Date - 13th September 2009 Distance - 13.5miles
Ascent - 5076ft
Map - OL4 Start point - Latrigg car park (NY 281254)


Summits Achieved

Name Height (ft) Height (m) Grid Ref
Lonscale Pike 2306 703 NY 2888 2728
Lonscale Fell 2344 715 NY 2854 2717
Jenkin Hill 2411 735 NY 2743 2746
Lesser Man on Skiddaw 2674 815 NY 2686 2758
Little Man on Skiddaw 2837 865 NY 2667 2779
South Top of Skiddaw 3034 925 NY 2604 2857
Middle Top of Skiddaw 3044 928 NY 2606 2882
High Man on Skiddaw 3053 931 NY 2604 2908
North Top of Skiddaw 3024 922 NY 2606 2923
Broad End 2726 831 NY 2609 2984
Bakestall 2208 673 NY 2664 3074
Latrigg 1207 368 NY 2788 2468



"It looks like it's going to be good weather on Sunday", remarked Shaun, taking another biscuit from the tin.

"I guess we will be walking, but I wonder where Dad is planning to take us", mused Grizzly. "Can I have another mug of tea, please."

"Sure pal", replied Shaun taking Grizzly's mug and refilling it.

"We'll soon know, as I heard Allen asking Dad", replied Little Eric. "Better fill his mug ready. The arch tea belly will be thirsty no doubt."

Just then he came rushing in, very excited indeed, and shouting "great great great!"

"Now just sit a minute and calm down, so that you can tell us without having to gasp for breath", said Tetley. "Here's your tea."

"Thanks." He did as Tetley suggested, then, more calmly continued. "We are going to climb Skiddaw and a number of other tops on that ridge, which will be great as Little Eric and I will bag no less than 12 tops we have not done before." He continued again. "It will be a big catch-up for me both for Wainwrights and Birkett tops."

"Then after having a bite from a biscuit, Allen went on. "Dad said too, that we will be doing Lonscale Pike and Broad End two Birkett summits none of us have done before."

"It will be similar to the walk Dad took Tetley, Grizzly and I, on in July 2004, so it will be quite a challenging day, but I can't wait", said Shaun

"It will mean that all the Wainwrights and Birketts on the route will be done. Another area completed", cheered Tetley.

Roll on Sunday we all agreed.


The Walk

The night before Dad told us, "Skiddaw is a popular mountain so the car park at the start will fill up quickly, especially as it is weekend, so we will be setting off soon after 07:00."

"Right", said Tetley. "We had better make the picnic tonight and put it in the fridge."

So we all lent a paw, then went to bed early to be fresh for the challenging day that faced us.

The route was of course so familiar, north on the M6 to junction 40 then west along the A66. "The cloud is down on Blencathra but seems to be lifting, so the prospects for weather are good", said Allen.

This meant there was cloud covering Skiddaw summit, but by the time we reached there, around midday, it had lifted off, affording good views.

It was however a bit colder than forecast, and as Dad was in shorts and jumper, he said, "I'm going to be a bit chilled, in the strong winds."

"You are made of stern stuff", replied Grizzly. "I'm sure you will be OK."

"Aye lad that I am."

As Dad got ready, we settled in the rucksack eager to be off. While he was making final preparations, we sat looking up towards where we were going, albeit by a more roundabout route.

From the car park a clear path signed Skiddaw, led along by the fence. "This is the start of what is referred to as the tourist path", said Shaun. "However we shortly take the right fork to continue on the Cumbria Way."

Unsurprisingly we left all the other walkers, and ploughed a lonely furrow. There was nearly a stand off with this line of sheep coming in the opposite direction, but finally they broke off to the left, leaving our route clear.

The path descended to ford on Whit Beck...

...and then swung right to the climb steadily below Lonscale Fell and come to a gate in the fence.

Before this we had stopped to enjoy the wonderful views across to the hills defined by Alfred Wainwright as the North Western Fells.

"Oh that is just magic", cried Little Eric.

"Please take some pictures", implored Allen.

Tetley set the scene saying, "these, as we know, are the fells that comprise what is known as the Coledale Round. From the left - Rowling End leading up to Causey Pike, Scar Crags, Sail, Eel Crag with Grasmoor behind. Then to the right Hobcarton Head with Grizedale Pike. The path ascending this can be clearly seen. Finally in the centre from left to right are Barrow, Stile End and Outerside."

