Little Man Skiddaw
|Estimated net time||3-4 hours|
The whole route is done on fine path.
|Drinking water||No stable access to running water.|
|GSM coverage||Coverage throughout the route, but a bit patchy in the lower sections (October 2010).|
|Parking||Room for many cars at the car park by trail head.|
|Start height||295 metres|
|Vertical metres||795 metres for the roundtrip.|
|Trip distance||10.0 km|
Assuming you drive road M6 north from Manchester. Exit at junction 36 towards Kendal, and then follow signs for Windermere, and then Ambleside. From Ambleside drive road A591 to Keswick, and continue to the round about where road A591 and A66 meet. Exit the round about onto road A591, signed for Carlisle. Immediately after having exited the round about turn right, signed for Ormathwaite. Drive 1.5 km up this road, and turn sharp right where signed for Skiddaw. Drive another 1.6 km on this narrow and bumpy road, to a car park. Park here.
Walk to the end of the car park and through the gate. Turn left and follow the path along the fence, towards the hills climbing towards Little Man and Skiddaw. At 620 metres the path turns a little left (north-west), and you should continue on this path until you get to a gate. There is a sign for Skiddaw summit at the gate, and the shortest route to Skiddaw continues on the other side of this gate. But you should instead turn left (west), and follow the path up to Lesser Man, marked by a cairn (an ugly pile of stones and rusty iron). From Lesser Man continue north-west, descending a little, before you climb up to Little Man, which is marked by a cairn (a pile of stones).
From Little Man continue north-west, into the saddle between Little Man and Skiddaw. A little after you have started the climb towards Skiddaw the direct path to Skiddaw joins from the right. Follow this path north-west and then north across a number of small bumps, and eventually to Skiddaw summit. At this summit you will find a concrete cairn, a stone shelter, and a cairn with a metal plate pointing towards mountains near and far.
Descend by heading back down to where the path forks towards Little Man. Follow the left branch, which will take you around Little Man and down to the gate where you turned left during your ascent. From here continue down your ascent route to trail head.
08. October 2010
This Friday was the first full day of our Lake District week-end, and a visit to one of the more prominent mountains was on the agenda. Since the clouds were hanging low in the mountains we soon decided to wait with Scafell Pike, and instead decided to visit Skiddaw. We also knew this would be a safe hike in terms of navigation since there would be a well defined path to follow.
We hit the road directly after breakfast, and by 09:35 we were ready to start our hike from north of Keswick. At this time the visibility was fair, and we could see the mountains above us, but by the time we got close to Lesser Man we were completely fogged in. We therefore proceeded past Lesser Man and Little Man without making any stops, and got to Skiddaw 75 minutes after setting out from the car park. The views from the summit were also close to zero, so after having taken a couple of summit photos and emptied a bottle of water we started the descent.
While descending into the saddle between Skiddaw and Little Man the fog lifted quite considerable, and we discussed the idea of heading back up to the summit, but agreed that the likelihood of the fog staying away was quite low. We now started to meet some other hikers, and we had small chats with some of them. And as we got closer to the car park we started to meet a lot of hikers, and the mountain side was getting quite busy.
Back at the car park there was some activity amongst a number of people, and we were told that a car that had arrived the car park had bumped into a parked car, and then immediately left the car park without leaving a message with the damaged car. Very lousy behaviour, and very stupid since on-lookers had taken the car registration number. We also ended up in a long talk we an older couple, who were showing us the "bible" of the fells, the seven volumes of the Wainwright books. Probably very informative books, but not up to the standard of 2010 guide books with graphics and colour photos.