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Rannerdale Knotts, Whiteless Pike, and my 100th Wainwright

Rannerdale Knotts, Whiteless Pike, and my 100th Wainwright


Postby richardkchapman » Fri Nov 08, 2013 7:10 pm

Wainwrights included on this walk: Rannerdale Knotts, Whiteless Pike

Hewitts included on this walk: Whiteless Pike

Date walked: 31/10/2013

Time taken: 3.3

Distance: 9.27 km

Ascent: 604m

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The final walking day of our holiday, and the weather forecast was pretty awful (80% chance of heavy rain in the afternoon, with gales to match). Gem seemed to be feeling sore from having fallen while trying to jump into the car the day before, and kids were still fast asleep after a late night, so rather than wait for them to get up and miss any chance of the (relatively) decent weather, I decided to walk by myself today, without even the dogs for company.

My ideas yesterday had been to be dropped somewhere in the Newlands valley and walk back, but that didn't seem such a great idea in sideways rain, so I decided instead to go for a shorter walk, just long enough to get the 2 summits I needed to reach 100, with the option of making it longer if energy, time and weather permitted. Rannerdale Knotts was the first target, then on to Whiteless Pike, and after that, who knows...

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Mellbreak, behind Crummock Water

I drove round to the Buttermere Valley and parked in a little car park just at the foot of Rannerdale Knotts, with lovely view of Mellbreak across Crummock Water. It wasn't actually where I had intended to start (nearer the Bridge Hotel), but it worked out very nicely.

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The start of the path

A clear path led up the hillside from the road very close to the car park. The ascent was quite steep, but short, and with very nice views up the Buttermere Valley.

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Fleetwith Pike and Haystacks

Before long I was at the top of Rannerdale Knotts.

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Rannerdale Knotts summit

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Rannerdale Knotts summit

To get to Whiteless Pike involves walking the length of the Low Bank ridge - a lovely walk with great views ahead, descending slightly all the way.

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View over Buttermere

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View over Buttermere

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Grasmoor almost out of the clouds

At the col at the end of Low Bank, I met the path from Buttermere up to Whiteless Pike, and turned upwards. The way up to Whiteless Pike is not as steep as it looks, but before long all the height lost walking down Low Bank had been regained and I was looking down on Rannerdale Knotts.

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Looking back over Rannerdale Knotts

Once the main ridge is reached the views up towards Causey Pike opened up.

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Causey Pike in the distance

Unfortunately, so did the wind. The remaining zigzags up to the summit of Whiteless Pike were a little tricky due to the wind doing its best to blow me over. Fortunately it was mostly blowing away from any steep drops rather than trying to throw me over them.

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Boots in the cairn

At the top of Whiteless Pike I was greeted with this rather unusual addition to the standard summit cairn. I don't know what the story behind these boots is - they didn't particularly look like a worn out pair of well-loved boots being 'retired', or indeed a pair of prematurely worn out boots being abandoned out of pique, but they had clearly been placed deliberately with a view to being incorporated into the cairn.

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Wandope Edge, from Whiteless Pike

The wind on the top of Whiteless Pike was savage, and with the forecast promising heavy rain to go with it, and my legs telling me I was tired (the drawback of walking alone is you don't get to stop for rests, and have to be solely responsible for setting the pace), I decided to turn around.

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View from summit of Whiteless Piike

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Crummock Water and Loweswater from summit of Whiteless Piike

On the descent the wind made things trickier than it had on the ascent - on downhill portions on loose ground with the wind behind me it was almost impossible to stand still. But as I lost height the gradient and the wind both decreased, and things soon got easier.

Turning right at the col, I followed Squat Beck down to Rannerdale, pausing occasionally to enjoy the views of Whiteless Pike.

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Whiteless Pike, from Rannerdale

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Whiteless Pike, from Rannerdale

The signs on the gates into Rannerdale enjoining visitors not to pick the bluebells caught my attention - this must be a really beautiful spot at bluebell time (not that it isn't beautiful the rest of the year), and I made a mental note to try to come back sometime one spring.

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Looking up Rannerdale

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Mellbreak, from Rannerdale

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Helpful rock

With the aid of the helpful rock, I was soon back at the car, and celebrating my 100th Wainwright summit. Only 114 to go! The foul weather that had been promised never really materialized (though the winds were as bad as predicted - in the evening they knocked down a power line and we spent the evening of Haloween in the dark, in an isolated cottage, as the winds howled past the windows.... good job we had plenty of candles.
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Last edited by richardkchapman on Fri Nov 08, 2013 11:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
richardkchapman
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Re: Rannerdale Knotts, Whiteless Pike, and my 100th Waiwrigh

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Fri Nov 08, 2013 9:40 pm

Well done on100 Richard :clap:
The boots are certainly an odd adition :? Can't think why anybody would leave a perfectly good set (or even a worn out set) of boots on a hill. The Rannerdale bluebells are indeed Stunning and a must see for a Lakeland spring.
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johnkaysleftleg
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Location: County Durham

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