Route: Grasmoor and Whiteless Pike

Area: North Western Lake District

Date of walk: 12th January 2018

Walkers: Andrew

Distance: 6.5 miles

Ascent: 2,900 feet

Weather: Sunny at first, becoming cloudier, freezing on tops

The Mountain Weather Information Service had flagged up the tantalising prospect of a cloud inversion today, so I decided on a high level walk. I parked at Cinderdale Common, which I’d passed by on yesterday’s circuit of Crummock Water. The climbing starts immediately. I crossed Cinderdale Beck after a short distance – if the crossing is left too late it would be very hard to get across higher up. I followed the easy path up Lad Hows which seems to be a separate fell when seen from below, and it’s only once height has been gained that it becomes apparent that it’s a curving ridge jutting out of Grasmoor above

There was no sign of the promised cloud inversion, indeed there was no sign of any clouds at all – it was a beautiful sunny morning as I toiled on upwards. Beyond Lad Hows the path becomes steeper and rockier, though there are no difficulties. Eventually I arrived at the summit of Grasmoor. A fierce gale was blowing across the tops and it was bitterly cold up there. I took shelter in the large summit cairn where I added another layer of clothing – making 5 top layers in all

The summit of Grasmoor is a ‘there and back’ affair wherever the approach is from, so I retraced my steps back to the top of the ridge and then descended to the col at Wandope Moss. A 10 minute diversion would have taken me to the top of Wandope but I gave it a miss today and carried straight on along Whiteless Edge. This thrilling up and down ridge soon brought me to the summit of Whiteless Pike. There’s no summit cairn to mark the top of the fell, but there’s no doubting the highest point, and from here there were some tremendous views

I followed the path down Whiteless Breast, quite steep in a couple of places, and when I reached the head of Rannerdale I descended gently down the valley beside Squat Beck and made my way back to Cinderdale Common along a gentle grassy path. In 4 hours I’d only passed 2 other walkers. The promised cloud inversion didn’t materialise but there was some heavenly light showing the North Western Fells at their best and it had been a superb walk

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