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: 2nd December 2011 (walk 47)

Bagged as number: 144 of 330. [ << Helvellyn (143(145) Raise >> ]

White Side, from Helvellyn Lower Man

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

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

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.”

What I say: As the walk commentary makes clear, the defining memory of White Side for me was not provoked by the physical characteristics of the fell but the weather which hit me as I approached it from Helvellyn. Beyond that I did not notice much about it, being too concerned with trying to stop myself being blown into Brown Cove, as well as picking my way down the snowy, and quite steep, slope from Helvellyn Lower Man. I will, then, say only that White Side certainly lived up to its name on the day I visited.

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 >> ]


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