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Whiteside, Hopegill Head, and Grisedale Pike

Whiteside, Hopegill Head, and Grisedale Pike

Postby richardkchapman » Wed Apr 06, 2016 6:42 pm

Wainwrights included on this walk: Grisedale Pike, Hopegill Head, Whiteside

Hewitts included on this walk: Grisedale Pike, Hopegill Head, Whiteside

Date walked: 04/04/2016

Time taken: 4.5

Distance: 9.43 km

Ascent: 776m

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Hopegill Head.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

So much for my theory that yesterday's excursion to the Uldale Fells was a nice gentle start to the week - everyone woke up exhausted and demanding a rest day, so I was left to walk alone. A perfect opportunity for a one-way ridge walk. The weather was forecast to deteriorate in the afternoon so I set off as early as I could.

We drove from Braithwaite over Whinlatter Pass and round to Lanthwaite Green, at the top of Crummock Water. Lorraine then drove back to Braithwaite (via Newlands Valley and the shops in Keswick), and I set off to walk back via Whiteside, Hopegill Head and Grisedale Pike.

ImageLeaving Lanthwaite Green

Whiteside didn't appear to have any easy ascents from this direction, but Wainwright claimed that Whin Ben provided a good ascent.

ImageWhiteside from Lanthwaite Green

ImageApproach to Whiteside

I was relieved to see that the footbridge across Liza Beck had survived the flood damages

ImageFootbridge over Liza Beck

ImageView from the Bridge

Progress up to Whin Ben was slow but steady.

ImageLooking up Gasgale Gill

ImageView from Whin Ben

One point on the ascent involved a slightly exposed scramble, and I was glad I had not brought the dogs. I suspect there may have been an easier route a little to the left...

ImageWhiteside and Coldeale Hause

ImageThe ascent to Whiteside

ImageGasgale Gill and Coledale Hause

Above Whin Ben it started to get very windy - difficult to stand at some points, especially as I approached the summit of Whiteside itself.

Checking Wainwright for instructions, I saw the description of the ridge to Hopegill Head, and saw the words "exhilarating" and "narrow" and thought "is this going to work in this wind?". I'm not too good with exhilarating narrow ridges these days, even without the wind. But a glance at the map showed there wasn't really much other option unless I wanted to return to Lanthwaite Green and try to hitch home, so I pressed on.

ImageHeading towards Hopegill Head

Fortunately the wind dropped to a much calmer level, and the ridge was pleasant enough and not at all as narrow as I had feared, and Hopegill Head was soon reached.

ImageHopegill Head from the Whiteside ridge

ImageLooking back towards Whiteside

ImageHopegill Head summit

The summit was in the clouds, which probably was a good thing for my vertigo - when I got a view of it looking back from Grisedale Pike it was clear that the summit cairn is very close to the edge of a very large cliff!

ImageLooking back at Whiteside

ImageHopegill Head

The path to Grisedale Pike from Hopegill Head follows the line of these cliffs - close but not too close, as Wainwright puts it. The cloud cleared from time to time to give glimpses of views.

From the top of Grisedale Pike, the instructions were to find a pair of fence posts that serve as a marker for the start of the path down to Sleet How.

ImagePair of fence posts

Quite a steep descent to Sleet How - I was glad I was not coming up, though it wasn;t especially fun to go down either, with the stones quite loose.

ImageSleet How from Grisedale Pike

ImageGrisedale from Sleet How

The ridge of Sleet How provided a rest from the descent for a while.

ImageSleet How

But only for a while - dropping down from the ridge towards Braithwaite was also slippery - this time mud rather than loose stones was the problem.

ImageLooking down at Braithwaite

I couldn't quite see our car from here.

Then down to the car park on the Whinlatter Pass road, then along the road a couple of hundred yards back into Braithwaite and home.

ImageTwisted Tree

ImageTwisted Tree 2

The rain threatened by the weather forecast never appeared. An enjoyable day, shorter and quicker than I expected it to be, and leaving me just one short of completing the North-Western Fells. Maybe I'll climb Castle Crag later this week...
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Re: Whiteside, Hopegill Head, and Grisedale Pike

Postby dav2930 » Wed Apr 06, 2016 8:36 pm

Bit of a slog up Whiteside but well worth it for such a fine ridge walk. Nice one. :)
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Re: Whiteside, Hopegill Head, and Grisedale Pike

Postby ChrisW » Sun Apr 10, 2016 5:16 am

Another cracker RC, my comment on yesterdays hike about not using up all your energy early in the week seems remarkably prophetic (for some of the group at least :wink: ) ... I should have had a quid on the national :lol:
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