Ullock Pike to Skiddaw via The Watches

Name of walk Ullock Pike to Skiddaw via The Watches
Date of walk 2012-03-28
Distance walked (miles) 7
Duration of walk 4 hours 30 minutes
Weather Sunshine and blue skies
Peaks on walk Ullock Pike, Long Side Edge, Carl Side and Skiddaw
Walked with On own
Parking Parking spaces on main road that goes towards Orthwaite.

Yesterday was due to be the last good day before the cloud and winds arrived on the hills, so I set out alone to climb the northern fells of Ullock Pike (2230ft), Long Side Edge (2405ft), Carl Side (2420ft) and Skiddaw (3053ft). I usually climb them from Dodd Wood but this time I would climb them from a new starting place which means I would go over the Watches and come down the back of Skiddaw into the Barkbethdale valley. The walk is 7.25 miles


I head through sheep fields and aim for a gate at the top by the wall. Ullock Pike just peeking out!


The one thing I had forgotten was the direction of the sun! The way ahead was in glare, so I have to manually compensate for the brightness, so no two pictures are the same, which ruins my panoramas as you can see the join!!! The way ahead up Ullock Pike with Longside Edge, Carlside and the slopes of Skiddaw seen too.


Looking back to the Watches. Binsey in the distance.


It is a bit hazy today. Looking along Bassenthwaite Lake with the north western fells including Barf and Lords Seat behind. St. Bega's Church in the foreground.


Looking over to the back end of Skiddaw and my route down to the hidden Barkbethdale Valley that I would return by. Below is the Southerndale Valley.


Looking over Dodd to a hazy Derwent Water


The head of the lake.


I met a couple of walkers on Ullock Pike summit, they were heading up to Skiddaw too. Looking along Longside Edge.


The route ahead. The guys went straight up to Skiddaw, I went up the grassy track on the right to Carlside first.


View over the central fells from Carlside.


The steep track up Skiddaw. Towards the top it looks almost vertical.......it felt like it too!


Panorama from half way up the track, a good excuse to stop for a breather! This shows the whole route up the ridge.


Views up




View down


There are always people on Skiddaw summit, most have come up the easy motorway route of Jenkin Hill.


Mungrisedale, the back of Blencathra and Lonsdale Fell


High Pike, Knott and Carrock Fell


Summit view..


I don`t stop long as it was not too warm up here, but head down the back of Skiddaw going over the fell and down a track out of sight on the left.


The track leads down to a dip and from there I changed direction to head back along the side of the fell into the valley along a narrow path/sheep trod through heather in order to met the valley path. Along the track I stopped for lunch with the photo below as my view. It was very warm here. The long valley path can be seen in the photo. Walking through heather in shorts is never a good idea. I discovered a tick on my ankle later in the shower!


Following the grassy path through Barkbethdale. Totally remote, quiet and peaceful!


View back up Skiddaw. The track I followed is the diagonal line on the fellside. The dip where the track started is on the far left.


Looking down at the ford and my original way up over Ullock Pike.


View back to the ridge route up and return path.


Walking back across the sheep fields.


The gate that leads to my starting point. Bassenthwaite church behind. The gorse is looking good!


The seven and a quarter mile walk took four and a half hours. A good walk with some excellent views! It is only March and I have a suntan!