked nearby – ?planning permission.
My original idea was to walk the length of the Newton Fell ridge above the A 590 road but as Wainwright had suggested this was an awkward task, what with walls and private land. So I backtracked and found a delightful path winding down the craggy fell side into woods with mature yew and holly and on to the regulation green caravan site, and I was soon reunited with my car. Quote of the day for dog owners and the rest of us from the caravan notice board –
2. Dixon Heights.
Phase one completed I had difficulty parking on or off the new high-speed bypass to walk into Eller How Farm, now a complex of desirable properties. Soon I was walking up past a folly and onto the open fell side of Dixon Height with its ruined tower. Some fell ponies were contentedly grazing near the top. Below the Winster Valley is beginning to dry out, Ingleborough was prominent to the SE.
That was a quick but delightful summit.