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Date & start time: Wednesday 29th October 2008. 11.50 am start.
Location of Event : Lanthwaite Green, Loweswater , Cumbria, Uk ( NY 159 208 )
Places visited : Whin Ben, Whiteside, Hopegill Head, Sand Hill, and back via Gasgale Gill.
Walk details : 5.35 ml, 2250 ft of ascent, 4 hours 50 mins.
Highest point : Hope Gill Head. 2,317ft ( 770m )
Walked with : Dave and Josie, Simon and Beth, Ann and the dogs, Harry and Bethan.
Weather : Overcast with occasional wintery showers, strong winds in the squalls.
Morning light reveals an October snow fall at the head of our valley.
David and Josie are staying in Loweswater and fancied a local walk.
Simon and Beth expressed the desire to join us too, so with winter warmers at hand we set off to climb above the October snow line.
This year's weather is weird !
High Stile Ridge.
Cold, damp weather overnight has brought us snow on the high fells.
Today's happy crowd at the start of the walk.
Josie, Simon, Beth, Dave, Ann and our two dogs, Bethan and Harry.
Gasgale Gill and the footbridge at the start of our walk.
Looking back at Lanthwaite Green and the car park from which we started.
A new collective name is born . . . a "flow" of sheep rather than a "flock".
This impression was gained as the farmer and his dogs manoeuvre the sheep from the main field and into the small sheep pens to the left.
Climbing now, I look down on Gasgale Gill valley, which would be our return route later on.
Pink gloves to the fore as Beth leads the next section of the walk above Whin Ben
As we climb it gets steeper and rougher.
A slightly more level section will allow us a temporary respite from the steep climb.
Beth enjoying the walk.
Behind her, and worthy of a photo in its own right, is Starling Dodd.
Oh no . . . is it time to go again ?
We've climbed high above Crummock Water and Mellbreak in a relatively short time.
Steep climbs are hard work but they certainly get you up onto the fells quickly.
Cold and frosty with a dusting of snow . . . Dove Crags . . . and the Dove Crag Ridge opposite.
The impressive ridge walk ahead will take us on to Hopegill Head, seen here at the far end.
Come on you lot . . . not far now !
We climb the last section, led by the dogs as usual.
It's just started snowing as can be seen from the white specs passing Josie's blue coat.
She makes the summit ridge as another snow shower passes over Mellbreak.
I think that one is heading our way too.
Summit to summit . . . Whiteside to Hopegill Head
Grisedale Pike can be seen in the distance and a cloud covered Skiddaw through the gap near the centre of the photo.
A slight covering of white on Whiteside, more hail than snow, coating the grass either side of our path.
Dave stops for a photo back across to Starling Dodd and Great Borne.
Walking the ridge . . . we chose the high top rather than the path to the right.
Not exactly Striding Edge but it is a long way down nevertheless.
That snow shower is making it's way up the valley, travelling fast in the stiff breeze.
It crosses the ridge as we near the summit.
Made it . . . we arrive at the summit of Hopegill Head.
The only place to get any shelter was just over the lip of the crags as the wind passed over our heads. It was quite steep to say the least !
Unfortunately when the wind increased it occasionally curled over the ridge and what little warmth we gained was soon lost.
When I stood up, the blue sit mat I had been using was scooped up and it too was lost to the breeze. What was worse, a small bag containing spare clothing which had been taken out of my rucksack, was also encouraged to roll away down the slope ! Last seen moving fast, like Terry's camera on Tarn Crags, it disappeared over the edge.
[ I can see a low level Hobcarton walk being added to the calendar very soon in order to see if we can find it at the bottom of the crags ! ]
In the cold breeze we descend Sand Hill towards Coledale Hause.
We make the top of Gasgale as another wintery shower sweeps across Eel Crags.
The impressive crags of Whiteside are above us now as we start down the valley.
The recent extreme weather has had a strong and very obvious effects.
Here the shale has been undermined so much that the path is falling away into the stream.
Further down, a recent landslide on the outside of the bend
with rubble and river washed debris across the grass on this side.
Finally back at the bridge where we started our climb.
Once across it was a short walk across the common to the car at the end of a delightful, if rather wintery, walk.
- - - o o o - - -
Technical note: Pictures taken with with my Cannon G7 or Ann's Ixus 75 Digital cameras.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
This site best viewed with . . . a more level spot on which to have lunch !
Previous walk - 28th October 2008 A Keswick Walkabout
A previous time up here - 14th June 2007 Hopegill Head on a Rough Day