Date & Time: Wednesday 16th May 2007. 3.45 pm start.
Location of Start : Near High Side Farm, Bassenthwaite, Cumbria, Uk. ( NY 236 310 )
Places visited : High Side road, Ullock Pike, Longside Edge, Carlside Tarn, Skiddaw, Broad End, Barkbethdale, and back to the road.
Walk details : 6.5 mls, 2750 ft of ascent , 3 hrs 40 mins.
Walked with : Nick and the dogs.
Weather : The less said the better - low cloud, drizzle, breezy and cool, but worse at altitude.
Signboard at the start of the right of way, at the northern end of Ullock Pike.
Nick is only up in the Lakes for a few days, and while he is here he is looking for mountain experience to help in his quest for his "Mountain Leadership" qualification. Today we've already walked Mellbreak at lunchtime, but it's Keswick Mountain Festival Week,
I'm working tomorrow so can't walk with him before he goes home on Friday, and there's nothing like a bit of bad weather to get lots of experience quickly !!
So we re-packed our gear and set off on the AW Everest the Easy Way climb of Skiddaw.
It was probably a four hour walk, and it was 3.45 when we parked the car on the roadside above Bassenthwaite. No time to hang about.
The weather looked better than it actually was - there's a gentle but warm breeze and it was trying to rain.
We were soon starting the steeper part of the climb, and the vegetation changed from rich farmland to heather and bilberries.
This is the slight col where the path from the Ravenstone Hotel joins the ridge.
"When Nick got tired he was small enough to carry on the rucksack !!" (Only joking . . . it's a trick of the camera)
A steep climb, with drizzle on the outside and perspiration on the inside, brought us to the first summit - Ullock Pike.
A gentle ridge then took us to the second - Longside Edge.
We deliberately avoided Carlside top in favour of a direct approach to Skiddaw.
This meant our next landmark was Carlside Tarn, only today there were two of them.
There now followed a 650 ft (approx 200m) climb up the stoney side of Skiddaw to reach the summit ridge.
Half way up Nick thought the gradient was easing and we were nearly there . . .
. . . but the ridge wasn't conquered till we met the first of the summit shelters ten minutes later.
On the true summit now, Bethan wanted to climb the last three feet as well, but there's no room on top for two.
The view point plaque in the foreground as I hold Harry in the strong summit wind at the trig point.
We had a look for Andrew Leaney on the top but he wasn't there. To be fair, had he been more than 50yds away, we wouldn't have seen him anyway,
Time for a quick drink and biscuit in the low summit shelter, then we were off following the Bakestall path to the north.
Map and compass work took us along the ridge to the turn in the fence, and then north west down Broad End.
This is Nick, looking a little damp, as we pick up a line of small cairns off ridge and down towards Barkbethdale.
dropping steadily down we found the path junction on Broad End, and turned left to contour down across the top of one of Barkbethdale's tributary streams.
Peering down through the mist we tried to identify the route and check we were where we though we were.
That's better - in the cloud the two ridges, that of Randel Crag and Ullock Pike blended together to confuse me temporarily.
A clearer view and more defined colours separated the two, and the sheepfold confirmed we were exactly on track.
The sheepfold again, this time from below. The contoured path down, basically along the cloud base, was small but well defined.
It was an easy descent as we circled round under the slopes of Skiddaw, past Randel Crag and on towards our destination.
The river crossing of the Southerndale Beck with it's good bridge and recognisable sheepfold brought us back to our outward path.
The free standing rocks of the Roaches are on the ridge above us.
This is where we came in as we rejoined the bridle way again - everything is just that bit wetter . . .
the fell side, ourselves and the camera . . . but it was a great walk and twenty minutes shorter than planned.
- - - o o o - - -
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 . . . that extra mountain experience under the belt.
Previous walk - 16th May 2007 Mellbreak with Nick at lunchtime
A previous time up here - 18th February 2006 Lonscale and Skiddaw in the snow