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Crummock Water, Low Bank, Whiteless Pike, Hopegill Head, Whiteside, Cumbria.
[ 14 km] Fri 03 Feb 2012

NY 1588 2077
Driving to Keswick it was interesting watching the carís thermometer vary from -5degC at home to -7 at Tebay, up a bit over Shap and back to -7 at Keswick. I arrived at Langthwaite by Crummock Water where the temperature had risen to zero. The sky was clear as I set off along the road heading south towards Buttermere. The sun began to hit the mountains and Mellbreak was lit along its east face as I walked by. Just before Hause Point I followed the footpath up towards Low Bank and stopped for a while at the flat area a short way up.

Local lingo

It made a very pleasant view point but was too cold to hang around long. The path continued steeply up to the summit then a very pleasant undulating walk along the ridge to the start of the Whiteless Pike climb. Even though it was cold I was in sun so began to warm up as I started the climb. About half way up the high cloud rolled in and the temperature dropped like a stone. The ground was frozen solid with patches of ice but there were increasing amounts of snow as I climbed and it was in fairly good condition for walking.

Buttermere from Hause Point

Low Bank and Crummock Water

Local Resident on Whiteless Pike

Whiteless Edge ridge was an impressive walk and a well trodden path through the snow helped. Crossing Wandope Moss wasnít quite as easy as the snow was crumbly in places. Descending to Coledale Hause was very pleasant as I got some shelter from the cold wind and my hands began to warm up after Iíd stopped to eat my sandwiches and couldnít get the feeling back into my fingers after taking my gloves off.

Grisedale Pike from Sand Hill

Hobcarton from Hopegill Head

I met another walker coming up. He was wearing crampons and taking no chances as he wasnít familiar with this part of Cumbria. The climb up to Sand Hill was steep and steady and by now there were plenty of walkers to be seen on the surrounding peaks and ridges. A large party of well equipped walker were coming down as I reached the top and they enjoyed the snow as most slithered down on their back sides. Hopegill Head gave a very impressive view down in to Hobcarton and along the west ridge to Whiteside.

Walkers on Whiteside ridge

That was the ridge I walked along, meeting several walkers on the way. Rays of sunshine broke through briefly to illuminate Crummock Water as I caught sight of it between Whiteside and Grasmoor. The first part of the steep descent was slow as some rocks were icy. Even when I reached the grass I couldnít drop my guard as the ground was still frozen solid and quite slippery. The footbridge across Liza Beck looked fairly new. The final flat stretch to the car park was a delight to walk across.

Crummock Water from Whiteside