When we arrived at our new site yesterday afternoon, the owner, whilst showing us around, pointed out the peaks of the Lake District, Cumbrian mountains on the horizon. Most prominent was Skiddaw, standing at 3,054 feet it is England’s fourth highest peak.
Since Lynnie slipped in the North York Moors our walking has been mainly on the flat. So when I take the boys for their early walk and see that Skiddaw is clear of cloud I know where we will be heading today.
My 100 Great Walks guide has a route up Skiddaw that involves walking along Longside Edge, so we head for the car park in Dodd Wood the starting point of this walk. As we drive I look at the mountain and particularly the view of the ridge that we are supposed to be walking, to be honest I don’t fancy it! I check the map and there is a steep drop on one side.
We still want to climb Skiddaw but preferably on a route without a sheer drop. There is a car park marked on the map just north of Latrigg, this will take a few feet off the walk but we will still have a challenging climb.
We commence in warm sunshine, a cracking day for a walk. After about 30 minutes uphill walking I glance at Lynnie and she looks like she is ready to turn around and head back to the car. (There was a chap selling ice cream in the car park and she declined the offer, but is now regretting her decision.) We stop for a breather and the view back over Derwent Water is stunning.
We have seen some cracking views on our travels but nothing quite compares to this, and it will only get better as we climb. At our next resting spot a chap suggests that we might be half way (we agree that he is being optimistic) and continue on.
Then at the steepest part of the climb so far, we meet a couple coming down. He assures us that once we have done the next two hundred yards things get easier. He also advises us to avoid the temptation to take the path to the false summit and continue on the main track when we reach a gate.
Our guide is correct it gets easier and the views more extensive. We walk around Little Man and then climb to the top of Skiddaw. From here we can see for miles in each direction. It is amazing to think that in England there is circa 60 million people and whilst we are at the summit there are probably less than a hundred people (on any of the three other peaks) higher than us.
From the top we get a view of Longside Edge and agree that it was a wise move not taking that route. I would have been on my knees and clinging on.
Our route back down is via Little Man, this stands at 2,837 feet and affords great views back across Keswick and Derwent Water.
As we descend we bump into a chap on his way up and he tells us that it rare to get such a clear day on this mountain. What a fantastic introduction to walking in the Lakes.
[To follow our walk you will need Ordnance Survey OL Map 4 – The English Lakes North-western area]
11th July 2014
© Two Dogs and an Awning (2014)