49 and Holding

Whiteless Pike Number 49

Planning for what to do with my child-free summer holiday fortnight  – of course ticking off a serious number of Wainwrights. But this was not to be.  Why?  It rained solidly for 2 weeks.  I felt sorry for the campers who had chosen just these weeks for their holidays and felt sorry for me. My plans for a 2 day clear up of the NW fells above Buttermere, and a 6 top yomp from home to Wasdale became 1 quick trek up Whiteless Pike and many days setting up a weaving loom.

The day had started seeming quite benign. The sun was shining but there was a bit of a nip in the air warranting the inclusion of a thicker 2nd layer to be carried.  It looked like we were heading upwards to a perfect day for 6 tops between the car park at Buttermere and the Swinside Inn.  Mark was going to accompany me over Whiteless Pike to Eel Crag and then I would continue over Sail to the northside of the Newlands Valley and he would head back to the car and meet me at the Swinside Inn at Stair.

BUT mountains can be unpredictable.  What looked like a perfect day from the valley bottom turned out to be a dangerous folly.  As we ascended the wind speeds and gusts were knocking me off my feet.  The further route on from Whiteless Pike to Wanhope looked exposed, was another league into the higher tops and further underfoot.  Taking refuge in the lee of the top of Whiteless Pike we assessed the map and decided that a 2nd round would be required to gather up Whiteside and Hopegill Head and could then include Eel Crag and Wanhope. So Whiteless Pike became the 49th spinning Wainwright and a cautionary tale to be prepared for anything in the mountains including turning back even if you feel you’ve only just got started.


Posted in Spin-A-Round.