I guess the full title of this outing should be “Grasmoor by Lad Hows Ridge and descent by Wandhope, Thirdgill Head Man and Whiteless Pike after nipping up Crag Hill”. A description of this admirable round can be found in the North-Western Fells, Grasmoor Group, section of my Complete Lakeland Fells – albeit with the exclusion of Crag Hill and the inclusion of Rannerdale Knotts. So I’ll just add a few notes and points of interest here.
Firstly, it must be said that it was a very cold day with a bitter wind blowing a few snowflakes around the summit cairn of Grasmoor. And although mainly overcast the sun broke through on occasions and the general visibility remained remarkably good throughout. Views extended to the lightly snowclad Scafells, the heavily snowclad Crossfell in the Pennines, to Yorkshire’s Ingleborough and Scotland’s Criffell.
I particularly like the Lad Hows approach to Grasmoor and if the walk is started at the little car park beside Rannerdale Bridge pleasant ascent by Cinderdale Beck leads rapidly to the heathery start of the ridge proper. The steep section of the ridge through the stone zigzags seems relatively short and gains height quickly before the going eases and a grassy shoulder leads to the main path and summit plateau. Thereafter, even including the climb to, and descent from, Crag Hill, the going seems easy, mainly over short-cropped grass and on good paths, and flows naturally.
The whole round makes for a circuit that can include up to 7 “Birkett’s” if Crag Hill and Rannerdale Knotts are included. However, particularly if starting from Rannerdale Bridge car park, Rannerdale Knotts may be left for a separate occasion. Although petite it is definitely worthy of individual attention and can be included with the famous May display of Rannerdale bluebells.