Lake District Walks
Whiteside & Grasmoor
Date: 14th Mar 2011
Distance: 7.2 miles
Ascent: 3373 feet
Time: 5 hours 20 minutes
With: On my own
Start Grid Ref: NY159207
This walk featured a fantastic ridge walk from Whiteside to Hopegill Head, a steep descent off Grasmoor and a lovely stretch along the shores of Crummock Water.
Route Summary: Lanthwaite Green - Whin Ben - Whiteside - Hopegill Head - Sand Hill - Coledale Hause - Grasmoor - Lad Hows - Cinderdale Common - Lanthwaite Wood - Lanthwaite Green
1. Whiteside and Whin Ben from Lanthwaite Green
2. Mellbreak and Crummock Water
3. Gasgale Gill and Hopegill Head
4. Looking along Gasgale Crags on Whiteside
5. On Whiteside looking towards Hopegill Head
6. The rim of Dove Crags on Grasmoor
7. Looking back at the western summit of Whiteside
8. Hopegill Head
9. Whiteside from Hopegill Head
10. Grisedale Pike from Hopegill Head
11. Looking over Coledale Hause to Crag Hill
12. A glimpse of Keswick from Coledale Hause
13. Dove Crags
14. Whiteside from above Dove Crags
15. The summit shelter cairn on Grasmoor
16. Looking across the Buttermere valley towards the Scafells
17. The steep descent from Grasmoor down the Lad Hows ridge
18. Red Pike and Crummock Water
Walk Detail: This was a much anticipated return to the Lake District for my first walk there since June 2009. Until a knee injury halted my progress I had been avidly working my way through the 214 summits in Wainwright's magnificent set of 'Pictorial Guides to the Lakeland Fells'. I chose this walk as it would finally allow me to complete all the summits from Book Six of the set, 'The North Western Fells'.
Experience has taught me not to put too much faith in the weather forecast so I was more than pleasantly surprised when I parked up at Lanthwaite Green to find the weather was as excellent as it was forecast to be.
From the car park it was not long before I began the steep climb up Whiteside via Whin Ben. Despite the gradient it was an enjoyable ascent with great retrospective views of Crummock Water and Mellbreak and then later on equally fine views along the valley of Gasgale Gill.
The western summit of Whiteside featured a fantastic prospect north. Not only was Criffell in view but beyond that I could, for the first time I can remember see a number of the Galloway hills some of which were clearly snow topped. Moving round to the east I could also make out the Lowther Hills.
The ridge walk from the western top of Whiteside, over the higher eastern top and on to Hopegill Head, was the finest stretch of the walk. One prominent feature on view was Dove Crags on the northern flank of Grasmoor which from this angle looked almost like the crater of a volcano.
I had previously visited Hopegill Head when I did a horseshoe walk above Hobcarton Gill nearly three years before. It is one of the airiest summits in the Lake District and once again the views were outstanding.
Continuing on I crossed over Sand Hill and descended to Coledale Hause before commencing the climb up Grasmoor. At first this was a fairly dull trudge up grass but things improved soon enough when I arrived above Dove Crags.
After having a brief snack sat in Grasmoor's summit shelter cairn I then began my descent via the Lad Hows ridge. From the summit of Grasmoor to Cinderdale Common it is a steep and continuous descent of over 2300ft with barely any level ground to provide any respite. It was hard on my knees and thighs but thankfully some wonderful views provided a distraction.
The final part of the walk was along a delightful path that followed the eastern shore of Crummock Water into Lanthwaite Wood from where a few fields had to be crossed to make it back to the car.
This was a hugely enjoyable return to the Lakes but I don't admitting that by the end I was fairly knackered. I rarely have any problems going up, it is the coming down again that seems to take it out of me. Hopefully it won't be so long before I can return again and bag some more of those Wainwrights.