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" Ladyside home with the Boys "

Date & start time: Easter Sunday 5 th April 2015, 11 am start.

Location of Start : Swinside End above High Lorton, Whinlatter, Cumbria, Uk ( NY 178 253 )

Places visited : Ladyside Pike, Hopegill Head, Coledale Hause, Grasmoor, Lads Hows and back to the cottage via the lakeside path.

Walk details :  8.9 mls, 2900 feet of ascent (3300 descent), 6 hours including lunch.

Highest point : Grasmoor 2,791ft - 852m

Walked with : Matthew, Sam, Alexander and the dogs, Boris and Dylan.

Weather : Sunshine, blue skies and valley mist.

© Crown copyright. All rights reserved. License number PU 100034184.


Our Grandsons wanted to climb one or more of the high fells before they went home to Camberley,

so today was a superb chance to climb high, starting on the opposite (Whinlatter) side of our local fells. 

Cathy dropped us at Swinside End . . . and all we had to do was walk home over the tops !  

The early morning mistiness had cleared our cottage . . . but was still in evidence further down as we drove along the Lorton Valley.

" Motley Crew " . . . Sam, Alexander, myself and Matthew.

Cathy would return home and walk with Ann on a different local fell

Across the first field and up onto the fell.

The valley mist we had driven out of as we climbed the Whinlatter Road was drifting up the valley behind us.

Ladyside Pike ahead . . . plus the view through Whinlatter Pass to Clough Head.

This area was clear of cloud but it would not be the case later on.

Emerging onto the ridge we can see that the large bank of Solway sea fog has re-filled the whole of the lower Lorton Valley.

Looking down, Ann and Cathy maybe underneath the thick, claggy mist

but it all depends on how close the cloud edge has approached towards Mellbreak.

Zooming in with the bigger lens and looking over the clouds like an aircraft in flight,

we can see the top of the Scottish hills and the summit of  Criffel just clear of the sea mist.

With a slight sea breeze the cloud is occasionally pushed up the valleys.

Here the Hopegill cloud spills up and over the fells between us and Ladyside Pike.

A relatively new fence and no stiles encourages us onto the outerside of the old wall.

The valley below is clear again in this ever changing weather.

Looking more south east here and we can see plenty of folk on the summit of Grisedale Pike.

At the foot of the final climb to Ladyside we cross back and therefore avoided using the gate.

Alex looks back at the view of our walk so far . . . look, that cloud is on the move again.

The summit of Ladyside Pike is reached and the older boys wait before going on to Hopegill Head.

I was at the big cairn and captured the scene on this glorious day.

Click here or on the photo above for a fine Loweswatercam 360 degree annotated panorama.

Mmm . . . the prospect of the final climb to the summit, the rock slabs glistening in the sunshine.

Hold your cursor over the picture to highlight our path ahead.

Onward and upward.

The dogs Dylan and Boris lead the way up

into another passing cloud.


- - - o o o - - -


With all this mistiness about the slabs would be damp

and possibly rather slippery as a consequence.

We'll have to be careful.

Before putting the camera away I pause for a moment to look behind.

It stays in my hand a little longer to record the superb view back to Ladyside.

There's a fair size group on Hopegill Head.

I have to point the camera more and more towards the vertical to include the summit now.

We divert from the path and walk nearer to the edge on the left of the photo.

Hobcarton from the notch overlooking the crags.
Alexander looking down the snow filled gully.

Raising the eye we can see over to Seat Sandal and High Raise.  There seems to be cloud filling the southern valleys too.

There should be lots of folk experiencing their first "temperature inversion" today provided they climb up the fells a bit.

The weather has really come up trumps for all the Easter visitors to the Lakes.

The prospect of the final climb ahead . . .
. . . and Matt leads the way up the small rocky crack.
Alexander gaining confidence as he finds his feet.
The rock was slippery so step carefully.

Climbing up from the steep rocky section above 'the notch' . . . just one more short climb to go.

The cloud rolls in and obscures the Whiteside Ridge and the Loweswater Fells.

Stand and stare . . . it is not like this everyday !

The walkers we passed chose a different route down.
Suddenly with sun behind and the mist below . . .

. . . we see a classic Broken Spectre.

That's my shadow and rainbow . . . no-one else can see mine and I can't see theirs either,

but each person enjoyed their own 'spectre' this afternoon.

The cloud rolls on and the effect passes . . . the fells are bathed in sunshine once again.

Click or on either photo above for a larger Loweswatercam annotated photos.

- - - o o o - - -

The boys have climbed well and our reward is to find a spot away from the summit and enjoy our lunch.

