1st March 2014

Ullock Pike to Skiddaw


Walk Overview
Time 09:40am to 1:45pm
Duration 4 hr 5 min
Distance 6.3 mile
Ascent 3100 ft
Walking with On my own
Near Ravenstone Hotel - Ling How - The Edge - Ullock Pike - Longside - Carl Side - Carlside Tarn - Skiddaw - Broad End - Barkbethdale - Southerndale - north of Watches - Near 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.


Weather Readings

The Gadget
All readings were taken using a Kestrel 2000 Weather Meter
Live temperature recorded at the time I press the hold key
Maximum Wind Speed Maximum wind speed since the weather meter was turned on at each location Average Wind Speed
Average wind speed since the weather meter was turned on at each location
Wind Chill
Combination of wind speed and temperature. The gadget does the calculations not me.

Route Map


Today is the first of March - the third month of the year, and I'm hoping a corner has been turned. Not just in the weather, which seems to be the case, but with my opportunities for walking. I've had no mid week walks so far this year, and more than just a few Saturday's (and or) Sunday's have been spent in the house. I really hope I can get back into the full swing of things, particularly now that Spring is on the way. You remember Spring don't you; that's the one when the days get sunnier, longer and warmer. Primroses peep out from underneath crumpled leaves, daffodils brighten the road sides & gardens, and the trees begin to look greener. Blimey, won't all that be nice after the crap winter we've had to put up with.
I set off in the shade this morning and spent the first bit of the walk enjoying the crystal clear views across to the Lord's Seat side of Bassenthwaite Lake.

That's me taking a picture of Bassenthwaite (the village) and Binsey. If you recognise me on the fells, feel free to stop me for a chat.

On t'other side of the ridge is the lovely quiet valley of Southerndale. Towards the end of the walk I'll be walking across the valley near the wall you can see.

Looks like the tide is in.

Ahead of me is Ullock Pike. It's a steep walk and with the dusting of snow, it was quite slippery in places.

Over on my left is Skiddaw, the highest point of the walk, although I'd have to wait until I was almost at the top before I could actually see the top.

A close up of Grisedale Pike in the distance.

On the final section before the summit of Ullock Pike. By the time I'd got this far I was roasting hot and was down to short sleeves. "Aren't you cold" the couple asked me at the top. "No, I'm okay with these temperatures" I told them "although I'll probably need a jacket on before I get as far as Skiddaw". I'm sure people must see me and think I'm out on the fells without the correct equipment. That's not a boast at all. I often wish I felt the cold like 'normal' people do, because I'm sure you're not supposed to feel this hot in these conditions.

Leaving Ullock Pike and heading to Long Side. Down there on the right are Derwent Water and Dodd.

A close up of the end of Bassenthwaite Lake.

What a contrast, here's a view looking back towards Ullock Pike. And in the opposite dirtection, , , ,

, , , , Skiddaw, not seen from Long Side.

A view ahead to Carl Side.

Carl Side summit.

A close up of the route onto Skiddaw. This one may not be a very long walk but you certainly have to work for your enjoyment. The cloud made it difficult to see what the route was like near the top, so I thought it best to walk as far as the big cairn and then put the crampons on. On balance, it would be easier to put them on and not really need them than it would be to fight on with them at the really steep bit.

Long Side and Ullock Pike, taken before the cloud rolled in.


Looking up, , , ,
, , , , and now looking back down.
Then, just short of the main ridge, the cloud parted and the blue sky appeared, fantastic! I could have probably got away without crampons as it turned out but they certainly helped on this bit.

I'm on the main Skiddaw ridge now and looking across to the summit. When I reached the top there was only one person there. I thought it would have been busier than this.

Now I'm looking away from the summit into a wintry scene of snow and cloud.

Long Side, Ullock Pike and Bassenthwaite Lake.

Skiddaw summit trig column

and half a stones throw away is the information plaque. It points to places and tells you how far away they are.

Icy trig column.

The Uldale fells are mostly free from cloud with just the tops of the higher fells out of view.

Mmmm, lots of cloud drama going on towards the south side of the fell. I'd best make a move because it's only a matter of time before it reaches me.

Looking back to check the progress of the cloud.

Down there just to the left of the cloud is Skiddaw House. In the cloud and out of view are Mungrisdale Common and Blencathra.

Skiddaw Little Man.

Heading down to the higher ground on Border End.

Snow cornices on Gibraltar Crag.

Here comes the cloud, , ,

, , , and when I looked back I realised it wouldn't be long until the views were taken away and I'd have to start putting some thought into where I'm walking.

I think it's gonna snow.

In no time at all after taking this picture the cloud was all around, the snow was heavier and visibility was next to nowt.

This is better, now I can just about see where I'm heading.

Crossing Barkbeth Gill.

Deep drainage channels have certainly made this area easier to walk across.


High above me on the left are Ullock Pike and Long Side.

I'm more or less at the edge of Southerndale and to get back to the car, I turned left at the wall and followed it around the side of Watches to pick up the path I was on at the start of the walk.


Bassenthwaite Church enjoys some sunshine.

When you look at this you'd hardly think it had been snowing so heavily on the walk down from Skiddaw. I have to say that was an excellent walk which I thoroughly enjoyed.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks