Date : Tuesday 6th May 2003
Place : Ullock Pike, Long Side and Carl Side, on Skiddaw
Event : An afternoon walk with Ann and the dogs
Time and distance : 3.5 hours, 5.8 mls, and approx 2500 ft of ascent.
Weather : Overcast but good visibility, but cool in the breeze higher up.
The walk started from the roadside adjacent to the Ravenstone Hotel, Bassenthwaite, and immediately climbs nearly a hundred feet directly up a pathway alongside the trees. From there on it is a delightful, graded walk diagonally up onto the ridge, and it forms part of the Allerdale Ramble, a longer distance Lakeland path.
As we made the ridge, we got our first view of the summit of Skiddaw. The grey top is all loose slate scree, and gives the fell a smooth but forbidding outline.
A fuller panorama of Skiddaw and the Ullock Pike ridge, as we started the real ascent
(thanks Andrew Leaney for the merge technology!!)
While we climbed we kept an eye out for the Ospreys, but I fear they were too small to see from this distance.
We understand both birds have now returned and are rebuilding their nest on the same tree platform as last year.
( Well at least the forestry guys don't have to move the camera !!! )
To the north-west we could see Binsey and "that Scottish Hill" across the Solway.
Three summits in a row. Holly was to grab her 203rd, 204th, and 205th in easy succession on this ridge.
By climbing her missing Wainwrights we also get the chance to re-visit the hills we haven't done in over seven years.
What better reason can you have ?
Layla, on the other hand, is now on her "lap of honour"
This view from Ullock is of the north-western and central fells with Derwent Water and Bassenthwaite Lake.
Since the rains of recent days, the rivers and lakes are full to overflowing, as can be seen from the flooded fields at the head of the lake. The fells too are turning green as the bracken takes hold once again.
After stopping to put on an extra layer, we set off along Longside Edge, with Carlside and Little Man beyond.
Carl Side's top is remarkably wide and flat, and the cairn stands along side the path which has climbed up from Dodd Woods. The path goes on to traverse the steep side of Broad End towards Skiddaw itself.
The weather is colder now, but the sun between fast moving clouds give wonderful dappled effects on the hills around.
Skiddaw Little Man, to the south-west, brings back memories of our 214th climb. It was a strange for us to have left that one till last, but as this walk up Ullock and Longside Edge is such a fine ascent of Skiddaw, we hadn't included Little Man when climbing Skiddaw prior to 2001.
From Carl Side we looked down on Keswick, with the Lake steamers at the Landings.
If you know where to look, you can see the window in Fishers's roof that holds their webcam.
(Its down and to the left of the top white building with four windows)
Back down now, leaving Skiddaw for another day. Here Dodd summit (without its trees) lies below us.
Not too busy for a Bank Holiday week.
Ann stops to talk to the only two people we passed all afternoon.
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