Lake District Walks
Grisedale Pike & Hopegill Head
Date: 31st March 2008
Distance: 6.5 miles
Ascent: 2602 feet
Time: 4 hours 45 minutes
With: On my own
Start Grid Ref: NY207244
A magnificent horseshoe walk above the Hobcarton valley visiting, amongst others, Grisedale Pike and Hopegill Head.
Route Summary: Whinlatter Forest Centre - Comb Bridge - Hobcarton End - Grisedale Pike - Hobcarton Pike - Sand Hill - Hopegill Head - Ladyside Pike - Hobcarton Gill - Hobcarton Plantation - Whinlatter Forest Centre.
1. Whinlatter from the climb on to Hobcarton End
2. The top of Hobcarton End looking towards Skiddaw
3. Hopegill Head from Hobcarton End
4. Looking across Barrow toward Derwent Water
5. The top of Grisedale Pike looking towards Eel Crag and Sail
6. Approaching Hobcarton Crag
7. Looking back at Grisedale Pike
8. The Hobcarton Valley
9. Ladyside Pike
10. Grisedale Pike and Hobcarton Crag
12. Grisedale Pike
13. Sunshine on Sand Hill
14. The valley of Hope Gill
15. The upper rocks of Hopegill Head
16. Looking back at Hopegill Head from Ladyside Pike
17. The top of Ladyside Pike
18. Ladyside Pike
20. Looking along the forest road back up to Hobcarton Crag
Walk Detail: This was the best day’s weather of my week's holiday and it had been especially gorgeous that morning when we had been to Trotter’s World of Animals. Ironically after the initially hot climb up through the plantations to the end of the Hobcarton End ridge the sun went it and the sky turned grey. Fortunately this did not last the length of what proved to be one of the most enjoyable walks I’ve yet done.
While Hobcarton End was fairly bland the view of the ridge route promised much and it delivered. Grisedale Pike was a fantastic top with great views while the subsidiary top of Hobcarton Crag was almost as good and it is hard to believe that Wainwright relegated this to a subsidiary top of Grisedale Pike.
By the time I’d reached Sand Hill (very much a subsidiary top though one of completely different nature to its parent) the sun had started to break through the cloud again and there were thrilling views in all directions with Whiteside looking very tempting. It was Hopegill Head however that really caught my imagination, both from the approach along the bowl of Hobcarton Crags and standing at the summit with dramatic drops to the immediate north and east this was a superb mountain.
The descent was tricky and I had to do much of it on my bottom, this would however be an excellent route in reverse to the top if I were to do it again as I hope to one day. Ladyside Pike had a good view back of the route and again it is hard to see this as a subsidiary fell.
The route back into the Hobcarton valley proved to be fairly straightforward and I was even able to ford Hobcarton Gill and thus use the main forest road to take me back to Whinlatter. Having set off in the afternoon I saw very few people and I have to say I really do enjoy walking in the late afternoon, it makes a lovely change. A brilliant walk and the first big fells I’d climbed in Lakeland since busting my knee on Middleboot Knotts nearly a year before.