Whinlatter

Date: 4 July 2019                           Weather: 20’C, overcast, muggy

Height gain: 712ft                        Distance: 2.6 miles

Time taken: 1 hour 45 mins      Wainwright count: 88 of 214

Route:  From Whinlatter Forest visitor centre car park up the forest tracks then left and onto the fell, same route out and back.


It was a warm but overcast day and we decided to head beyond Keswick and do Graystones from Scawgill Bridge then head a couple of miles back along the Whinlatter pass and climb Whinlatter itself.

Graystones proved to be a vertical ascent on loose slate for at least the first 500ft and although we kept trying for alternative ascents we ended up abandoning mission which meant the mighty Whinlatter was our only ascent of the day.

The car park and activity centre was a hive of activity as usual – this time lots of exhausted looking teenagers arriving in clumps from who knows what grand expedition.

We headed out of the car park and gently headed up on the forest tracks.  The noise from the children enjoying the Go Ape play park soon disappeared as we gained height.

S wanted to turn left at an early junction but I remembered the steepness when leaving the wide gentle tracks so we kept on following the road for a bit longer.  When we made the left turn we spotted some orchids, recognising them after a trip to nature loving friends the previous week who had improved our knowledge of wild flowers:

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We reached a gate and to our right was the very steep 150ft straight up the hillside.  The views across to Grisedale Pike were very impressive from here:

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We were soon up the very steep but short climb and turned left for the half mile or so up to the summit.  The last time we did this walk, in October 2011, we had gale force winds and driving hail which made it quite an epic.  The breeze did pick up a bit at this point today, but it was the gentle stroll it should have been.

We reached the top – probably – some debate as to whether the first top or Brown How a quarter of a mile further on is the actual top – S adamant this is the top so we go no further.  The views aren’t bad – Grisedale Pike to the left, Lord’s Seat, Broom Fell and Barf to our right and Skiddaw in the cloud behind us:

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We decide to head down a bit and out of the breeze to have our lunch (disappointing Bryson’s pasties again).  We find a comfy grass nobble with views of Derwent water and Keswick just visible below us:

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The return trip is quick and we’re soon back to the car, surrounded by yet more excitable teenagers unpacking huge rucksacks, drying out tents or trying to wash off the worst of the sweat in the ladies.