Hopegill Head to Whiteside ridge


North Western Lake District

Route: Whiteless Pike, Wandope, Hopegill Head and Whiteside

Area: North Western Lake District

Date of walk: 30th January 2015

Walkers: Andrew

Distance: 7.2 miles

Weather: Mostly sunny, snow on tops, freezing wind

Gilly dropped me off just outside Buttermere. The climb up Whiteless Breast started as soon as I’d passed behind Crag Houses, and before long I had to put on microspikes – the walk would have been quite dangerous without these

As I gained height the wind grew stronger and I had to layer up. It was already below freezing and according to the Mountain Weather Information Service the wind chill factor would be -15C. It certainly felt that way, and I needed to keep moving to retain body heat

Clouds were scudding across the sky quickly but there were plenty of sunny spells and the views from Whiteless Pike were lovely. I then made the easy ascent of Wandope and descended to the foot of Grasmoor, which was in cloud so I gave it a miss

I made quick progress to Coledale Hause, where I saw the first person I’d encountered so far. It was a slog up the slopes of Sand Hill to the summit of Hopegill Head, where there were a few other walkers taking photos, so I didn’t linger there and without ado set off along the wonderful ridge to Whiteside. This is one of my favourite miles in lakeland – the narrow ridge commands fabulous views all around – and it was looking dramatic in these conditions

I left Whiteside via the Dodd ridge and climbed down into Lorton valley and walked back home along the lane (for anyone else following this linear walk it would be a good idea to leave a car in the small car park at High Swinside, or finish at Lorton)

It was a wonderful walk in great winter conditions

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