Ullock Pike, Long Side, Carl Side, Skiddaw and Bakestall

Ullock Pike
2230 feet
Long Side
2405 feet
Carl Side
2420 feet
3053 feet
2189 feet

Date                    17/10/2009

Walk done by:  Susan, Jed, Paul, Troy & Ruby

Weather:            Blue skies, sunshine, fantastic for October

Distance             10.0 miles. 3000 ft of ascent

Started at:          Lay by on the Orthwaite road

An early start for this tough walk as parking at our intended spot is difficult. Paul was driving, and picked Susan up and then me. We were on the Motorway by 7.40. And after Paul chose to do the scenic route via Windermere, Ambleside and Grasmere and the road works that were on that route we finally arrived at the lay by on the Ormthwaite road and 9.25. After another wee (hint) delay to find a suitable spot for Susan, we were on our way by 9.35

A glorious day had been forecast and so it turned out to be. Good time was made to Watches, a natural rock deposit. at the foot of the ridge to Ullock Pike. Mist was hovering above Bass Lake and would continue to do so for an hour or so.

Susan had a chest infection and as a result was climbing slightly slower than normal especially up the steep slopes to Ullock Pike. However, once this was accomplished the going was easier till we reached the steep Skiddaw path.

After Ullock Pike, Long Side and Carl Side were easy to scale. We had lunch on Carl Side with the vista of Keswick and the NW fells before us.

Then it was time for the final 780 foot climb to the south top of Skiddaw. Wainwright said of it, "uninviting, but there is no other way.". However, many years before Wainwright took this route there was a gentleman we met today who first climbed Skiddaw 60 years ago. He told us that the straight path did not exist then, it was a zig zag track and easier than today's path. This gentleman turned out to be 77 and was accompanying "3 much younger female friends" as he put it.

Very soon we were at the summit, and then making our way to Bakestall. From there it was down the steep Birkett Edge to dash Falls and then a longish walk back to the car.

A tough 10 mile walk with 5 summits all (above the 2000ft) that we all accomplished with ease, with sore feet the only problem. I thoroughly enjoyed it and so too did Susan and Paul. Special praise should go to Susan who managed this tough route with a chest problem.

Days like this are seldom seen on Skiddaw and it will live long in our memories.

(We'll let you know what its like to climb it at the age of 77 in 30 or so years time!! I think it will be a struggle!!)


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Mist over Bassenthwaite Lake


Taken from the Orthwaite road - mist over Bass


looking up to our first objective - Ullock Pike



Susan and Paul (further back) at the start of the walk on the climb to Watches.


Early morning sunshine creates an atmospheric picture at the gate in the intake wall


Troy and Ruby on the path to Watches, with Ullock Pike creating a superb backdrop


Looking down on Bass Lake with the mist clearing at its northern end


Looking up Southerndale from Watches


Paul and Susan at Watches.


Long Side and Ullock Pike from Watches


There's still mist above the lake but it's clearing fast


Lone walker on Ling How


Troy on Ling How


Approaching Ullock Pike summit the view west over Bass to Place Fell. All the mist has evaporated


Troy and Ruby wait for us on Ullock Pike


Susan on the small scramble to the summit. Ruby patiently waits


Looking back down the ridge - a huge shadow is cast by Ullock Pike's summit


Difficult conditions for photography, this is the view to Long Side and Skiddaw Little Man


A dog and two walkers on Long Side


Another view down our ascent route


It's not until you actually reach the summit of Ullock Pike that any view is available to Derwentwater and Dodd. Today the conditions were good but there was always a haze in the distance


Paul and Susan on Ullock Pike


Susan and Jed on Ullock Pike


Skiddaw from Ullock Pike


The path to Skiddaw Summit is just visible in the slate


Looking back to Ullock Pike


Looking back to Ullock Pike and the ridge we came up


Taken from Long Side this is the view south towards Carl Side and Skiddaw Little Man.


Skiddaw from the path to Carl Side. The path in the slate is clearly visible


Zooming in on the path


We took lunch on Carl Side and here Troy lets his dinner of chicken, frolic and some of my sandwiches, digest .


... and watches as people pass


Susan with her Abba hat enjoys a cup of Paul's coffee. Ruby hunts for food.


Paul with Derwent Water beyond


Zooming in on Keswick and Derwentwater


Carl Side Summit. Binsey is just visible beyond


Susan about to leave Carl Side and our path is clearly visible going g up the side of Skiddaw


As we approach the path to Skiddaw this view opens up of the Ullock Pike ridge


Onwards and upwards - the final climb


Troy comes back to check everything is OK


Near the top of this section Susan and I met a man who told us that 60 years ago there was a zig zag path to the top. He went on to say that he found the zig zag path easier. We asked his age and he was 77. We completed the walk to the ridge with him. I've now set myself a target to climb Skiddaw when I'm 77.


Long Side and Ullock Pike from the slate path to Skiddaw


Looking down on the Ullock Pike ridge - our ascent route.


Once the Skiddaw ridge is attained the views to the east open up to reveal Blencathra and Lonscale Fell


Troy at Skiddaw summit. 3053 feet high


Susan and Paul on Skiddaw


Looking towards Great Cockup and the Ulldale fells from Skiddaw


Bassenthwaite village


Troy waits before we start the descent to Bakestall, and it is a long steep descent


It's down hill all the way to Bakestall and Dash Falls


Looking down to Bakestall and ridges of the northern fells


Troy approaches Bakestall.


An unnamed tarn with Blencathra on the right from the Bakestall path


Troy at Bakestall summit - where's Ruby


Paragliders above Skiddaw Little Man


Ruby, Susan and Paul on Birkett Edge.


Ruby springs through the grass


looking along Dash Beck to Binsey in the far distance


And looking back to Whitewater Dash


And across the valley is Brockle Crag


The last photo of the day is towards Peter House Farm with Binsey as a backdrop. From here on it was a walk along the lane back to the car and then a well earned Pint at the pub in Bass village.
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