Re visiting Skiddaw

Wainwrights: Bakestall, Carl Side, Long Side, Skiddaw, Skiddaw Little Man, Ullock Pike
Hewitts: Long Side, Skiddaw, Skiddaw Little Man

Date walked: 07/01/2018

Time taken: 6 hours

Distance: 14km

Ascent: 880m

I don't often write reports of my walks but I thought that a round of the Skiddaw edges might provide an interesting seasonal comparison to JKLL's report "Slipping up on Skiddaw" (posted 13/01/18). Unfortunately, I am yet to match Anthony's superb photography skills.
Skiddaw was the first "proper" mountain that I climbed over 40 years ago now and I am afraid to say that I have not been back since. The reason for that first ascent was an extract from an OS map in an "O" level geography paper back in the mid 70's. I can't remember what the exam question was but I do remember thinking that the summit saddle looked interesting and that I needed to go and climb it. So began a lifelong passion for climbing and mountaineering.
In the intervening years I have often looked on Skiddaw from surrounding fells and had resolved to save my second ascent for a good winters day. With excellent weather forecast on Sunday 7th January I braved a 5.30am start from home in Lincolnshire. Driving across the A66 from the east and away from the dawn made it difficult to make out how much snow there was but when Cross Fell came into view conditions looked promising. The lighter it became the more apparent that the forecast was correct, cold with a reasonable amount of snow and clear blue skies.
I arrived at the lay-by near High Side about 8.30am with only two other cars there but by the time I had booted up there were two more, the early start was a good call! In the shade of Skiddaw, the path was frozen solid but the sky was blue and the air clear as first light caught the summit of Binsey.

Gaining height the views started to open up with Sale Fell and Bassenthwaite Lake catching the early morning sun, Watch Hill above Cockermouth in the centre distance.

From The Watches the path to Unlock Pike is tantalising as were the views toward a snow dusted Grisedale Pike and the Coledale fells.

From the summit of Unlock Pike there are good views of Skiddaw across Southerndale with the snow line at about 700m.

In the sun at last on the path to Long Side.

From Carlside Tarn the traverse around Broad End to the col between Skiddaw and Skiddaw Little Man was on excellent neve, yours truly posing!

It had been windy judging by the amount of ice that had built up on the fence by the path to Skiddaw Little Man.

Blencathra over Lonscale Felll from the summit of Little Man.

Skiddaw looking majestic.

Looking back to Carl Side, Long Side and Unlock Pike

Northern Fells from Skiddaw, a snow capped Cross Fell just visible on the horizon between the prow of Foule Crag and Bowscale Fell.

Looking back to Skiddaw from the descent to Bakestall.

Looking down the path through the fields to the lane back to High Side from the fell wall below Broad End.

A final view of Skiddaw from the road back to the car at the end of a memorable day.

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Comments: 2

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User avatar
Location: Lincolnshire
Interests: Walking, scrambling and easy climbs. Rowing and cycling when I can't get to the hills.
Activity: Rambler
Mountain: Tryfan
Place: Sligachan
Gear: My boots!
Camera: Canon G11
Ideal day out: Ice, snow and sunshine
Ambition: Everest Base Camp

Munros: 32
Grahams: 1
Wainwrights: 105
Hewitts: 94

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Trips: 1
Distance: 14 km
Ascent: 880m
Hewitts: 4
Wainwrights 6


Trips: 1
Distance: 13.4 km
Ascent: 393m


Trips: 1
Munros: 2
Grahams: 1


Trips: 1
Ascent: 2232m


Trips: 1
Hewitts: 1
Wainwrights 1

Joined: Aug 02, 2013
Last visited: Jan 27, 2021
Total posts: 11 | Search posts