Drawing 385: The Loweswater Valley

Direction of view: NW

Notes: Wainwright’s view indicator symbol indicates that this is taken from the Lad Hows ridge, but at no point on that ridge is it possible to see the Solway Firth over Low Fell, or the Loweswater fells over Mellbreak.  In fact, the viewpoint is the summit of Whiteless Pike.  AW’s photo of this scene appears in Fellwanderer (photo 11), Memoirs of a Fellwanderer (page 100), and Fellwalking with a Camera (page 154), so there is no artistic licence being used – even the foreground rocks really exist.  All these photos are captioned that the viewpoint is the Lad Hows ridge.  The sketch is also on page 132 of Wainwright in Lakeland – simply captioned “The Vale of Lorton”.

Comments: On 26th April 2017, Peter Watson and I descended the Lad Hows ridge in search of this picture, but identified the problems mentioned above.  Image 1 was taken lying flat on my stomach, trying to obscure much of Crummock Water, as AW does in the drawing; but apart from that, it seemed clear that we needed to be in the same line of sight but higher – a facility not afforded by the Lad Hows ridge.

This visit with Peter piqued my curiosity to find the correct viewpoint, which I did on 22nd June 2018 by climbing Whiteless Pike from Buttermere (image 2).  It was the first time I had done this route of ascent and, in fact, the first time I had climbed this fell direct, rather than over others.  There were other walkers on the summit, and I talked to them about Wainwright and my project.  I then walked to Thirdgillhead Man and Wandope for my picnic lunch.