No pictures . . . we're too busy eating !

All too soon the sandwiches run out and it is time to move on.

Two figures on the Hobcarton Edge . . . they have probably walked around from Grisedale Pike.

The outline of Scafell and the Pike above departing walkers.
The remains of a snow cornice on one of the gullies.

I think this is the one I dropped a small exped bag of spare clothing down a few years ago.

They fell out of my bag at lunchtime and rolled over the edge.

A walk up Hobcarton Valley the following day and I retrieved them near the bottom of the gully. 

I still wear those gloves even now when it is really cold !

Today is really warm however and the sun glares somewhat as we traverse Sand Hill.

Coledale Hause . . . the crossing between the high summits of these North Western Fells.

Un-named pools on the hause . . . half expecting to see wild herds of African animals come to drink at the water hole.

Climbing up the edge towards the Dove Crag arête the view widens to include the town of Keswick.

Whiteside Crags on the far side, Dove Crags on this side.

The day was fine and Alexander and the older boys were happy to extend the walk to include the summit of Grasmoor.

There's no tarn in the Dove Crag basin but there is a small one immediately below us now.

" Sky-walking "  . . . a fellow walker leaves the summit of Grasmoor as we head towards the top.

The view as we hit the top of the ridge was beautiful.

The snow-capped summit of Grasmoor.

Looking around at the high fells . . . here south towards the Scafells.

In a straight line between here and the notch of Mickledore are the two darker summits of Great Gable and Lingmell.

Dinner for two overlooking Rannerdale, Crummock and the High Stile Ridge.

Oops . . . there were a few other people too . . . here a large group, several of whom were sporting Easter Bunny ears !

Hi Roger, the photo you took of a big group having lunch on Grassmore is in fact the Ipswich Outdoor Group. I was a member of that group a while back and they have for several years taken YHA accommodation at Easter in the Lakes. I lifted that photo and sent it to a friend who was in the area and it is confirm with the name of the guy with the unruly hair standing up.

Regards Bob Scarfe

After a short while they gathered the troops and left, leaving us the summit to ourselves.

Click here or on the photo above for a larger Loweswatercam annotated photo

One last look around before we too take our leave.

The snowman faces south rather than look at Criffel across the Solway.

In this warm sunshine his actions will only end in tears (on the shelter cairn) . . . trust me I know !

Here's one for you . . . " Name that Fell " . . . the TV mast at Caldbeck may give a clue.

- - - o o o - - -

Hold your cursor over the picture to find the answer . . . once you're ready.

Sky-walking and snow walking ourselves now as we head down to the Lad Hows path.

Alexander dodges the inevitable snowball as we depart the rather small "summit snowfield".

Matt and Sam start down the long descent.

There's almost two and a half thousand feet of descent between here and the lake below

Knees would be tired by the time we were down.

The steeper parts of the route down were often quite loose.

Time to stop and catch a last look at the Scafells over Whiteless Pike.

A slight levelling of the path on Lad Hows . . .

. . . before we continue the descent.

Dylan joins the boys at the small holly tree, still fairly high above the lake.

Boris was behind me and refused to join in for the photo.

Across the Buttermere Road and only another twenty or so feet before we reached the water.

That was a long and fairly swift descent and now there's only the lake walk and we're home.

This fallen tree caught my eye as we walked the lakeside path.

The wooden footbridge, one of the features of Ann's favourite dog walk from Cinderdale to the boat house.

She and Cathy elected to take Harry on a walk up Hen Comb today.

Cathy has to drive home to Camberley this evening with the boys and a longer walk for her would not have been a good idea.

" Dragon Bay " at the edge of the woodland where the Lanthwaite Green stream enters the lake.

Alexander passing the boat house, he looks a little tired here

but he did have plenty of energy enough to throw sticks for the dogs.

The weir at Crummock where we cross the bridges

and headed over the fields and footpaths back towards the house.

The daffodils are blooming beautifully at Muncaster House as we reach the road.

Looking back from the stile at the towering western face of Grasmoor.

It was great to think we had been up there just an hour and a half ago.

Back across the fields and home is in sight after a brilliant nine mile, six hour walk.

- - - o o o - - -


Technical note: Pictures taken with my Cannon 1100 digital camera.

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

This site best viewed with . . . enthusiastic young walkers on a fine spring day.

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Previous walk - 5th April 2015 - Morning has Broken

A previous time up here - 29th October 2008 Whiteside and Hopegill Head

Next walk - 5th April 2015 - Hen Comb with Cathy