Route: Whiteside

Area: North Western Lake District

Date of walk: 5th June 2018

Walkers: Andrew 

Distance: 5.6 miles

Ascent: 2,100 feet

Weather: Sunshine and blue skies

It’s been a while since I was last up Whiteside, one of my favourite fells, and a return visit was overdue. I parked in the small parking area (room for 4 or 5 cars only) on the gated road to High Swinside. For anyone else following this walk, and wanting to get the climbing out of the way early, another good starting point would be Lanthwaite Green. Either way, the route should be walked anti-clockwise in order to enjoy the lovely views along Lorton Vale, and also in order to tackle the Whin Ben route as an ascent and not a descent

From the parking space I followed the terraced path above Lorton Vale, keeping the intake wall on my right. The views along the path get better and better, though several boggy sections will be encountered no matter how dry the weather has been

Eventually it was time to leave the valley path as I arrived at the foot of Whin Ben (‘incomparably the best route up’ according to Wainwright), and here the collar work began. There are 3 steep sections along the way when hands need to be taken out of pockets: the final section before Whin Ben top, a rocky mount mid way between Whin Ben and Whiteside, and the final push to the summit. These all involve some enjoyable and perfectly safe clambering, though I wouldn’t like to descend this way

I arrived at the summit cairn, which is not the highest point, and after gazing at the wonderful views made my way along to the true summit. I resisted the temptation to carry on along the ridge to Hopegill Head, and started the gentle descent down the path to Dodd – this provides an easy way off the fell. On arriving at Dodd Pass I headed down to Hope Beck and forded it lower down (in very wet weather this can sometimes be problematic). From here it was a short stroll back to the start of a superb walk

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