High Spy is a fell in the English Lake District
situated on the ridge that separates the Newlands Valley from Borrowdale,
eight kilometres south of Keswick.
The fell reaches a height of
653 metres (2142 feet) and is defended by crags to the east and west as
it falls away steeply to the valleys.
It is a distinctive fell
that has 148 metres of topographic prominence from the higher adjoining
fell of Dale Head and so misses being a Marilyn by only two metres.
Geologically the fell is made up of Borrowdale Volcanics.
meaning of the fell's name is obscure but may mean a “look out post”
referring to some lost fort in the area. In the past it has been known
as Scawdel Fell and Lobstone Band and these names are still used on maps
to label other parts of the fell.
The summit has an impressive
cairn which has been known to be vandalised on occasions but always
seems to gets rebuilt by other walkers.
The top of the fell is
relatively flat for a distance of about 2.5 kilometres in a north to
south direction and the impressive Eel Crags fall away vertically on the
Newlands side of the fell.
These crags are popular with rock
climbers with the quality of the rock being very good.
North Top stands almost a kilometre north of the main top, has a height
of 634 metres (2080 feet),
gives a fine view of Derwent Water
and is also classed as a
Six hundred metres north of the main summit is a small
High Spy is often climbed as part of the Newlands
Horseshoe ridge walk but can be ascended directly despite being defended
by crags on both its Newlands and Borrowdale sides.
Borrowdale, a path goes from Rosthwaite and climbs through the disused
Rigg Head Quarries to reach the col linking High Spy to Dale Head and
then up the south ridge to the summit passing a small unnamed tarn just
before the top.
From this side it is also possible to start from
Grange and use an old drove road to get through the barrier of Blea Crag
and then approach the summit.
A scrambling route also starts from
Grange, going via Hollows Farm it tackles the rocky rake of Nitting Haws
From Little Town in the Newlands valley an old mine
road zig zags up to the col between the fell and Dale Head to then reach
the top by the south ridge.
routes near High Spy