BB1535 : Can I Have Your Sausage Roll, Please?

Wednesday 14th October 2015

How the memory plays tricks.  I have the distinct recollection of climbing Skiddaw from the north via Ullock Pike in icy conditions in the early days of BOOTboys.  

One particularly strong memory is of Stan helping Tony put on his instep crampons who then romped up the hill leaving poor Stan with hands so cold he couldn't get his gloves back on.

I also recall climbing to the summit on a track that I thought rather exposed to a sharp drop to the left.

I should have read the reports.  It turns out that I had conflated two visits and that we hadn't actually climbed Skiddaw in the snow.  We had taken the sensible decision to abort BB0907 at Carl Side.  The nasty track must have been on BB0408.

Anxious to avoid any nasty track problems, we opted to make the approach from the north, first taking in Bakestall.  At least we didn't have to worry about snow, the remarkable Indian Summer is still lingering on.

Off into the sunshine

Dash farm

This is a nice, easy way to climb the mountain.  It kicks off with a gentle track up by Dash Beck to reach the Whitewater Dash falls which, not surprisingly given the recent dry spell, were not as spectacular as they must be at other times of year.

Sadly Mike didn't make it that far.  Lower down, he had turned round quickly to take a photo and something went twang in his leg.  Sensibly he decided not to risk it further and returned back to the car.  It is a good job he did otherwise, later on, it would have been seriously tested.

Tony was full of sympathy for him.  His farewell to Mike was, I quote, "I am sorry you are leaving us, Mike, but can I have your sausage roll please?"

Whitewater Dash falls

Mike gives Tony his sausage roll

The climb up Birkett Edge, alongside the fence, is nothing like the vicious equivalent on Steel Fell and it provides increasingly fine views with the gain in altitude.  It seems a little used route and we only saw one person on the whole ascent (and he was going down).

Looking down Dash Beck

Looking across the Solway from  Bakestall

It was a different story on the top.  Very busy.  Nevertheless we found a cairn behind which to shelter in the sun, protected from the very cold breeze.  Lunch was taken, Tony particularly enjoying his - no, Mike's - sausage roll.

Summit panorama looking south west to north west over Long Side ridge

South to Derwent Water

Comitibus: Skiddaw summit

Fearful that they might have strayed into unfortunate territory, we set off cautiously down the scree. Once over the lip we found them there, patiently waiting for us (and I suspect wondering if they had gone wrong as the slope was very stoney with no clear path).

Fortunately, a little lower, a narrow snaking trail did appear although at times I found it easier on the scree itself as the path was covered in small stones providing a ball bearing effect. Whichever route you took it was quite demanding on the legs.

The descent was nearly a right cock-up before it started.  

Tony stopped, wanting me to take his photo. Terry waited for us but James and John had pressed on and were out of sight.  

We were quite unsure in which direction they had headed.

Mobile phones were of no avail.

The traffic was on the tourist route down by Little Man but I couldn't see them there.


Descending the scree

At the bottom of the scree is the tiny Carlside Tarn.  Looking back up the hill was quite a surprise.  It looked far steeper than it had seemed whilst on the descent.  The serpentine track we had used could be seen but much clearer was the path that had bothered me all those years ago and probably would have done again had we taken it today.  Although much more distinct, it seemed too close for my liking to the drop down into Southerndale (which paradoxically runs to the north).

The tracks down from Skiddaw

John's half-way mark

The descent over Long Side and Ullock Pike was very bumpy.  Safe but with frequent rocky sections to climb down (and occasionally up).  I found myself wondering how it was that, all those years ago, I had cheerfully climbed that route in the icy conditions using just instep crampons, not microspikes.  On a dry sunny day in early autumn, it still seemed a tough route to go up the mountain.  How people get either up or down on mountain bikes escapes me but the tyre marks were there to be seen

The tracks down from Skiddaw

St Bega's Church, Mirehouse

Looking back up Southerndale to Skiddaw

At the Sun Inn we celebrated John's achievement of having now completed half the Wainwrights.  "Sausage Rolls all round," demanded Tony but he had to make do with Pork Scratchings with his beer instead.

Don, Wednesday 14th October 2015




Wednesday 14th October 2015

Distance in miles:


Height climbed in feet:



Bakestall, Skiddaw, Carl Side, Long Side, Ullock Pike


Don, James. John Hn, Mike, Terry, Tony


BOOTboys routes are put online in gpx format which should work with most mapping software. You can follow our route in detail by downloading bb1535 .

To discover which Wainwright top was visited on which BB outing - although it may not be that up to date - or for the totals of the mileages and heights (ditto) see the Excel file: BB Log.

You can navigate to the required report via the Home Page

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To see which Wainwright top was visited on which BB outing see Which Wainwright When? This may or may not be up to date!

For the latest totals of the mileages, heights and Lakeland Fells Books Wainwrights see: Wainwrights.
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BOOTboys 2015



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