22nd September 2012

Ladyside Pike to Dodd (not the Skiddaw one)


Walk Overview
Time 10.30 to 16.00
Duration 5 hr 30 min
Distance 5.5 mile
Ascent 2300 ft
Walking with Roger, Ann, Maggie, Neil, Jo, Rod
Hope Beck - Ladyside Pike north ridge - Ladyside Pike - Hopegill Head - Whiteside - Dodd - Hope Gill - Hope Beck
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Roadside, Hope Beck, Lorton Vale

This spot offers secluded parking at the entrance to the lovely quiet valley of Hope Gill. The obvious fells to ascend from here are Ladyside Pike, Hopegill Head and Whiteside.

Parking is free and although this may not be the most popular start point, there is only space for about half a dozen cars.



Route Map

With the promise of a good supply of fruit cake afterwards, I took up an invitation to join Ann and Roger Hiley on a group walk over Ladyside Pike, Hopegill Head and Whiteside today.
It looks like we hit the jackpot with the weather today and although we didn't get unbroken sunshine, I still ended up catching the sun for the first time in months.

Over on the opposite side of Lorton Vale are Low Fell and Fellbarrow. A little further in the distance is Carling Knott and Gavel Fell.

After a short walk along the road we turned up onto the fellside on the right.

Just below the road is High Swinside Farm seen in front of the gorgeous countryside of Lorton Vale.

The reward for gaining height are the extensive views over Lorton Vale, the Cumbrian Coastal Plane and all the way over the Solway to the Scottish hills.

and again, from higher up the fellside.

A nice clear view across to the northern fells. Skiddaw in shade on the left and Blencathra in the sunshine over on the right of the picture. Mind you, if they brought the bulldozers in and removed the side of Grisedale Pike you'd also see the end of Bassenthwaite Lake and the vale of Keswick.

The next fell on today's walk is Hopegill Head. Between us and it is a nice short walk along the ridge and then up the rocky slabs. From a distance, the slabs look almost vertical, which of course they're not.

Looking back to Ladyside Pike.

Rod and Roger living the high life.

A look back to Ladyside Pike, taken just before we made our way up to Hopegill Head.

These are the rocky slabs found below Hopegill Head. Much easier to walk up than they are to walk down.

Time to head across the ridge to Whiteside. And yes, it may be pretty tame in comparison to some others, but this is still one of the finest ridge walks in the Lake District. As far as enjoyment goes, tame can be just as pleasing as terrifying.

Looking down to Gasgale Gill and Crummock Water.

A close up of Crag Hill and Sail.

At the Whiteside end of the ridge now and looking back along to Hopegill Head.

A few yards from the summit and you get this view down to Loweswater.
If you look carefully, at the top left of the picture you can just make out part if the Isle of Man. As I said while we were up here, all my life I've lived closer to the Isle of Man than I do to Carlisle and I've never been. I know all that wet stuff makes it a little awkward, but I should make the effort to visit it some day.

That'll please the neighbours if they've got washing on the line. Never mind that though, just look how clear it is on the Scottish side of the Solway.

We're almost down to Dodd now.

This is the rocky bit on Dodd with Neil and Roger kindly adding scale to the picture.

Through the heather we go on the route down from Dodd. Up there on the skyline is Ladyside Pike and Hopegill Head.

A close up of Lorton.

Hope Beck, not very wide and not very deep, but getting across was still easier said than done.

Who said the age of chivalry was over.

And finally, a view into the lovely valley of Hope Gill.
I seem to remember someone saying there was tea and cake waiting for us at Loweswater.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks