The summit of White Side.

The summit of White Side. Catstycam (left), Swirral Edge and Helvellyn behind.

Height: 2832 feet above sea level.

Volume: Book 1 (The Eastern Fells)

Date climbed: First visit: 2nd December 2011 (walk 47). Second visit: 29th November 2017 (walk 139).

Bagged as number: First round: 147 of 330. [ << Helvellyn (1436(148) Raise >> ]

Second round: 130 of 330. Two hundred to go! [ << Raise (129)  (131) Carron Crag >> ]

White Side, from Helvellyn Lower Man

White Side – living up to its name – as seen from Helvellyn Lower Man

Route of ascent and descentFirst visit: Approached on the ridge from Helvellyn (over the Lower Man). Left along the ridge to Raise.

Second visit: Came in from Raise. Descended to Thirlspot, via the ‘Old Pony Route’.

What Mr Wainwright says (from page 2 of his chapter): “Although White Side presents an intimidating wall of low crags to travellers on the road at Thirlspot its upper slopes on this western side are docile enough, being wholly of grass at easy gradients… Very different is the eastern face, which falls sharply and steeply in crag and scree to the silent recesses of the wild upper Glenridding valley. The summit is no more than a big grassy mound on the high ridge running northwards from Helvellyn and it rises only slightly above the general level of the ridge.”

White Side from the north

White Side, from the north.

What I say: On both visits, the defining memory of White Side for me was not provoked by the physical characteristics of the fell but the weather atop it — meaning it lived up to its name on both occasions. Beyond that there is not a huge amount to notice about it; it’s a staging post on a famous ridge, but there’s not much to it in its own right. The descent to Thirlspot was fairly easy and quick, however: an hour from summit to pub, which considering the altitude of the fell, is pretty good going.

Note: Not to be confused with Whiteside (one word) which is in the Northwestern Fells. In fact, as Wainwright points out on the title page of his White Side (two words) chapter, this fell has no official name indicated on the OS maps, even in the present day. White Side proper is the name of the eastern slope, not the summit or the fell as a whole.

[ << Whitbarrow      Whiteless Pike >> ]

One Response to “White Side”

  1. […] there was plenty of climbing needed to bag four fells: Glenridding Dodd, Sheffield Pike, Raise and White Side. The latter two were also done in the snow the first time round, making them the first fells in […]

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