Hopegill Head is a fell in the English Lake District located nine
kilometres west of the town of Keswick and is well seen from the B5292
road which crosses the Whinlatter Pass.
It is the middle fell of
three fells on a ridge that starts at Braithwaite and goes west for
eight kilometres to conclude at the northern end of Crummock Water. The
other two fells on the ridge are Grisedale Pike and Whiteside.
The fell is often referred to locally as Hobcarton Pike as it stands at
the head of Hobcarton Gill. However, the Ordnance Survey have officially
named the fell Hopegill Head on maps after Hope Gill, which is another
valley that goes north west from the summit.
reaches a height of 770 metres (2526 feet) and has two subsidiary
summits, Ladyside Pike (703 metres) and Sand Hill (756 metres) both of
which have Nuttall status.
The most striking feature is the 130
metre high cliff of Hobcarton Crag which drops precipitously to
Hobcarton Gill on the fell's north east side.
These cliffs are
unsuitable for conventional rock climbing because they are made of
crumbly Skiddaw Slate but they do provide good winter climbing with the
best known routes being Thompsonís Chimney and Cave Route.
crags, which are owned by the National Trust, are the only location in
England of Viscaria Alpina the red alpine catchfly.
can be climbed by various routes and many people arrive along the ridge
from Grisedale Pike or Whiteside.
It is also possible to ascend
from the Vale of Lorton and from the Whinlatter Pass road by the north
west ridge, taking in the subsidiary top of Ladyside Pike.
also possible to arrive or leave via the Coledale Hause passing over the
satellite summit of Sand Hill. This is quite often done as part of the
Coledale Round, an 18 kilometre horseshoe walk which takes in the other
Coledale fells of Grisedale Pike, Eel Crag, Sail, Scar Crags and Causey
The summit of the fell is an exhilarating place, a small
pointed peak poised on the edge of Hobcarton Crag giving wide ranging
On clear days, the Isle of Man, the Scottish Border hills
and to the east, the Helvellyn range can be seen.
routes near Hopegill Head