Date & Time: Tuesday 29th April 2008. 11.30 am start.
Location of Start : Lanthwaite Green, Loweswater, Cumbria, Uk. ( NY 159 208 )
Places visited : Gasgale Gill, Coledale Hause, Grasmoor via Dove Crags, Wandope, Whiteless Pike and back to Cinderdale via Rannerdale Valley.
Walk details : 7.8 mls, 2,800 ft of ascent, 5 hrs 40 mins.Highest point : Grasmoor 2,791ft ( 852m)
Walked with : Frances, John, Ann and the dogs, Polly, Harry and Bethan.
Weather : A bit of everything . . . wind, sleet, snow, thunder, lightning . . . and even sunshine.
Ann and Frances have been waiting a short time at Lanthwaite Green
while we placed a second car at the end of the walk
Our visitor today was Frances, a friend met through the OFC who hails from Linlithgow in Scotland.
While she was down here, she wanted to climb some Lakeland fells so we took her on a local walk up Grasmoor via Gasgale Gill. The weather was clear enough to see Scotland, but not quite her home town !
The walk started as we crossed the common to the bridge at the entrance to Gasgale Gill valley.
We crossed over and stayed on the lower path as we entered the valley ahead.
Not so much a "bad step" as an "awkward little scramble" alongside the first waterfall.
Ann, John and Polly watch Frances climb the last rock section.
Hopegill Head summit provided a backdrop to our walk up the valley.
Looking back at the dramatic crags of Whiteside as we start the main climb at the head of the valley.
We planned lunch on the top of Grasmoor, still an hour away, so we stopped for a quick snack, much to the dog's delight !
Coledale Hause and the view East past Grisedale Pike towards to Skiddaw and Blencathra.
The cloud base is rising but there are a few heavy localised showers heading for Clough Head on the right hand side.
We were climbing up alongside Dove Crags and looking down on Loweswater when we noticed that we had a local shower too !
" I thought that you said the snow was over for this year ! "
Having climbed higher the cool wind had become that much stronger.
Sunshine has replaced the snow shower but Ann's coat stays on to reduce the wind chill.
Frances nears the top of the slope around the edge of Dove Crag Cove.
Looking down across the dramatic crags to Whiteside and the Solway plain.
I'm looking out at Frances's home ground - Scotland.
Striding out across the broad top of Grasmoor heading for lunch at the top.
Behind is the High Stile Ridge with Pillar Fell on the skyline.
The shower that was crossing behind Keswick earlier has now reached the central Fells
and it looks like it is falling as snow.
It was John's Birthday so lunch was accompanied by a piece of Scottish Dundee Cake with a celebratory candle.
During lunch we reached for the waterproofs again as another wintery shower crossed our path.
This was the picture just before lunch as that snow shower crossed the distance fells . . .
After lunch the location was the same but the picture very different.
John decided that gaiters were quicker and easier to fit than to dig out his zip-on trouser legs from the bottom of his rucksack.
By the time we were moving back across the summit, sunshine has returned to the central fells
and showed up a new layer of snow on the summits.
The path down off Grasmoor, with the route ahead up towards Eel Crag on the left and Wandope on the right.
From the edge of Addacomb Hole we look across at the crags on the side of Eel Crag . . .
. . . but our path took us the other way, up the slopes of Wandope.
Time to turn for home now as we pause briefly on Thirdgillman Head and look down on Whiteless Edge.
The path heads briefly towards Ard Crags and Robinson Fell before turning back in the correct direction.
The easier slopes of Whiteless Breast below the descent from the higher fell.
Rannerdale Valley with the last part of the walk laid out before us.
Polly finds a refreshing pool near the start of Squat Beck
Our group has increased by one as we are joined by a fellow walker Karen
who we met at the start at Gasgale bridge, and who caught up with us again as we reach Whiteless Pike.
Walking out through Rannerdale Valley, the gorse is in full bloom.
However the cool spring weather has somewhat delayed the bluebells.
The first blooms are up but the majority of plants are yet to show.
The walk ended at Cinderdale car park and we all crammed into the other car for the drive back to Lanthwaite Green.
- - - o o o - - -
Those of you who read the weather report at the start may be wondering where the thunder and lightening came in.
The answer can be found in that big black cloud that was passing behind Low Fell and heading north towards Jayne at Great Broughton.
We were pleased not to be on the top of the fells as that was passing.
- - - o o o - - -
Technical note: Pictures taken with my Cannon G7 or Ann's Ixus Digital cameras.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
This site best viewed with . . . a wind shelter to stop the birthday candle blowing out.
Previous walk - 27th April 2008 Yewbarrow, Jill's last Western Fell
A previous time up here - 8th April 2007 Grasmoor via Dove Crag Arete