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Grasmoor (west slope), Coledale Hause, Sand Hill, Hopegill Head, Whiteside, Cumbria.
[9.7 km]  Wed 03 Oct 2018

Lat/Long: 54.575286, -03.302595
OS Grid ref:
NY 15895 20788
I am returning to Grasmoor, Cumbria for another attempt at the west face after having to abandon two weeks ago due to high winds. The drive north along the M6 was encouraging as there was little wind showing at the windsock indicators. The Whinlatter Pass road was still closed so I had to take a diversion by continuing along the A66. The road is generally faster so I don't think it took much longer. I reach the small car park at Lanthwaite and looked up to Grasmoor to see that only the lower slopes were visible the rest being in low cloud.

Lanthwaite Phone Box

Lanthwaite Phone Box today
It looks like it will remain that way for the rest of the day. Fortunately there was no sign of high winds higher up as the clouds were moving slowly. I was following a route I did in February 2007 and had put the track log on my GPS to give me guidance. I set off across the grassy common then left the defined path to head steeply up a narrow scree up towards the cloud. Wherever possible I climbed up through the adjacent heather and noticed a path was starting to be defined by previous walkers.
Looking down from the steep climb
The last time I was here there was nothing to guide me but walkers have use this route so many times the path is now becoming more defined even though it is extremely steep. The Wainwrights guide refers to Grasmoor as a very formidable object of tiered crags seeming almost impregnable. Waiwright goes on to say on the whole however the climb is probably less difficult than the North Wall of the Eiger. The route was quite exposed in places and I was glad to reach the narrow gully not far from the point Wainwright calls The Pinnacle. The gully gives protection even though it is steep. On the Pinnacle there is a final steep stretch where the path improves until reaching a small turn on Grasmoor End.
Not much to see
I was now in thick cloud and couldn't see much in front so I continued to the shelter cairn on the summit. Although I had a westerly wind at my back it wasn't a problem. I continued over the top and down to the saddle just before Crag Hill. Here I turned left and followed down the valley in very calm but cloudy conditions to Coledale Hause. Even though there were no views I decided to continue with my original route over Sand Hill and up to Hopegill Head.
Looking down from Hopegill Head

View of Crummock Water

At the end of the walk Grasmoor was still in cloud
 It was just below the summit of Sand Hill where I had to abandon my last walk due to high winds and return the way I'd come. At Hopegill Head the weather was surprisingly calm as I turned left to follow the narrow rocky ridge along to Whitside. The ridge walking was quite pleasant but over Whiteside there is a long and very steep descent mostly over loose ground. It took a lot of care and is not particularly enjoyable. I was glad to reach the footbridge over Liza Beck then it was the short walk across the grass common back to my car.