I woke to the news that we’d had hail in the night and it was still raining solidly throughout breakfast. The forecast was for it to clear by 10 so I took my time. But strong wind up high was also forecast so I may need to miss out the top of Skiddaw if it got too strong.
Latrigg House , in contrast to the other B&Bs I’ve stayed at in Keswick, was quite good, so will use again. The single was ensuite too. And £31 was all it cost.
I set off at 10 as the cloud lifted from the hills and made my way along the old railway path to join up with the path up the south side of Latrigg. The plan was to assess the weather at the summit and decide whether to simply follow the Cumbria way around the base of Lonscale Fell or to attempt the walk of Skiddaw.
It was hard going up through the woods, and in places the path was boggy or diverted. But I made it to the top and spent a long time looking at the view – a great panorama all the way round except, ironically, towards Skiddaw, which was still shrouded in low cloud.
With full pack and provisions for 4 days, I knew the slog up Skiddaw was going to be slow and so it proved, taking over 2 hours. The wind grew in strength as I rose higher, and the cloud gradually lifted from the summit. Just after 2pm I arrived on the summit plateau to be faced with a strong sidewind that I could feel pressing on my chest and making it harder to breathe. I quickly made my way over the top, past the summit and main shelters, taking refuge at the last shelter at the northern end of the summit plateau.
It was cold and I made it a short stop, continuing down the north ridge and then following the fence down over Bakestall and Birkett Edge. Then it was a straightforward walk along the Cumbria Way to Skiddaw House, my base for the next 3 nights.
Heated by wood burning stoves, with the only electricity being solar-generated, it was surprisingly snug and with only 2 other guests it made for a relaxed and congenial evening, and my latest night to bed so far.
Summits: 3 (Latrigg, Skiddaw, Bakestall)
Highlights: views, all day.