5th September 2012

Over Skiddaw and round to Skiddaw House


Walk Overview
Time 08.55 to 14.50
Duration 5 hr 55 min
Distance 10.2 mile
Ascent 3000 ft
Walking with Jennifer
Gale Road - Harwill Monument - Jenkin Hill - Skiddaw Little Man - Skiddaw - Bakestall - Birkett Edge - path to Skiddaw House - Lonscale Crags - Whit Beck - 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

This was Jennifer's choice of walk today. Where do you want to go? Up Skidda, right over the top and back by Skidda House. Sounds like a good idea to me.

You don't need to gain much height on this walk to get a good view. I know we set of at almost 1000ft asl, but that's just a technicality.

Passing by the site of the old refreshments hut.

A view across to the north western fells.

"Which way do you want to go, over the top of round the edge"
"Over the top"
"Right come on them"

Not that way, that takes you to Lonscale Fell and that's Blencathra over in the distance.

Between bands of cloud blowing across we had a fine view of the moon above Skiddaw Little Man.

If you like wide open spaces and rolling moorland then this is the place for you.

Now that's what I call a view.

A view ahead to Skiddaw taken from Skiddaw Little Man.

Looking back to Skiddaw Little Man.

We were almost on the summit ridge when I took this picture and it just shows how quiet the place was today.

As we approached the top we could see a large group of people ahead of us (before the cloud dropped) but we had no idea who they were at this stage.

On this occasion lots of people at the top turned out to be the highlight of the walk and I have to admit it was quite a humbling experience. The guy in the gray top is Mark Harding from Cumbria. He was shot in the neck in Afghanistan and as the guy we were talking to told us, he was left paralysed from the neck down for six months. After a long recovery, today he climbed Skiddaw. We felt quite proud that we just happened to be here to help cheer him to the summit.
As I type this, it's just been on the local news that Mark is hoping to represent the UK in the 2016 Paralympics in the kayaking events.
An absolute inspiration, well done !!

It's a pity there was no view from the summit, but we didn't need to loose much height before we dropped below the cloud again.

Walking down to the top of Bakestall.
Down to the top, , , , , ?

Little Red Riding Hood follows me down from Skiddaw to Bakestall. It wasn't half windy on the route down here. Like the middle of winter was mentioned at one point.

A close up of Binsey in the sunshine. In the distance you can make out the Scottish hills.

Birkett Edge.

A close up of Dash Farm.

From the twist in the path that crosses Dash Beck I took this picture looking across to Dead Crags (left) and Binsey in the distance.

This is a lovely walk back along here. From the top of Dash Falls to the car park it's just over 5 miles of easy going track with extensive views almost all the way. Although the place is never what you'd call crowded, we were surprised at just how few people we saw today.

WOW, that was low down and flying very slowly.

That's Skiddaw up there and now it's free of cloud.

This is the crossing point of the infant River Caldew. Up on the skyline is Great Calva.

Looking back along the path. Again, that's Great Calva up on the skyline.

"OK, so the order is for one cream coloured sign with green letters saying YHA SKIDDAW HOUSE. And how big would you like your new sign to be sir"

"It doesn't need to be too big, something discreet will be fine. After all, it's for one of the most remote buildings in England so it's not like anyone will mistake it for anything else"

Time for something to eat, with a view across to Great Calva and Carrock Fell.

Looking back to, , , , erm, thingy, , , you know the place, , ,
"you mean Skiddaw House"
yes that's it.

Just about to cross Scalehow Beck and looking across to Mungrisedale Common.

And now looking back to Skiddaw House again.

Sunshine and shadows in Glenderaterra valley.

After rounding the side of Lonscale Crags, the view open up again to show The eastern fells, St John's in the Vale, High Rigg, Dale Bottom and the central fells. If you look carefully to the right of High Rigg you can just see part of Thirlmere.

And to end the day, a picture of Clough Head, the Dodds and all the way to Helvellyn.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks