14th April 2012

Walking the Lakeland Passes - Walk 9 - Whinlatter Pass


Walk Overview
Time 06.30 to 12.30
Duration 6 hr
Distance 13 mile
Ascent 3800 ft
Walking with On my own
Braithwaite - Kinn - Sleet How - Grisedale Pike - Hopegill Head - Ladyside Pike - Boon Beck - Lorton - Scawgill Bridge - Whinlatter Pass - Braithwaite
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Braithwaite Village

The best option are the half dozen or so spaces outside the school. Other than that, it's a case of finding a space in the centre of the village.


Route Map

Early morning in Braithwaite. I assume most people were still in bed when I took this picture.
The route I took today wasn't the original one I'd intended to do for the Whinlatter Pass walk. Rather than walk over the pass at the beginning of the walk, last night I had the idea of walking over Grisedale Pike as a means of getting from Braithwaite to Lorton and then heading over the pass at the end of the walk.

I was hoping for some blue sky and sunshine for the walk up here this morning, but I'm afraid I was out of luck. Never mind, the early start allowed me to walk from Braithwaite to Lorton without passing anyone else and a bit of early morning seclusion always feels good.

Bassenthwaite, Binsey and the cloud topped Skiddaw fells.

A view down to Braithwaite.

The unmistakable view up to Grisedale Pike.

Wear and tear.

Well, I know when I'm beat and it was at this point that I was forced to put on a pair of gloves. What difference in temperature from yesterday.

Dramatic skies above Derwent Water.

Looking back down the steeper section of the ridge up Grisedale Pike.

Cloud took away any chance of a view from the summit, but this one was taken only a short walk from the top.

Looking back to Grisedale Pike.

Coledale Hause in front of / below Eel Crag, Crag Hill and Grasmoor

Hobcarton, taken from Hobcarton Crags.
Later in the walk I'll be walking across the enter of the picture from left to right.

Standing at Hopegill Head summit and looking cross to Whiteside. In the centre of the photo is Crummock Water and Mellbreak.
Last nights weather forecast said there was going to be a hard frost and today it would feel more like February than April. They were right; the grass up here was covered with hoar frost and the gloves were brought out of the bag for the first time in ages.

From Hopegill Head summit I took the steep slabs route down to Ladyside Pike. Make no mistake, this is a steep and exposed route where you really do not want to slip. One which I wouldn't recommend to those with limited experience or indeed to anyone in the wet. Having said that, in dry conditions and a with bit of confidence, this route can actually be done by simply stepping down the rocks and walking upright.


and now looking back up to Hopegill Head.

Sunshine on Ladyside Pike.

Looking back to Hopegill Head from Ladyside Pike.

It look like someone has turned the light off over there.

All three fells in one go. Grisedale Pike (left), Ladyside Pike (middle) and Hopegill Head (right).

Graystones, Broom Fell and Lord's Seat seen from the path on Ladyside Pike.
It seems strange to me, but the path doesn't stick to the ridge along here, for some reason it drops slightly onto the Whinlatter side of the fell. You do get some great views across to the Whinlatter fells, but you do miss out on views down to Lorton Vale.


On route down to Lorton I passed by this curious looking water trough.
I reckon this is the best bit of advice any of us will read today.
I noticed the 'statement' on the memorial stone you can see here on the left hand side of the road. The rest of it was a bit too personal to someone to show, but that one sentence really makes you think.

Walking down the road to Lorton.


In Lorton now and time for a sit down for a few minutes and a bite to eat.

This is the famous Lorton Yew (the tree) estimated to be over 1000 years old.

Walking through Lorton.

5 mile to go.


Looking across Lorton Vale to Low Fell and Fellbarrow.

A long distance view up to Grisedale Pike and Ladyside Pike.

Whinlater Pass.

Parking madness.
For as long as I can remember there have been a succession of large, free car parks dotted along this road. And then, someone had the bright idea of starting to charge people. You can't blame folk for saying stuff this and parking along the roadside; but just look at the end result.

I took this picture of Bassenthwaite and the Skiddaw fells from the view point on the Braithwaite side of the pass. And yes, the ice cream van was there, although I can't see him doing much trade today.

To the right of the left tree is Latrigg and to the left of the right tree is Clough Head and Great Dodd.

Back in Braithwaite.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks