North Western Lake District

Route: Whiteside

Area: North Western Lake District

Date of walk: 20th January 2016

Walkers: Andrew

Distance: 5.5 miles

Ascent: 2,100 feet

Weather: Sunny at first, clouded over gradually, lots of snow on the tops

Today’s walk started from home but the round can easily be adapted by starting from Lanthwaite Green or the small lay by below High Swinside. After walking up the outgang near Miller Place I joined the elevated path above Lorton Vale, leaving it just before Lanthwaite Green to start the climb up Whin Ben, one of the 3 buttresses which rise up to the summit of Whiteside

As I gained height snow started to cover the path and after a while this became quite deep. Luckily some walkers had been here before me and I was able to follow in their footsteps, saving the effort of kicking steps. At a steeper section I decided to put on the microspikes, which turned out to be a good move especially later on in the descent

Eventually I emerged onto the summit ridge and walked over to the west top. From there it’s an easy but delightful stroll across to the east top. It was tempting to go on from here and follow the ridge to Hopegill Head, but the descent from there is steep and tricky at the best of times, so I decided to descend to Dodd Pass. On reaching the pass I followed the path which snakes round Dodd and when I reached the outgang again I retraced my steps back to the start

I didn’t realise until after the walk that today was the 25th anniversary of the death of Alfred Wainwright, whose Pictorial Guides to the Lakeland Fells have been such an inspiration to me over the years. I’m sure that AW would have enjoyed today’s walk – I certainly did

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