Rannerdale Knotts Circular

For many years, it has been our practice and preference to start our hikes in the morning – it’s usually cooler, with fewer people on the trails, and it allows us time later in the day to take care of our other tasks. This routine didn’t always serve us well in the Lake District – but it was a hard habit to break. It was particularly tough when we awoke to this views like this…

Our sights were set on a long climb to a few of the nearby Wainwright fells to the east of Crummock Water: Whiteless Pike, Wandope, Crag Hill, and Grasmoor. We waited for a couple of hours after breakfast, while the rain poured down, when I was reminded of advice heard many years ago when trekking in bad Scottish weather: “if we wait for the rain to stop, we’ll never get anywhere!” So we packed up our gear and donned our waterproofs to see what we could get done…

As we started our climb, we could see that the valleys were wet but clear…
… while the peaks were clouded over and very windy.

Despite the wind and rain, her smile was a big as ever as she enjoyed her new rain jacket and pants!

When it looked like we would be climbing up into the low-visibility heights, we changed our plans and traversed across this ridge to explore Rannerdale Knotts. I found out later that it is also one of the Wainwright fells, but just barely (#210 out of 214). As often happens, once we changed our course, the weather started to clear, leaving us with an afternoon of more great views!

The distant summit of Grasmoor, which we didn’t reach on this day.
The nearer peak of Rannerdale Knotts, which we did reach!
A windy (thus, noisy – sorry!) 360-degree pan from Rannerdale Knotts.
To complete the loop, we approached this straight descent…
… and made our way over the loose rocks and slippery mud
… where she could show off her new rain gear!
Our walk back brought us great views across Buttermere and Haystacks
… and a field with two beautiful fell ponies!

It was a short day out, but fun nonetheless. It was on this day I realized that even the routes with bad weather, low heights and short distances can be very satisfying!

Author: Chris

Until 2019, I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Namibia focused on Community Economic Development. Before that, I was a high-tech executive, small business owner, consultant and business broker.

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