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" Whiteless, Wandope and Grasmoor "
Date & start time: 18th March 2012, 11.10 am start.
Location of Start : Cinderdale car park, Crummock Water, Cumbria, Uk ( NY 162 194 )
Places visited : Rannerdale Valley, Whiteless Pike, Wandope, Eel Crag, Grasmoor and a Lad Hows return.
Walk details : 7 mls, 3300 ft of ascent, 6 hrs exactly.
Highest point : Grasmoor 2791 ft - 852 m.
Walked with : Jo, Ann and the dogs, Jodie, Harry and Bethan.
Weather : Perfect . . . for a change !
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A perfect Lakeland day with sunshine, blue skies, fluffy white clouds, the slightest of breezes and brilliant visibility.
Nice weather for Jo at last as recent, late winter visits have yielded less than perfect walking conditions.
We set off for Whiteless and Wandope but with no great plans for what to do from there on.
Parking at Cinderdale . . . plenty of visitors about.
I'm not that far behind.
. . . but it was a rather nice view of Hause Point at Rannerdale.
We took the top path into the field that holds the bluebells in May.
They were only just visible as green shoots this early in the year.
Walking up the valley, we can look back down . . . all the way to Low Fell in the distance.
First change of plan . . . Jo suggests the track on the other side of the valley
which is mentioned in the books as an old drove track climbing up underneath Whiteless Pike.
At the base of the diagonal track that we had seen from the other side.
Is it me . . . or am I seeing double ?
Same hair, same top, same dark trousers, same poles, same dogs . . . problem solved . . . different faces !
Lovely views looking back down towards Mellbreak and Crummock Water.
Harry is sitting next to the diagonal track which has risen steadily up from the trees below.
Near the top is an old sheep fold (O.S & AW) but I have a feeling it was more of a hut
as the corners are squared off to form a very rectangular shape.
Those Mother's Day crowds are filling every available parking space down there in the valley.
The first view over the ridge.
Spot height 439 on the map, we can now look across to Sail, Scar Crags, Causey Pike and the Ard Crags ridge.
Zooming in on Causey Pike . . . a very recognisable summit profile.
Looking the other way . . . the Central Fells are beginning to show above High Snockrigg.
Ahh . . . they've got different coloured rucksacks !
Starting the steep ascent up onto Whiteless Pike itself.
A panorama looking back includes the dusting of snow on the High Stile Ridge.
Keen eyes will spot Scafell Pike just included on the left hand edge.
Out to sea . . . the faint outline of the Isle of Man just visible to the right hand side of Great Borne.
Jo and Ann climbing above Rannerdale, the valley now some considerable distance below.
The full extent of the Knott Rigg / Ard Crags ridge that we climbed just twelve days ago
Zooming in with the big lens . . . Catstycam, Helvellyn summit across the heather covered slopes of High Spy / Maiden Moor.
Time for a sit and relax in the sunshine on the summit of Whiteless Pike.
Looking down on Loweswater.
Me . . . looking down on Loweswater too.
From Whiteless there's a drop down before the short climb up onto Third Gill Man Head.
Another summit but one that doesn't gain recognition for its name on the O.S. map.
We met a fine gentleman up here who had a wonderful expression about the cool breeze.
" It reminds you that it it is closer to Winter than Summer up here "
He was right . . . there's a dusting of yesterday's snow on Crag Hill up ahead.
Climbing is easier now as we take the gentle ascent to Wandope, second AW summit of the day.
From up here we get a clear view now of the full extent of the Isle of Man.
The summit of Snaefell and the hills in general create their own set of clouds over the island.
Wandope top . . . and a view of the high fells from the summit cairn.
Jo, Harry and Jodie on Wandope.
Jodie is practicing her " Hound of the Baskervilles " shadow-show impression.
Harry is just sitting, waiting for me to do the honours.
The weather is holding nicely and now we've reached our second objective
it is time to think about a spot for lunch out of the breeze.
Just below the lip of the fell, we stop and enjoy the view across the top of Addacomb Hole.
Lunch over . . . time for a quick up and back to Crag Hill . . . this is Wandope as I look back.
We're above the snow line . . . but it is melting fast.
Lovely views all round now that we near the top.
This is Scotland and the Solway Firth over Gasgale Crags ( The Whiteside Ridge)
View from the top . . . Skiddaw dappled by the clouds despite the bright sunshine.
To the right . . . the town of Keswick and the view through to the Pennines.
Balancing on the trig point to get a better view is all very well . . . until you try to turn around to get that full panoramic photo.
If it's complete it means I didn't fall off !
Down and up . . . the weather encourages us on to Grasmoor
so it was back down to the hause and up this side towards the next summit.
A lovely view of Grisedale Pike, its top shaded by another passing cloud.
The view down past Dove Crags to the Gasgale Crags opposite and Hopegill Head on the right.
Overlooking the crags . . . Jo stops to enjoy the view too.
Across the flat top of Grasmoor to Criffel.
Almost into the sun . . . the second shelter of Grasmoor with the Isle of Man behind.
No need for a snack so soon after lunch . . . but there's no reason why we shouldn't sit down and enjoy the view.
I take a short walk down the slope of Grasmoor hoping for a view down to Loweswater.
I can see the pub, the Church and the Rose Cottage next to us, but our cottage is just out of sight.
The optical illusion that is the Scafells.
Scafell Pike in the centre is 3210ft (977m) but Scafell to the right is lower at 3162ft (964m).
Time to be going.
Bookends, between which is the path down Lad Hows.
It's a tough, steep climb up . . . and the loose stones and gravel won't make the descent very easy either.
Still, returning this way means we don't have to back-track down Whiteless Pike.
The dogs still have boundless energy and use up some by play-fighting as we start our descent.
A change of vegetation as we leave the moorland grass of the top in favour of the heather covered slopes of Lad Hows.
Maybe it was because it was dry . . . but it wasn't as much of a problem as we thought it would be.
Dropping down quickly now . . . so we're just about to lose sight of the highest summit in England.
One last picture of the dogs for today as we reach Cinderdale beck.
Down at lake level once again after a superb walking day.
Now where shall we go for a cup of tea ?
- - - o o o - - -
Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Fuji Finepix Compact or my Canon G10/1100D camera.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
This site best viewed with . . . easy access to a kettle for a spot of warm re-hydration.
Previous walk - 17th March 2012 Dollywaggon Pike
A previous time up here - 22nd Oct 2009 Grasmoor via Lad Hows
Next walk - 22nd March 2012 Haystacks and Innominate Tarn