Whiteless Pike – The North Western Fells 2,159′ (89)
Date: 13 September 1988/22 May 1995
From: Buttermere Village/Rannerdale Knotts
Whiteless Pike is one of those minor fells that are nevertheless utterly delightful, compact and bijou as you might say. From a certain point on the Buttermere road, nearing the head of Crummock Water, it appears to be an isolated pyramid but that’s misleading as the dip beyond it, to the ridge leading up to Wandope, is very small. But it’s a lovely walk for a half day when you don’t feel like over-exerting yourself. The approach is from the path leaving Buttermere Village bound for Sail Pass, but turning up the green fellside on a wide grassy trajectory. Early on there’s a choice of three parallel routes, one each to left and right, roundabout and easy, the central one following a semi-rocky crest that’s by far and away the best experience, and free from danger. Above this section I came to the end of the long back of Rannerdale Knotts but by-passed it. Beyond this, I came to the head of Rannerdale itself, a surprising deep and hidden valley. Buttemere was known as the ‘Secret Valley’, but the epithet seemed far more appropriate here. The rest of the walk was an exhilarating narrow ascent, leading directly to Whiteless Pike’s neat top. The path onwards to Wandope attracted me but it was too late to start that now, so I descended the way I’d come, except that I diverted out to Rannerdale Knotts on the way. My return was to take that ridge to Wandope, though Whiteless Pike was just as enjoyable as it had been when it was for the sake of that alone, the only difference being that, as I didn’t really want to descend the way I’d come again, I diverted out to Rannerdale Knotts on the way up this time.