25th January 2007

Snow drifts and ice - Ullock Pike to Bakestall


Walk Overview
Time 08.50 to 15.10
Duration 6 hr 20 min
Distance 7.9 mile
Ascent 3340 ft
Walking with Jennifer
Ravenstone Hotel - Ling How - Ullock Pike - Longside - Carl Side - Skiddaw - Bakestall - Broad End - Barkbeth Gill - Watches (bottom of) - Ravenstone Hotel
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Roadside spaces, Ravenstone Hotel, Bassenthwaite

There are a few different parking areas along the road between the main car park at Dodd Wood and the Ravenstone Hotel so I have grouped them all together into one.

An obvious circular walk in this area is an ascent of Carl Side via the Ullock Pike ridge and then descending back to the valley by way of Dodd. Should this be your choice of walk then the starting point along this section of road is irrelevant.


Route Map

Looking back down the path we were following from the valley to the bottom section of the Ullock Pike ridge. With plenty of snow on the fells and a decent day forecast, we just had to get as high as possible today. So an ascent of Skiddaw via the Ullock Pike ridge was just the thing to satisfy our desire to get up above the snow line.

Mist hanging in the valley near Bassenthwaite Lake. I didn't think we'd get any sunshine along the first section of todays walk, but even the areas that did have sun on them had a strange light on them this morning; too bright to be dull and too dull to be bright.

The route ahead to Ullock Pike.

Looking across to Skiddaw from the start of the steepest section of the ridge, found below Ullock Pike.

Binsey (Binsa) and Bassenthwaite village.

A good view of Bassenthwaite Lake was opening up now, with its succession of bays and headlands clearly visible on this side of the lake.

Jennifer in action, heading up the final steep climb to Ullock Pike.

So far the only real views had only been on each side or directly behind us, once Ullock Pike summit is reached however, all is revealed and you finally get to see what lays ahead of you.

Looking back to Ullock Pike.

Standing on Long Side summit and looking across to Carl Side on the left, Skiddaw Little Man in the distance and the ridge to Skiddaw summit on the left of the picture. The actual summit of Skiddaw in just out of the picture on the left hand side.

Carl Side summit. The path we took from here to the Skiddaw ridge can be seen running up the side of the fell.

Skiddaw Little Man.

Looking across to the North Western fells from Carl Side summit.

One final picture from Carl Side, this one showing Keswick and Derwent Water in the valley below us.

Carl Side and the North Western fells.

Although this picture doesn't really show it, the path from Carlside Tarn to the Skiddaw ridge becomes very steep. It was actually easier to walk the steeper sections off the path and in the slightly deeper snow.

Lonscale Fell and Skiddaw Little Man with the Eastern fells in the distance. Up to now it had been surprisingly warm; something a couple of the people we passed along the way had commented on. Certainly not the case now though. In a matter of seconds after reaching the ridge the wind had increased and the drop in temperature was incredible. From here as far as Bakestall we were in full winter gear.

Mungrisdale Common, Blencathra and Lonscale Fell.

Rock hard frozen snow on Skiddaw summit.


Isn't nature fantastic? Despite the thickness of the ice this is actually only a wire fence with a build up of ice on this side of the wire. I'm glad I wasn't standing here when the conditions were bad enough to create this.

The Eastern fells in the distance seen over Lonscale Fell.


Mungrisdale Common and Blencathra.

Knott, Carrock Fell, Great Calva and Bowscale Fell seen from the corner of the fence where we started to drop down to Bakestall.

A close up of Bassenthwaite Village.

Binsey taken from our off path route across Broad End.

After leaving Bakestall the cloud really started to build up on the higher fells. Luckily for us though, we were still walking in bright afternoon sunshine. The wall running across the picture just below the snow line, has a path on the upper side of it. This is the one we headed down to after taking an off path route from Bakestall across to Broad End.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks