A Lakeland Round 2007: Day 4 – Thursday 19 April

The Crummock Horseshoe

It was quite windy last night, but somehow I slept better than Monday night.  I lay awake listening to the wind and wondering if the tent would stand up to it.  Which it did.  When daylight came, I fell asleep and later after a lingering breakfast I found myself running for the bus which would take me to Lanthwaite Green where today’s walk started.

At 10:20 I alighted and looked up at what I had to climb.  A stiff climb, at least in my condition, over Whiteside End and frequent rests meant it was two hours before I got to the summit of Whiteside.  But this was still pretty good going for me.

Not much to see at the summit due to low cloud – so all the views I had today were looking back on the ascent:

Mellbreak and Crummock Water from Whiteside
Mellbreak and Crummock Water from Whiteside

The ridge to Hopegill Head that looked really narrow on the map wasn’t as bad as I’d expected.  But then visibility was reduced and so I couldn’t see much either side.  It was an easy stroll and my arrival at the summit took me by surprise.  There I found sitting an older couple that I recognised from the bus and who I’d been following all morning.

With minimal visibility I took one look to the north and decided against an out-and-back visit to Ladyside Pike.  So I sat down for some lunch and then headed down over Sand Hillto Coledale Hause.  With vigour returning to my legs, I veered right as I came level with Eel Crag on the left, and begun a slog up onto Grasmoor.

With no apparent paths it took ages and on several occassions I thought I was lost and took some frantic compass readings.  Eventually, I concluded that if I went much further it would be a bad idea, and so decided one last leg to the west as I thought I’d passed the summit.  A few moments later I was at the summit.

Finding Grasmoor summit wasn't easy
Finding Grasmoor summit wasn't easy

Given the difficulty of ascent, the compass stayed out for the descent, and I followed a pretty strict heading east, finding an actual path starting just south of the summit.  It didn’t take nearly as long to descend before I hit a crossroads – so much so that I thought I hadn’t gone far enough.  But continuing ahead, the path rose and I decided to stick with it and when I hit the edge would turn right for Wandope.  It worked a treat and a few minutes later was at the summit.

Grasmoor, Whiteless Pike and Wandope
Grasmoor, Whiteless Pike and Wandope

Now all I had to do was follow the ridge line down onto Whiteless Pike, with the cloud gradually thinning.  Now I realised I was getting wet as I dropped below the clouds and on went the waterproofs.  In lightly intermittent rain the walk now actually became a pleasant stroll down the ridge to Buttermere, arriving just before 5pm.

Now at 7:20 I’m in the Bridge Inn having just got on the outside of lovely roast lamb.  Today’s been a bit of a reverse of the disappointment of the previous days – with 5 Hewitts and a further 2 Nuttalls bagged.  It just shows what a realistic day walk can achieve.  Today also confirmed that my original plan of doing all 11 peaks in this group of fells in one day, fully loaded, was lunacy.  Taking two days to do them burdened with only a day pack is much more sensible.

Feeling a lot better, I make my plans for the rest of the trip.  Tomorrow I need a lightish walk that will get me to Little Town for my two night stay there.  Then on saturday I’ll finish this group of fells with the Grisedale Horseshoe and then re-locate to Keswick, via a walk, on Sunday.  What is clear is that walking with less stuff is the way to go so for next week I’m going to try and stay in one place and maybe end with a huge bagging binge on Wednesday.  But let’s see how I feel then.

On the way back to the tent, it’s raining, increasing in power as I walk and ferocious as I struggle to unzip the tent door and get inside.  At 9:15 it feels too early to go to bed, especially given my ability to sleep in a tent.  So I lie there thinking about what else I can do to make the trip work better, but all I come up with is getting some soup, and making sure that next time I bring something warm for the evening other than my sweaty daytime clothes.

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