Wednesday 12 March 2014

Big Lump

Skiddaw - A big lump of a hill

So me and Hyperdog (should that be Hyperdog and I?) parked in Keswick yesterday and set off up Skiddaw.  It was another lovely sunny day here in Cumbria and I'd been going for about 15 minutes when I realised that my trusty Box Brownie camera was still on my car seat.  I couldn't be faffed to go back.  The last time this same thing happened to me was when I parked up my very first car, a Mark 1 Cortina, in Oxford, just off the Woodstock Road in the summer of 1978.  When I came to get my car a few hours later it had been stolen.  I got it back, without any petrol, a few days later from Abingdon Police Station. Not that the police had knicked* it you understand. Well I assume they hadn't.  Anyway. The car was fine but the camera was gone. It was only a cheap Kodak Instamatic but the film on it was invaluable - I had just left university and had taken photos of all my friends in our last few days there.  I wrote the car off 4 months later. Well it was stupid place to park a lorry.

Looking back to the NW Fells - Grisedale Pike, Crag Hill, Causey Pike, Cat Bells et al

Derwent Water from Skiddaw Little Man

The top of Skiddaw

Well Hyperdog and I had a splendiferous walk but I could only take photos on my Samsung Quiteclever Phone, but for what they are worth some are reproduced here.  The boy and I covered 19.0km and climbed 1103 metres. I carried a pack stuffed with tinned food and surplus water weighing 12.7kg to give me a decent workout and we walked and talked and rested for just under 6 hours in all. We took the plodding tourist route up from Keswick.  I hesitate before describing any path in the Lake District as "dull", but if I were to do so it would be this path. Fortunately the views south and west are superb.  We diverted off the main path to go up Skiddaw Little Man, then from the top of Skiddaw we headed back down the tourist path for a short while then cut off on to Sail How and Skiddaw House. From there we headed south along the Cumbria Way on the lovely path that skirts round Lonscale Fell, and thence back to Keswick.  Hyperdog eats less sheep dung these days but is now partial to large clumps of sheep wool and, boy, did he find masses on Sail How.  I hope to goodness it comes out naturally or he will have stomach problems before long.

The hill in the distance is Snaefell on the Isle of Man, that being the Irish Sea in between

Sail How (with Hyperdog searching for sheep wool in the distance). The April Pre-Walk daunder should see me back here

* Do you know where the expression "knicked" comes from?  The tale I was told, many moons ago, was that it relates to lead mining in the southern Peak District in Derbyshire. There you could stake a claim - literally putting a stake into your chosen plot - and then mine for lead.  I think it was lead.  But that is neither here nor there. It was some ore or other. In return, your obligation was to work the mine continuously and pay a proportion of your profits in tax. The King's officers would come round to check you were indeed continuously working the mine. If they turned up and you weren't there they would carve a knick into the stake. Once three knicks were in the stake you had to surrender your mine.  May or may not be true but it's a good story, n'est pas?

Lovely Whit Beck on the Cumbria Way


  1. Another blinder there sir.
    Cracking day.
    Always enjoy your blog.
    I must get round to writing up an adventure soon.
    But that means I will have to have one..
    Oh well, may have to wait until April when I visit Aviemore with Mr Sloman.

    1. Thanks again Andy. Aviemore is fast approaching. When exactly will you be there?

    2. We will arrive on 4th April.
      Starting in Kingussie well, Newtonmore on morning of 2nd. Arrive there late ish on Tue 1st.

    3. Hope this weather holds for you chaps.

    4. Hope this weather holds for you chaps.

  2. What the chap above says.
    I'm off for a walk tomorrow though.
    That'll be a shock to the system.

    1. You enjoy that walk, Alan.

    2. I'll also be trying a highly illegal wild pitch on Liz's turf.
      If you don't hear from me again, I'll be the one with his head on a spike on the Tower of London.

    3. You rebel you. I'm sure that all Liz's turf was once public property before it was appropriated so you make as much use of it as you can. Not that this argument would save you in a treason trial.

  3. I'v a big soft spot for Skiddaw and always like hiking on it. Simply wonderful mountain and great views. Next time hike its northern area and wild camp man. It's superb there.

    1. Done thst - well lots of hiking there, although I have only ever 'wild camped' in this area near Skiddaw House so not too wild! There are better ways up Skiddaw than my route yesterday especially by going first over Ullock Pike then Carlside.