Then moving our eyes left to this incredible scene. "I know these", piped up Allen. "To the left is Hindscarth rising from the ridge of Scope End and to its right Robinson. What a fantastic day we had in July climbing these. In the background is Kirk Fell between Hindscarth & Robinson, and to the right, Pillar.

"How fortunate we are that the views are so clear today", breathed Grizzly

Finally we turned our eyes to the south, "that's High Rigg, backed by the massive bulk of Helvellyn", said Grizzly. "Very atmospheric too."

Now where were we? Oh yes, at the gate in the fence.

"Pass through and then abandon the Cumbria Way, to climb left by the fence."

"Oh dear", cried Little Eric, "that is ever so steep. I feel for your knees Dad."

There was 1100 feet of ascent to Lonscale Pike, and as Little Eric had said this was unremittingly steep, never easing in gradient all the way to the summit!!

Echoing our thoughts, Allen said, "so glad to be in the rucksack."

Dad took a few rests to catch his breath, which enabled him to enjoy again the magnificent scenery. He also said with feeling, "as we all will have bagged this summit I vow that I am not doing this route again."

"I totally agree", replied Tetley.

"Is that Derwent Water over there?", enquired Little Eric.

"Yes", replied Allen knowingly.

"What a wonderful view", said Grizzly. "It will make a great picture for our story."

For Little Eric's sake, Allen set the scene. Above the the lake are the fells High Spy, Maiden Moor and Cat Bells. Then behind right are Dale Head and Hindscarth. The prominent distant top is Great Gable with to its left the slopes leading to Scafell Pike."

Dad ploughed on, the ascent as steep as ever, then finally he called out, "here we are Lonscale Pike at last. Come on lads, get settled for your picture."

Grizzly said, "this stands above the precipitous Lonscale Crags, but is not in fact the highest point on the fell."

"That's right", agreed Shaun. "To reach that we walk to the fence, climb the stile, from which there is just short gentle climb to Lonscale Fell summit cairn."

Shaun said, "leaving here, we will be following that fence line to Jenkin Hill the next top. Just beyond the tourist path crosses left to right. However again we will ignore this, instead climbing the steep clear path towards Skiddaw Lesser Man and then Skiddaw Lower Man."

Before all that, we hopped out to record our summiting Lonscale Fell. "Diana Whaley in her book on Lake District Place Names, states the meaning is 'the long shieling or summer pastures' which must have stretched up onto the fell. It comes from the earlier words langr (long), skali, informed Grizzly."

Not wishing to delay, we quickly settled in the rucksack, Shaun advising, "we walk on to a ruined wall and fence, there go through the gate right and walk on up the shoulder by the fence."

After a while the climb slackened, Tetley calling out, "there's the cairn at Jenkin Hill summit."

Once again Grizzly enlightened us about the name. "The hill associated with an individual or family named Jenkin."

Snuggled again Dad walked on to soon cross the tourist path, and climb steeply ahead towards Lesser Man on Skiddaw.

"What a fantastic cairn with the wood and metal besides the stone", called out Little Eric.

The wind was blowing furiously, but undeterred we scrambled out and hung in there for our obligatory picture.

A gentleman who was walking with two youngsters arrived here before them, and saw Dad photographing us.

"What is the story about them?"

"I am a collector of teddy bears and soft toys, and these are the walking group. They have spent may days with me on the fells."

"I like the idea. Can I take their picture."

"For sure. They are never shy as far as that is concerned!"

In fact this was to be the first of a number of people enquiring about us and asking to take our picture. We hope we did not get too full of ourselves, but Dad did mention our website to some of the people.

"That's another incredible view of Derwent Water surrounded by the fells, and Keswick", called out Little Eric. "I know it is a little dark due to the cloud cover, but still worth a picture."

The ascent now was a bit more gentle and in a few minutes we arrived at Little Man on Skiddaw whose summit had been obscured by mist. Again undeterred by the wind, we scrambled onto the cairn. "Yippee", cheered Little Eric, "That's another Wainwright ticked off for you and I, Allen."

"Another superb view", pointed Tetley. "Carl Side then the ridge over Long Side to Ullock Pike."

"Magnificent", exclaimed Little Eric. "You and I have still to climb those, Allen."

Looking ahead, Allen called out, "there's Skiddaw, our ultimate objective. Quoting from Wainwright, he says about the summit, 'it takes the form of a stony, undulating ridge exceeding 3000 ft throughout is length of almost half a mile - a glorious promenade high in the sky, where one can enjoy a rare feeling of freedom and escape from a world far below, and, for a time, forgotten'."

