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Date & start time: New Years Day ... Thursday 1st January 2009. 11.15 am start.

Location : The car park, Lanthwaite Green, Loweswater , Cumbria, Uk ( NY 159 208 )

Places visited : Whin Ben, Whiteside, Hopegill Head, Ladyside Pike, Hopegill Valley and back via the Brackenthwaite fell wall.

Walk details : 6.25 ml, 2600 ft of ascent, 5 hours 10 mins.

Highest point : Hopegill Head 2,525ft ( 770m)

Walked with : Jo, John, Ann and the dogs, Jodie, Polly, Harry and Bethan.

Weather : Blue skies and a brilliant temperature inversion to start.

Most of the 'Team' on Whiteside summit - photo by Ann the fourth member


A late start due to pleasant New Year's socialising the night before, but we still have time for an excellent five hour walk . . .

from the morning inversion . . . to the early dusk of a fine January winter's day.

The winter's sun is breaking through the cloud at Lanthwaite Green.

The cold air from the fells has descended into the valley and turned to cloud giving us an excellent cloud and temperature inversion.

We're on the edge of the cloud which is slowly drifting around the valley.

The fells around us appeared and disappeared with the gaps in the passing cloud.

The bright winter sun is winning out and the whole area is turning a beautiful shade of pastel blue.

Lanthwaite Farm with Low Fell behind as the mist clears.

Climbing now and we leave the cloud and the low temperatures behind.

A close up of the heavily frosted trees in Lanthwaite Woods

The way ahead . . .Whin Ben and Whiteside . . . beyond the beautifully iced grass.

Jodie and Jo reach the top of the slight rise that leads into Gasgale Valley.

John and Polly are there already.

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As the day warms up the cloud thins but there's still a thicker layer further down Lorton Valley.

As we climb Whin Ben we rise above the valley and the view becomes even more extensive.

Click here or on the photo above for a wider annotated panorama.

Our cottage is still covered by that cold cloud below, but we're warming up nicely as a result of the climb.

Onward and upward above the first break of slope . . .the lake is gradually clearing as the sun breaks through.

Gasgale Valley looks very cold and uninviting . . .
. . . but we're in the sun and it's delightful.

Jodie, the cold valley and a glimpse of Causey Pike and Scar Crags above Cauldale Hause.

Polly sitting patiently just before the final climb to the western summit of Whiteside.

Myself, John and Jo at the top of Whiteside.

[ We've added an extra layer of clothing due to the altitude and the slightly cool breeze.]

Walking the ridge with fine views of Sand Hill to the right, Hopegill Head, Grisedale Pike and distant Skiddaw to the left.

Jo and Ann highlighted on the ridge.

Looking back along one of the best ridge walks in the Lakes.

Our two dogs relaxing at the summit of Hopegill Head, the highest point of our walk.

Down below us Hopegill Valley looks cold, as did Gasgale Valley on the other side.

From any high point the only way is down . . . so we head for Ladyside Pike via the slabs.

Trekking Poles away now as it will be easier and safer to use our hands for balance on the next bit.

It's cold but very dry and the slabs are easy walking.

There's no moisture therefore no ice . . . and as a result the grip is excellent today.

It looks steep . . . it was steep . . .

but by carefully watching where you place your feet the descent wasn't a problem.

However it wasn't that steep . . .

Foreshortening of the photo creates a slightly false, vertical effect . . . but it looks impressive you must admit.

We stop for lunch behind the shelter of the ridge and out of the cool breeze.

" Hey . . . hurry up with the dog biscuits."

Suitable refreshed, we all set off again past the summit and secondary cairns on Ladyside Pike.

We'll follow the wall down but turn left once it levels out in order that we can descend further into Hopegill Valley.

It looks cold down there . . . the frost exaggerated by the fact that the valley hardly gets any sun at this time of year.

Hoar frost on the heather as we leave Hopegill Head behind.

The sheepfold down at valley level.

High moisture content and cold temperatures create nature's own art.

The sun is lowering in the sky and only the top part of Ladyside Pike is now in sunshine.

As we exit the valley and head back for the car the sun is setting behind the Loweswater Fells.

It's nearly 4pm but the clear sky will allow the light to hold for the last part of our walk . . . hopefully.

Ice on the path and pink glow on the fells behind as John and the others make their way along the fell wall.

The end of the walk is in sight as we round the fell side above Brackenthwaite.

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Technical note: Pictures taken with with my Cannon G7 or Ann's Ixus 75 Digital camera.

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

This site best viewed with . . . the chance to be out there at the right time.

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© RmH.2009 # Email me here # or leave me a Guest book Entry

This morning's Inversion - 1st January 2009 Loweswater Inversion

Previous walk - 28th December 2008 Middle Fell with Gareth

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

Click here for John's photos or Jo's photos.