Skiddaw Little Man and Lonscale Fell

After a couple of walks where we had needed some serious ‘clothes drying by the fire’ at the end of the walk, you’d have thought we would avoid a weather forecast that said strong winds up to 60mph and heavy and persistent rain with cloud cover down on the high and medium fells. But when in the Lakes, at times, you make the most of it. We decided on a short walk and the hope that we could stay out of the wind as much as possible. We managed to stay out of the worst of the wind for parts of the walk, but the rain came worst as we hit the bottom of Jenkin Hill and kept up until we were leaving Lonscale Fell, basically all the high sections. In between we got some clear views to the south across Derwent Water but it was up on Skiddaw Lesser and Little Man that we felt the worst of things, the wind was brutal and stripped my rucksack cover off with the rain coming in sideways. We could see the rain coming at us as we ascended the steep popular track to Skiddaw and with the strong winds it raced towards us. Luckily the walk was a short one and we’d finished not long after lunch allowing for plenty of drying time back at the house. The views on this walk back to Derwent Water are lovely, however I’ve seen them before many times from Latrigg or Carl Side, so Skiddaw Little Man was a box tick for me, missing out on the views from Lonscale Fell was a little disappointing, especially north to the Back O’Skiddaw area and down Lonscale Crags. Still this was another 2 done from my list, with 21 to do of the 214. Still a fair few to do around Wasdale and Eskdale, plus a batch from Patterdale. For now lets get that fire going and dry out our kit!!

Start – Gale Road car park

Route – Hawell Monument – Jenkin Hill – Skiddaw Lesser Man – Skiddaw Little Man – Skiddaw Lesser Man – Jenkin Hill – Lonscale Fell – Whit Beck – Hawell Monument – Gale Road

Distance – 5.5 miles    Start time – 9.45am   Time taken – 3hrs 15mins Highest Point – Skiddaw Little Man 865 metres

Weather – Strong winds, rain but some clearing spells

© Crown copyright 2022 Ordnance Survey FL 2022 SF
Setting out, Gale Road car park is to my left here, the cloud is down which we expected and there is some light rain falling
Blencathra up on the left as I look along the valley towards Penrith, normally you could see Clough Head in this photo to the right, but not today
The Hawell Monument, in honour of the Hawell family who were shepherds in this area
Starting up the zigzag path the Skiddaw, we aren’t heading quite that far as Skiddaw Little Man is as far as we need to go today, Whit Beck is in the valley to the right, and we will return down that way
Looking back to Latrigg as we ascend further
The low cloud swirled in and out and suddenly Derwent Water could be seen
The north western fells across the Vale of Keswick as the cloud clears a bit
Looking towards the Helvellyn range with Clough Head at this end. High Rigg looks tiny from up here compared to the range behind
Clearing Derwent Water, although behind it looks like further wet stuff. With Keswick this side of the lake
Here it comes, rain, coming at a fair lick
We head up into the cloud on Jenkin Hill
One last look back as the rain sweeps across Derwent Water and sun pierces the clouds
For quite a lot of this section of the walk I stowed my phone away due to the wind and rain. It was about here that I lost my rucksack cover, in this wind it probably landed somewhere beyond the borders of Scotland. Skiddaw Lesser Man summit for those ticking the Birketts
Skiddaw Little Man summit, Linda looks like she is handling things fine here, in truth the wind was a bit too strong so we beat a hasty retreat back to Skiddaw Lesser Man and hid in a hollow by the summit for some lunch, the rain blowing over us in the strong wind
Looking back to the summit of Skiddaw Little Man
We are a bit wet and maybe a bit daft, but we were happy
It wasn’t far to get Lonscale Fell summit, Linda’s back is to the wind and the rain was stinging our faces here
As we hit the top of Whit Beck the rain eased and the cloud started to lift. It was a welcome reprieve after an hour or more of rain
And it clears further as we descend, Latrigg now in view
A moody shaft of sunlight above Derwent Water as we near the main path coming up from Gale Road
On the main path, down this time and again it clears completely over Derwent Water
The next wave of rain hits the southern end of Derwent Water and the Newlands Valley, it would get to us as we walked past the Hawell Monument
Approaching the Hawell Monument for the second time today
Clough Head in view this time as I look along the valley towards Penrith
In the rain now and looking back up at our route. Its an easy way up, but very monotonous in the zigzags. For us today it was perfect as it got us up and back quickly. This was the worst weather we had in our time up here but we ticked 2 Wainwrights off on this walk, the next day the weather looked drier with a chance of high winds still forecast. I had a good walk that would keep us quite low and another short walk, just in case.


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