- Skiddaw via Ullock Pike -

Date & Time: Thursday 20th December 2007. 11.35 am start. ( NY 235 296 )

Location of Start : Adjacent to the Ravenstone Hotel, Bassenthwaite, Cumbria, Uk.

Places visited : The Ravenstone, Ullock Pike, Longside Edge, Carlside and Carlside Tarn, Skiddaw, Broad End, Barkbethdale, and back across the bottom of Southerndale.

Walk details : 6.3 mls, 3100 ft of ascent, 4 hrs 36 mins.

Highest point : Skiddaw Summit 3,053ft ( 931m ).

Walked with : Ann and the dogs, Harry and Bethan.

Weather : The glorious winter weather continues, but there was a cool breeze at times.


Parking adjacent to the road near the Ravenstone Hotel


Another fine sunrise at Loweswater.

The glorious winter weather continues but there's a change on the way.

A warm front is threatening and there's a slight breeze that's been missing over this last ten days. Time to enjoy a high level walk before the weather breaks.

We decided to climb Ullock Pike which is one of the outlier summits of Skiddaw. It is perhaps the best way up Skiddaw

because it gives continuous views forward to the Central Fells and behind you towards Scotland each time you stop for a rest !

A close up of Grisedale Pike across Bassenthwaite and the Whinlatter forest.

In and out of the sun as we climb the undulating ridge of Ullock Pike.

Ann reaching the high ground and into the full midday sunshine.

Behind is Binsey Fell and the Solway, still hidden by the sea mist.

Bright sun at the summit for myself and the dogs too.

The day is fine and the weather is holding so we continue on.

Ann has reached the summit of Longside Edge.

A wider panorama as I climb towards her.

Beyond the Edge . . . the Central Fells have a slight mistiness in their valleys which gives an interesting effect.

Zooming in on Derwent Water and Borrowdale.

Looking back from the second summit of the day - Longside Edge - with Mr Richard Siddle part way along.

In the distance is Criffel again with the Wharrels Hill Wind Farm in the middle distance. Six of the seven are turning very slowly.

Recently I received this email . . .

A Letter from the Lake District.

It is very cold. There is no wind. There has been none recently and there is none in the offing. Peak electric demand will be massive this week.

A wind company wants to destroy, with turbines, the scenic landscape of the pristine, unspoiled Berrier Hill between the famous mountain of Blencathra (aka. Saddleback) and the village of Greystoke (see www.blencathra.net). This is on the edge of the Lake District National Park.

The first National Park in the UK – famous for it’s landscape and scenery . . . Does this make sense?

It would take many thousand turbines to create the same electricity as one decent power station. We would produce green electricity on windy days but still need to build that power station to supply electricity the rest of the time. If we allow the Berrier Hill development to go ahead, then they will continue to surround the Lakes on every side with wind farm after wind farm . . . and that doesn't make any sense at all.

If you have a moment - click on www.blencathra.net . . . . . Thanks . . . the Editor !

Back to the walk . . .

Ann looking across to Carlside Summit, with Skiddaw Little Man in the background.

There's very little snow left on this side of the high fells now.

However it is still cold enough for Carlside Tarn to remain frozen.

Bethan steps gingerly across the ice
to investigate a massive footprint in the middle.

Looking south into the sun again at Carlside Tarn.

The distinctive pyramid of Pike O' stickle stands out in the distance, with the Coniston Fells beyond.

Looking at my watch, there should be sufficient time to continue the climb up to Skiddaw and get down before dark.

The final climb to the summit of Skiddaw
Best foot forward . . . lunch at the top.

It is steep but just think . . . every foot forward is also a foot nearer the top.

" Not far now "

Topping out at the central cairn between the north and south tops of Skiddaw.

The view over the back is a lot whiter than the side we have just come up.

(r to l) Skiddaw Little Man, Lonscale Fell, Blencathra, with the Helvellyn Ridge going south and the Pennines in the background.

The last part of the walk to the top.
Ann is first today but the dogs are in the shelter already.

The viewpoint display on the second of Skiddaw's two pillars.

First Harry . . . and then Bethan . . .
want to be on the top pillar - the Trig Point.

Not much snow left on The Helvellyn Range from what we can tell from here.

A little breezy just on the top so we drop down to a lower wind shelter for soup and a sandwich.

Broad End on the northern end of Skiddaw will be our descent route.

Follow across the flat top then go northwest as the fence turns towards Bakestall.

Dropping down fast.

Our lunch spot was just below the apparent summit.

Evening light on the top of the ridge that we have just come down.

No time to hang about as the sun is setting fast.

We traversed the ridge to the far left and then cut back on an easy path down and to the right, descending all the time.

A final crossing of Southerndale Beck and we are back . . .

looking at the familiar outline of Ullock Pike again.

A short hop and we were over the last ridge and heading back to the car.

We missed the actual sunset behind Whiteside, but the sky is a wonderful colour and there is time to spare before darkness sets in at 4.15 pm today.


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Technical note: Pictures taken with a Canon G7 Digital camera.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

This site best viewed with . . . good walking conditions and even better views.

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