Skiddaw Trip Report (#14789)

  • Signed By: Brian Prince
  • Date submitted: October 22, 2002
  • Date(s) climbed: 2 January 2002

I started from the car park above Latrigg Fell, near Keswick. It was a crisp, clear winter day at the very beginning of the year. I followed a trail above a rushing river in a valley formed by mountainsides, until I emerged into an area known as "Back o' Skiddaw" with fine views of hills and plains more reminiscent of remote parts of Scotland. I turned left at the extremely isolated Skiddaw House Youth Hostel, and embarked upon a struggle to ascend bleak, windswept moorland by a clear path with some easily avoidable patches of ice. The wind was Arctic, and I swear that my body was leaning diagonally for the duration of the walk towards the ridge which led to the summit. I was well and truly thankful for my windproof/waterprooofs and my fleece layers and hat.....don't forget your hat on the "windy side" of Skiddaw. On gaining the ridge and subsequently the summit,the views that greeted me were in complete contrast to and ample reward for the bleak slog I had just endured and enjoyed. Below me was the town of Keswick and its Lake Derwentwater "The Queen of the Lakes" -surely so-called because her beauty has an elegance which charactees her entitlement (oh, for heaven's sake,go and see what I mean with these crummy, inadequate words). Today she was the Ice Queen, her waters frozen around boats and jetties and islands, almost an entire sheet of ice but with the odd sets of broken floes here and there. And all above and behind the lake stood the Derwent Fells (mountains) with names like Cat Bells and Causey Pike and Maiden Moor all dusted with snow on their tops and the giant Central Fells clustered around Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in Englan

d, not visible from any motor-road but so clearly visible far beyond the end of the lake to me on the blustery summit of Skiddaw as I sat sheltered snacking and viewing this snow-capped sugar coated Christmas cake Christmas card scene. And that my friends is the great thing about Skiddaw; it can be climbed without difficulty all year round....but I would choose to do it again on another January 2nd. Hope to see you there.........and did I mention that turn your head and the views are over the town of Cockermouth towards the Irish Sea, or turn your head again and you are looking over the Solway Firth to Scotland and the peaks of Dumfries and Galloway? I will stop now... you'll just have to come and see it and believe it for yourselves.

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