Skiddaw, Longside Edge and Carlside

This is the first of 4 walks on this visit to the Lake District this summer. The boys wanted to beat their previous highest mark (which was the Old Man of Coniston at 803m). We were staying in Braithwaite and the mountain of Skiddaw overlooks this village, it seemed an obvious choice. So 4 children and 3 adults set out from beside the A591 to climb to the Ullock Pike ridge. The route up to Skiddaw along Longside Edge is a classic trail and has the bonus of adding 3 more Wainwrights to the total on top of that of Skiddaw. Now I have climbed Skiddaw this way once before, back when I was seventeen. Myself and my brother made a rather poorly equipped summit of this mountain. On that day the weather was also dry but as we made our way up the finally slate climb the cloud dropped. Surely that couldn’t happen again, could it.

Start – Alongside the A591
Route – Dodd Wood – Ullock Pike – Longside Edge – Longside – Carlside Tarn – Skiddaw – Carlside Tarn – Carlside – White Stones – Long Doors – Dodd Wood – Sawmill Tearoom – Alongside the A591
Distance –  7.5 miles    Start time – 10am     Time taken –  6hrs 15 mins (including tearoom brew)  Highest Point – Skiddaw 931metres
Weather – Cloudy, including the cloud being down on Skiddaw summit

© Crown copyright 2017 Ordnance Survey FL 2017 SF

Starting out along the path that runs parallel to the A591

And now climbing up to join the ridge to Ullock Pike

Quickly the views open up to Lake Bassenthwaite (the only named lake in the Lake District, the rest being meres, tarns or waters)

We’ve come up through the trees below and are looking back to the fells on the other side of Bassenthwaite, including Lords Seat

The group are just joining the ridge path

Ahead lies the Longside Edge, Ullock Pike is the pointy fell nearest to us and our first target

Looking back down, you gain height quickly here. Binsey is the fell to the north

The group. My two boys (in yellow and with his arm up), two of my brothers boys, my brother, Ian (in blue) and my brother in law, Neil

Lake Bassenthwaite, Sale Fell over the water

All smiles on the first summit of Ullock Pike, at 690metres its a fair way up

The view behind the group is glorious. Dodd is the dark fell in the foreground. Derwent Water to the left and the edge of Bass Lake right. Derwent Water is a theme of the photos along this ridge

Skiddaw is now in cloud, with Longside Edge running to the right

Bass Lake from Ullock Pike

About 15 minutes later we made Longside summit, Skiddaw is clear behind, maybe our luck is in

Keswick to the left of Derwent Water and many layers of fells all around

Carlside is dead ahead, however we wouldn’t head there yet, we branched left to head for the tarn first. Skiddaw Lower Man is the dark fell at the back

Southerndale lies below Longside Edge, the slopes of Skiddaw to the right with Binsey in the distance

The wind got up at Carlside tarn and it turned pretty cold

Looking back to the Longside Edge ridge as we start our way up Skiddaw, we decided against the normal sloped slate path with the kids instead we took the zigzag path up the end of Skiddaw

Even so this path was steep!!

A rain shower passed to the south however for us that meant lowering cloud, surely not again

Carlside and its tarn slowly disappearing

The long summit ridge, now in cloud. Second time I have walked here with the summit mainly clear only for it to cloud over as I summit. Still spirits are high

Many layers were put on as its was cold on the top. But this was a proud dad moment to get a 10 and 8 year old up to 931metres

We managed a few photos at the top but with all the wind shelters taken it wasn’t a place to hang around. As we dropped we came below the cloud to the view of the Edge again

Derwent Water emerges also

Layers of fells behind the Newlands Valley

Skiddaw and the two paths. To the left is the slanting slate path. Heading to the right, with a group of people on it is the more direct zigzag path

We were heading down to Long Doors so this meant an easy summit of Carlside was also reached

Fantastic view as we head down the path to Long Doors

Heather in bloom and the long ridge back left is the Helvellyn group

A patchwork of fields and plenty of fells

As we round the corner at White Stones, Dodd comes back into view

Zoomed in on Derwent Water, Keswick to the left

Long Doors ahead

All that is left is the easy path down to the tearooms

Tea and ice cream!!! It was another 5 minutes to the car from here, but that ended a fantastic walk with 7 very happy people



8 thoughts on “Skiddaw, Longside Edge and Carlside

  1. Well done to all the kids for sumitting a Lakeland 3000’er. Skiddaw was one of my first Lakeland peaks back in University days in the 80’s but amazingly I’ve never done it since. Always wanted to do the Ullock Pike route but never got around to it

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Unlike Andy, I managed to climb Skiddaw lots of times when I was at Uni. Which is a bit odd since we were usually on the same trips. I’ve only done the Ullock Pike ridge a couple of times though and those were both a very long time ago. I also have a few obscure Birketts to bag out to the north, so I must get that way some time soon. Skiddaw is often maligned, but no less and authority than Hamish Brown speaks highly of it, so who am I to quibble?

    Liked by 1 person

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