21st December 2006

Never be afraid to cut a walk short - Skiddaw Lesser Man and Skiddaw House


Walk Overview
Time 09.20 to 13.00
Duration 3hr 40 min
Distance 7.4 mile
Ascent 2241 ft
Walking with On my own
Gale Road - Jenkin Hill - Skiddaw Lesser Man - Sale How - Skiddaw House - Lonscale Crags - Gale Road
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Car park, at the top of Gale Road, Latrigg

This is a popular starting point for those wishing to take the so called tourist route up Skiddaw. Personally I feel that it offers far more choices than this. Not only is it handy for Skiddaw itself, but the adjoining fells are all within easy reach. If this isn't enough choice then you could also head onto Blencathra, Mungrisedale Common or the more adventurous could even head as far as the Back O'skiddaw fells.

The car park is free, but most of the time it does get pretty full.

A word of warning: This is somewhere to avoid during icy conditions. Those who have experienced this will know why!


Route Map

Just after the start of the walk and looking towards the short ridge on Lonscale Fell.

And a little further along, looking ahead to the reconstructed path up Jenkin Hill or the tourist route as it's often called.

The North Western fells.

The view behind me to St John's in the Vale, with High Rigg in the centre of the picture and the Eastern ridge behind.

And the same view with a splash of sun above High Rigg.

A brief spell of sunshine on the path below Skiddaw Lesser Man.

This gate is found below Skiddaw Lesser Man and is a good aid in confirming your exact position if you're walking here when the cloud is down. If you continue through the gate the path levels out for a while offering an easier section of path before the final walk up to Skiddaw summit. If however you intend to include Skiddaw Lesser Man on the route up, as I did today, you should take the path that runs to the left of this picture.

On route up Skiddaw Lesser Man. The wind had been getting progressively stronger as I was gaining height and I'd already realised that walking would be a little difficult on here and also when I got to the ridge leading to Skiddaw summit itself. What I hadn't banked on was the wind being string enough to blow me to the ground as it did just after taking this picture.

Leaving Skiddaw Lesser Man. It was now time to assess the situation and make a decision on what to do next. The wind was quite bad, but not impossible to walk in. There was a bit of snow and ice on the ground, but nothing I couldn't walk around if needed. The cloud was down, but that isn't a problem for me on here. However, if I add those together and the fact that I was on my own in the middle of December and had already been blown to the ground once; then the only sensible thing to do was miss out Skiddaw altogether. Over the years I've learned to respect the fells and the weather, which at times can be a lethal combination, particularly at this height. On days like this it's best to leave them alone to battle it out in private.

Rather than simply turn around and walk back, I decided to walk across to Sale How and then return to the car via Skiddaw House instead. Sale How is the grassy fell in the middle of the picture.

From Sale How looking back up to Skiddaw Lesser Man.

And looking across to the distinctive shape of Lonscale Fell.

The approach to Skiddaw House with Carrock Fell on the left and Bowscale Fell / Mungrisdale Common on the right.

Outside Skiddaw House and time for something to eat.

Mungrisdale Common seen from the bridge over Salehow Beck.

The view back to Skiddaw House. The dark fell above the line of the path is Bakestall.

And again from a little further along the path.

Another view looking back along the path, this time from the area below Lonscale Crags and with Great Calva / Knott in the background.

Sunshine on Wescoe.

Once I'd walked round to the Latrigg side of Lonscale Fell I could see the day was changing and cloud was quickly disappearing, as this picture of Great Mell Fell and Little Mell Fell shows.

Dodd and Carl Side seen from the car park. It was blue sky and sunshine all the way home; typical !

David Hall -
Lake District Walks