Archive for the ‘Skiddaw man’ Tag

A Return to Skiddaw   11 comments

One week after my last post and we were all the way back up north again for another of our grown-ups only weekends that seemed to have dropped away in recent years. The Saturday was, as you can see, a quite breathtaking day. We were staying at the north end of Bassenthwaite Lake and as Skiddaw was looking down on us it was the obvious target.

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Skiddaw is one of the Lakes four big 3000 feet peaks but I’ve not climbed it since my university days back in he 80’s. It has a reputation of being something of a dull, grinding plod from Keswick to the South but much better from the North. We were taking the circuit of Southerndale over Ullock Pike and Longside Edge and thence onto Skiddaw.

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A large group of us which always slows down the walk but on a day this stunning that hardly matters. Waiting for friends to catch up, and chatting to people I don’t see all that often is part of the pleasure of these gatherings

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What the photos don’t show is just how windy it was – difficult to stand up at times. Always feels odd to have such a clear cloudless day combined with such strong winds that would normally herald stormy weather.

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The grey stony mass of Skiddaw itself.

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Yours truly.

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Across the pastureland to the Solway Firth and the Galloway Hills

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Topping out on Ullock Pike

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Looking back on our route of ascent.

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Southerndale

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The flat top of Carl Side gives a cracking view across Derwent Water to the central Lake District.

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West over Blencathra to Cross Fell and the Pennines.

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The climb to Skiddaw Man is steep, stony and brutal – seemed to go on forever. A rest was therefore much in order.

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The summit ridge of Skiddaw. I was pleased to find such a fine summit and extensive views. It had been a dreary and dismal day when I’d last done it. I was a keen and fit walker in those days – we did Blencathra as well!

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This day was a day to chat and admire views so despite having had a rest on Skiddaw Man we had another rest on the summit itself!

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Our route down took us over the excellently named eminences of Bakestall and Cockup.

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The wild and quiet hills to the north, another area I’ve never explored.

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The distinctive hill of Binsey.

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Out to the west the first signs of the following days wet weather was on the horizon and advancing.

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But as we dropped back down the slopes to the car the late afternoon clear light was just stunning.

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Once out of the wind its positively hot and humid and felt more like July than late September. A view taking in most of our circuit.

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We strode back across the fields in very high spirits and looked forward to a few beers and a slap up evening meal in the local pub. A Carlsberg day.

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