Whiteside is a fell in the north-western area of the
English Lake District and stands at the western end of the Grisedale
Pike - Hopegill Head ridge overlooking Crummock Water.
Western Fells occupy the area between the rivers Derwent and Cocker, a
broadly oval swathe of hilly country, elongated on a north-south axis.
Two roads cross from east to west, dividing the fells into three
convenient groups. The central sector, rising between Whinlatter Pass
and Newlands Pass, includes Whiteside.
The high ground in this
group of fells is formed by a series of ridges in the form of the letter
'H' lying on one side. The northern ridge is formed by Whiteside,
Hopegill Head and Grisedale Pike, while the Grasmoor to Causey Pike
ridge runs parallel to the south. The bridge between the two is the pass
of Coledale Hause. This stands at the head of two valleys, Coledale
descending eastward and Gasgale Gill flowing west.
forms a shallow crescent, concave to the south and fringed on that face
by the great wall of Gasgale Crags. These drop 500 ft direct from the
summit ridge into the valley below.
The eastern end of the fell
connects to Hopegill Head without any great loss of height, while the
western end of the ridge descends steeply over Whiteside End to the Vale
of Lorton. The subsidiary top of Whin Ben (1,355 ft) stands at the south
west corner, overlooking the point where Gasgale Gill debouches into the
fields of Lanthwaite.
The northern slopes are much more extensive
with two long ridges being thrown out from the main mass of the fell.
The shorter is Penn, while further to the east is Dodd (1,489 ft). The
valley of Hopegill separates Dodd from Ladyside Pike and the northern
ridge of Hopegill Head.
Whiteside has three summits: the
"Wainwright" top stands at the Crummock Water end of the ridge and has a
height of 707 metres (2,320 feet). Wainwright accepted that it was not
the highest point, but chose it as the summit in his Pictorial Guide to
the Lakeland Fells.
This western top does have sufficient
prominence to be classified as a Nuttall. Wainwright described the true
summit as the "East top", this being 400 metres further along the ridge
to Hopegill Head and substantially higher at 719 metres (2,359 feet).
The Nuttalls describe the true summit as "Whiteside East Top" and the
lower "Wainwright" summit as "Whiteside".
The third top lies
further to the east, a similar distance beyond the true summit. This has
a height of 703 m (2,306 ft) and is referred to in some guidebooks as
There is a fine vista of West Cumberland, the
Solway Firth and the hills of Scotland. Closer at hand the view of the
fells is interrupted by Grasmoor and Crag Hill to the south and Hopegill
Head to the east, although isolated groups of fells appear in the gaps.
Crummock Water and Loweswater are brought into view by descending a
little to the west.
The ridge walk between Whiteside and Hopegill
Head is ranked as one of the best in the district with Alfred Wainwright
describing it as “an exhilarating high level traverse”, there are
excellent views down into Gasgale Gill on the southern side.
main route of ascent is from Lanthwaite Green at the north end of
Crummock Water ascending heathery slopes over the minor top of Whin Ben
before reaching the summit.
Whiteside can also be climbed from
the north, using either the Dodd or Penn ridges.
routes near Whiteside