Date & Time: Wednesday 18th July 2007. 10.30 am start delayed to 3 pm.

Location of Start : The mountain road below Swinside in the Lorton Valley, Cumbria, Uk. ( NY 169 242 )

Places visited : High Swinside, Ladyside, Hopegill Head, Whiteside (ridge and summit), Hopegill Dodd and Hopegill Valley back to the car.

Walk details : 5.3 mls, 2250 ft of ascent , 4 hrs 45 mins.

Highest point : Hopegill Head 2525 ft (770m )

Walked with : Jo, Liz and Barrie, Ann and the dogs, Jodie, Megan, Sam, Harry and Bethan.

Weather : Rain started at 10.31am precisely, but was forecasted to clear to give a lovely bright afternoon.

We delayed the start due to poor weather in the morning - even the birds agreed and stayed indoors !

 

After a four hour delay the weather had improved !!

Shorts were the order of the day as we started out from the Hope Beck Road. This is one of the few gated roads left in our valley.

The walk started with a short road section and, glancing back, we could see Dodd and the Whiteside ridge that we planned to walk later.

It showed a track on the map. The bracken almost hid it, but it was there.

Looking down on High Swinside Farm and cottages with the village of Lorton beyond.

We climbed up the flank of Swinside, leaving the road to the other side of the green field.

Beyond the Aiken Beck valley was Broom Fell, with the diagonal fence, with Lords Seat just showing above the forest to the right.

"Words by the Solway"

Liz, Ann, Barrie and Jo stop for a chat on the way up Swinside's steep ridge. Cockermouth town, the Solway Firth and Scottish hills behind.

Ahead it only got steeper.

Ladyside is the first summit, deserving but not awarded a Wainwright classification, with the flat topped summit of Hopegill Head behind.

A wooden gate on new posts replaces an old wrought iron gateway onto the open fells. Only the old post remains.

Another short break for rest and relaxation - there's no rush as the weather is set fair till sunset by the look of the sky,

and sunset is 9.15 tonight.

Ahh . . . Sam has beaten Harry and Bethan to the top of the first of the two summit cairns of Ladyside Pike.

The first cairn is the prominent one from below, but the second, set back slightly, beats it in height by a few feet.

It's a fine day today, but I remember eating lunch in this hollow several years ago, as the wind blew strongly over our heads.

It looks like mid afternoon, but it is in fact gone five pm and it's hot !

Ahead is " the North Face of the Hopegill "

Our route climbs the slabs using the fault line just below the ridge.

   
Looking back at Skiddaw as our horizons broaden.
The path leads ever onward to the top.
   
   
A steep ascent, tricky when wet - but no problem today.
Viewed from above as we climb the slab.

It's all smiles as we climb the rock section.

Even up here, shorts are still the order of the day but I think it's time some bloke got himself a haircut by the look of this photo !!

The delightful rock scramble over and time to look round and appreciate the view.

This is Clough Head and the Helvellyn Range viewed over Grisedale Pike and Hobcarton Crags.

Dedicated to John and Dee

The summit reached and everyone faces the other way . . . to admire Helvellyn.

The last time we were up here (14th June with John and Dee) we could hardly stand in the gale force winds.

Hold your cursor over the photo for a change of weather !!

Hope Beck and Hope Gill Valley, that gives it's name to the peak we're standing on - Hopegill Head.

Looking down on Coledale Hause and Eel Crags on this end of Crag Hill.

John Paterson's favoured walk up Tower Ridge is the central butress in front of the dark eastern face of Crag Hill.

Looking west this time, Whiteside Ridge with Crummock Water, Mellbreak and the Loweswater Fells beyond.

A few last summit photos before we go - Jodie, Megan, Bethan, Harry and Sam to the right.

" Top Dog " - Jodie posing for a final photo call.

   
Gasgale Gill valley to our left . . .
. . . as Ann and Harry set of along the ridge.

One of the intermediate tops along the ridge.

The fine weather and lack of wind means we can walk the high ground this time.

The final part of the ridge took us on to Whiteside summit.

Hopegill Head looked a long way back

considering how quickly we had reached here.

Myself and Ann on Whiteside Summit.

Looking down on Cummock Water and Mellbreak but we would not descend this way today.

Instead we doubled back towards Hopegill Dodd.

On the way down now as we took an easy traverse across the steep slope.

Dodd has an unusual, almost quarried face on it's Whiteside Ridge side.

   
The narrow valley section was in deep shadow here . . .
. . . but the waters of Hope Beck were still dancing in the late sunshine.

Looking back we could see Ladyside and Hopegill Head at thie end of this delightful circular sky-line tour of the of the Hopegill Valley.

 

- - - o o o - - -

Technical note: Pictures taken with a Canon Ixus Digital camera.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

This site best viewed with . . . a delayed lunch, and plenty of late sunshine.

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Previous walk - 17th July 2007 White Oak Beck towards Gavel Fell

A previous time up here - 14th June 2007 Hopegill Head on a Rough Day