~Lonscale Fell to Skiddaw~
1st December 2012
The first snowy walk of winter 12/13. Well worth the early departure from home, there follows a highly recommended way of occupying all the daylight hours at this time of year.
Skiddaw from Lonscale Fell
Scroll down for photos and a description of the walk....
Skiddaw from Briar Rigg
My brother, Peter, and I started this walk from the roadside at Briar Rigg at 08:30hrs. I remarked it would take about three and a half hours to get to the top of Skiddaw, via Lonscale Fell, from here.
Lonscale Fell is on the agenda today. Maybe a forgotten cousin of Skiddaw, sometimes only "ridged" from the main path to/from the main event, it was my plan to make a direct ascent at the start of the walk. Skiddaw's fells are Dodd, Carl Side (topped with cloud) and Skiddaw Little Man. I've never started a walk from the Gale Road car park, it's cheating! It took us 40 minutes to get from Briar Rigg to Gale Road.
To Lonscale Fell
Lonscale Fell Ascent
Route D as per Wainwright LS4, 1000ft of ascent up the fence. It's quite cold and there's a chilly breeze in evidence.
A feature of the walk was the brightness behind us, we were quite glad not to be walking in the other direction. Lonscale Fell has a neat little peak, but it's not the summit. We visited the East Peak first and admired a "magnificent belvedere".
Peter Snaps on the East Peak
To Lonscale Fell's Summit
Blencathra is shrouded in cloud behind Peter and our side of Glenderatera Beck, Skiddaw is looking good!
The sharp shadow of Lonscale Fell is cast on to the ridge of Burnt Horse. Further away is Great Calva and snow-topped Knott. Burnt Horse? What's that all about? Singed Cow, Scalded Sheep....
Lonscale Fell Summit 2344ft asl
Skiddaw Lesser Man
To Skiddaw Little Man
I find the Lesser / Little and Lower Men a bit confusing. Skiddaw has no "Lower" man, but lesser and little sit close together.
It's very cold up here and a tad slippy. We don't have pointy things on our boots and I've given Peter my poles as my grip seems better than his. This is fantastic!
Little Man and Derwent Water
It took 3hrs 45minutes to get to the top of Skiddaw from the car.
Photographer at Work
Thomas Jeffers (South Liverpool Photographic Society) is working hard. He kindly demotes himself to my "point and click" and does the honours. We'll see him again later on.
Summiteers on Skiddaw 3053ft asl
It was quite difficult persuading oursleves to leave this lively scene. Then we remembered our hands and faces were quite numb, so we headed off on the steep descent route to Carlside Tarn.
Down to Carlside Tarn
Little Man and The Eastern Fells
The photo on the right shows the Eastern Fells beyond Skiddaw Little Man.
Our chosen descent route from the frozen Carlside Tarn was down Slades Beck. The pointed peak of Carlesdam casts a dark shadow into the lower reaches of the beck.
And in the lower reaches, a tree stands guard; Derwent Water is further away.
Looking Back to Skiddaw Little Man
Our route took us along the old miners track to Millbeck and then along to Applethwaite before crossing big fields to Thrushwood and back towards the car.
The Big Fields
Latrigg to the left and The Dodds dead ahead - in the gap.
Keswick-spotting from Latrigg.
Skiddaw at Sunset
The walk headed for the car and we were debating where to find a coffee and a cake. Reaching no conclusions due to the time and also desire to start heading home, we came across a "new" cafe.
Filling Station Cafe
Well, not that new - they're one year old this week. Very good, see below.
Walkers: P & R Ratcliffe
Time taken: 7hrs 30mins over a distance of about 11 miles.
Route: Briar Rigg, Spooney Green Lane, Gale Road, Lonscale Fell, Skiddaw Little Man, Skiddaw, Carlside Tarn, Slades Beck, Millbeck, Applethwaite, fields, Thrushwood, Filling Station Cafe, Briar Rigg.
Weather and Conditions: Cold, sunny and very windy on the way up.
Greetings Count: Rather quiet on the way up, but plenty of folk on top and lots on the Carlside descent (ascent for some). Then a very quiet descent down the less frequented Slades Beck.
Richard's Refreshment Review: We feel lucky to have stumbled upon the Filling Station Cafe on Crosthwaite Road, Keswick. Ideally situated for walkers and travellers - free local parking. Food served from early morning until mid-afternoon. We had large coffees and tasty cakes. Dog friendly and lots of green seating. There's a motorbike in the cafe and staff with smiles on their faces. What more do you need?
All photos copyright Richard Ratcliffe 2012 ©
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