The route is plain to see. Descending from Little Man, we finally joined the tourist route, and along with all the other tiny "Lowry" figures you can see in the above shot, crested the ridge, coming to the south top (3034 ft). Following the slaty pavement the next was middle top (3039 ft), to then continue to main top, called High Man (3053 ft), where the trig point occupies the highest point.

Despite the fierce wind we scrambled out to sit by it.

You will notice the brown envelope taped to the trig point. It was actually addressed to someone! We wonder if he got there to collect it?

Getting safely tucked in the rucksack, we took time to look about at the views. "Wow", said Tetley. "That's fantastic down to Bassenthwaite Lake."

This is in fact truly the only lake in the Lake District. We hear you say, "how can that be?" Well, all the others are either Waters or Meres. E.g. Crummock Water, Windermere etc.

Such were the superb views we had enjoyed all day, Shaun reflected, "how lucky we are to go on all these adventures. Once again we say thank you Dad, from the bottom of our hearts!!"

Onwards now, we soon came to the north top (3024 ft). It was important that we visited them all, as while only the main top is a Wainwright, all four are Birkett summits. Dad took our picture at them all, as did other walkers at some too!

Here they are, from the top left - south, middle, main and north.

Skiddaw now done, we descended steeply to the north col, heading for the wide flat expanse of Broad End. "How aptly named", commented Grizzly.

Looking back we could see our descent from the north top. "When Shaun, Grizzly and I first climbed Skiddaw in 2004, we did it the opposite way, so had to make that ascent", said Tetley. "I bet you're glad we do not to have to walk up back up there today."

"I sure am", replied Dad with obvious relief.

"Broad End is another Birkett", said Little Eric. "Which is the top", he mused, "there are a few cairns dotted about."

I have the grid reference", said Shaun. "the GPS will guide us." Then, after giving Dad directions he said, "this is the summit."

Ready again, Shaun said, "just cross east and join the main path and then follow the fence and wall down to the next summit Bakestall."

Again Allen and Little Eric bagged this. Tetley said, "when we first climbed it we nicknamed it Cakestand!"

"I like that", laughed Allen.

Next, was the steep 900ft descent of Birkett Edge. "We came up this way last time", said Shaun.

"Phew, like Lonscale Fell it is unremittingly steep", said Little Eric. "I feel sorry for the people I can see climbing up."

At the bottom a wide track was reached. "What a fine view of the Dash Valley and Binsey", said Grizzly.

Here we now joined the Cumbria Way. Turning right we followed the good surfaced track with Great Calva away to the left. This serves Skiddaw House. Once a shepherds house, it is now owned by the Youth Hostel Association.

Tetley said, "for those lucky enough to have a room at the front, what a wonderful view will greet them on a clear morning. The prominent pointed top is Great Calva. and distantly in the centre is Bowscale Fell."

From there the track becomes a rough and at times rocky path, as it winds its way to and below the dramatic and precipitous Lonscale Crags.

Below to the left runs the Glenderaterra Valley. As we rounded the slopes of the fell, the view ahead opened up, to the Helvellyn Ridge.

Allen said from the left is Clough Head, Great Dodd, Stybarrow Dodd, Raise, White Side and finally Helvellyn."

"Just stupendous", called out Little Eric.

Striding on we soon came to the gate in the fence and where we had made the ascent this morning. "How ever did you get up there Dad", said Grizzly.

"With stolid determination", replied Dad. "As I said before, definitely not going up that way again."

Continuing we soon reached the car park. "That's it then", said Allen.

"Well no lad. As I did last time, we may as well get Latrigg bagged for you and Little Eric."

"Are you sure?, asked Little Eric.

"Yes. All we have to do is follow the path left and make the short gentle ascent. A breeze after what we faced earlier."

The top is a bit indeterminate, but checking the GPS, Shaun said, "this is it."

"Wow", exclaimed Allen. "What an amazing view to Keswick and Derwent Water. Thank you Dad, not only because Little Eric and I have bagged this Wainwright, but so we can see the wonderful view from here."

Back at the car, we settled on the front seat while Dad took his boots off. It had been some day and on the drive home we chatted and reflected on a superb walk. Hard going at times for Dad, but nevertheless he said he had a feeling of great satisfaction.

Oh, and finally the summit tally for the day. Allen and Little Eric bagged all 12 tops. The rest of us and Dad bagged two Birketts (Lonscale Pike & Broad End).


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