Walk 2539 - printer friendly version
Rannerdale Knotts & Grasmoor Walk
Author - Paul Brown
Length - 8.0 miles / 13 km
Ascent - 2880 feet / 873 metres
Grade - moderate
Start - OS grid reference NY163183
Lat 54.552996 + Long -3.2956197
Postcode CA13 9UZ (approx. location only)
This Lake District walk starts at a small parking area at the foot of Rannerdale Knotts, near Hause Point, on the eastern shore of Crummock Water (NY163183). From here Grasmoor can be seen to the north, the last objective of the route. Head eastward from Hause Point straight up the steep slope of Rannerdale Knotts. The path is not obvious in places and at one stage there is mild scramble up a stony gully to contend with (probably passable by contouring to the south). From the summit of Rannerdale Knotts there are wonderful views over Buttermere to the High Stile range and Fleetwith Pike beyond, and of Whiteless Pike, Grasmoor and Crummock Water, ample compensation for the effort involved.
Continue eastwards along an intermittent path over the easy bumpy ridge of Low Bank to a col (NY179177) before veering left to join a more prominent track up Whiteless Breast and on to Whiteless Pike. The path hereabouts is generally good though occasionally rocky requiring the use of hands as well as feet. It is quite a pull up to the top of the fell, especially on a hot summer's day, but there is an unrivalled view of Grasmoor's southern flank as well as a marvellous panorama. Thirdgill Head Man and Wandope beckon to the north via a nice airy ridge.
The top of Wandope is remarkably flat with Crag Hill - the next objective - and Sail well seen in profile over Addacombe Hole, a spectacular example of a hanging valley. Skirting the edge of this, a prominent sandy path up Crag Hill is soon met leading to the stone trig point on Crag Hill from which a breathtaking prospect of Grisedale Pike and the Skiddaw fells beyond Coledale is revealed.
Leaving the top of Crag Hill, descend to the col between Crag Hill and Grasmoor (NY186203). This area is criss-crossed by several tracks and can be confusing in mist. Continue westward straight across this junction following an eroded path leading up the fellside beyond, which levels out somewhat after a few hundred metres. Walking along the southern flank of Grasmoor there are excellent views down to Buttermere. A short stroll over more or less flat ground gains the undistinguished top of Grasmoor. The Vale of Lorton leading to the Irish Sea extends to the northwest, and the corrugated face of Whiteside over Gasgale Gill is quite remarkable.
Walk back to the top of the Lad Hows ridge approximately 300 metres east of Grasmoor's summit (NY177202) and head down towards Rannerdale. The first section is quite steep though after a few hundred metres the gradient eases as the path veers right and zigzags back to the valley floor to meet another footpath. Turn left here, upstream, into the diminutive Rannerdale valley, crossing Rannerdale Beck via a footbridge (NY168186). Looking back up the valley Whiteless Pike is seen in stark profile, appearing almost conical from this angle. A short stroll though pleasant fields leads back to the parking area.