Lake District Walks
Whiteless Pike & Eel Crag
Date: 26th August 2006
Distance: 7.5 miles
Ascent: 3163 feet
Time: 4 hours 35 minutes
Start Grid Ref: NY173169
Despite the low cloud this was still an enjoyable walk on to Eel Crag via the Whiteless Pike ridge.
Route Summary: Buttermere - Whiteless Pike - Whiteless Edge - Wandope - Eel Crag - Sail - Sail Beck - Mill Beck - Buttermere.
1. Rannerdale and Rannerdale Knotts
2. A glimpse of Crummock Water
3. Whiteless Edge
6. Looking back to Whiteless Pike
7. On the summit of Eel Crag
9. Lisa in the heather
10. On the southern slopes of Sail
11. Lisa on the path above Sail Beck
12. Addacomb Beck
Walk Detail: After safely navigating the narrow winding road over Newlands Hause we were disappointed to find the Buttermere campsite full up. Rather than potentially waste the rest of the day looking for a campsite we decided to go ahead and do a walk first.
Unfortunately we had barely set off when lower cloud started to blow over from the west and by the time we had climbed up Whiteless Pike it had dropped about 300 metres lower than when we started. The climb up Whiteless Pike was a stiff one and by the time I got to the top I had to swap my t-shirt for my fleece as the former was so sweaty.
We sat crouched from the wind behind the only rock on the summit for a few minutes and were treated to the spectacular moment where the lower cloud temporarily blew over revealing Wandope ahead and the Buttermere valley below. While this was only a temporary respite from the low cloud it energised me enough to go leaping onwards along Whiteless Edge feeling rather giddy.
From Thirdgill Head round to Eel Crag we were back in the cloud and were afforded only tantalising glimpses of Addacomb Hole and the crags of Eel Crag. We came round to the top of the latter from the wrong angle after ending on a contouring path.
On Eel Crag we sat in a shelter for a while and got a few glimpses of Coledale before heading for Sail on a good narrow ridge. While Sail itself had a broad uninteresting top (if only because of the weather) it will stick in the mind for the stunning purple heather that adorned its southern flank which we descended from Sail pass. It was absolutely glorious.
While the path back to Buttermere began to get a bit tedious towards the end it was hugely enjoyable to start with and from there the Ard Crags ridge looked very inviting indeed and both Lisa and I remarked that we would like to go up there. We also got to see Addacomb Hole from below.
Despite the low cloud spoiling the views I still have fond memories of this walk and it was the first time I had seen Lakeland with the heather in bloom, a fantastic sight.