Monday 10 October 2016

Hopegill Head via Whiteside

In Alfred Wainwright's words the ridge walk over Whiteside is "an exhilarating airy traverse" and it certainly looked it a couple of months ago when I gazed along the crest from Hopegill Head, the summit at the eastern end. On that day I'd been doing a variation of the Coledale Horseshoe and a jaunt down the ridge would have been more than a step or two out of my way unfortunately. I determined though that I needed to return sooner rather than later to experience it myself and the arrival of a high pressure system over the country at the start of October gave me just the excuse I needed to go up to the Lakes.

It took nearly two and a half hours to get to the parking area at Lanthwaite Green and we were lucky to find the last space, considering it was early afternoon by the time we arrived. Lanthwaite Green is a common grazed by sheep and a cattle grid limits any nomadic tendencies they might have. Once we'd crossed that barrier, we noticed one or two of them either in the lane or standing by its side. None of them seemed to have the least clue about the niceties of the Green Cross Code so we proceeded carefully to the parking spot.

Once out of the car, we didn't have to focus on our woolly friends of course and we could take in the scenery, with Grasmoor the most immediately impressive of the fells around us. When I'd approached Grasmoor from Crag Hill and wandered around the wide, flat summit it had seemed a rather formless, baggy monster of a hill but from Lanthwaite Green its crag-laden western aspect formed a satisfyingly pointy mountain peak.

Tuesday 4 October 2016

Snowdon via Allt Maenderyn and the South Ridge

Leaving the road behind near Bethania.
Following the High Carneddau and the Glyderau, the mighty Snowdon seemed like the natural place to head for my next Welsh walk. 

I'd been wanting to do it for a long time and I hoped that the experience of hiking in the mountain ranges north of Wales' highest peak would set me up for whatever Snowdon threw at me. I wanted something more interesting than a simple slog up a path but I decided Crib Goch was something that I probably shouldn't be doing solo until I had gained more experience of scrambling - no-one wants to be the quivering jelly, clinging to a rock at 3000 feet and getting in everybody else's way.