Winter Weekend in the Wilds of Skiddaw Forest (38110)
Situated at 1550ft on the flanks of Skiddaw and 3.5 miles from the nearest road, this traditional, independant hostel offers both a real escape from it all, with the friendly atmosphere of an alpine hut. Surrounded by mountains and accessible only on foot or by mountain bike, Skiddaw House is perfect for those who love wild and remote places.
There are wood/coal stoves in the lounge and common room. There is no heating in the bedrooms, but extra blankets and hot water bottles are available. During cold winter- weather you should consider bringing sleeping bags.
What to bring
You will be carrying all your gear the full 3.5 miles in, so think about weight, but remember that this winter in a proper mountain environment. You will need good waterproofs, good boots, warm clothes, and spare hats, gloves and socks to take out on the hill.
Bedding is provided by the hostel, but towels are not.
A small flask for hot drinks while on the hill can be a real life-saver if the weather is poor.
Head torch is essential!
Food & Drink
As usual, please bring a buffet item for the Friday night. Breakfasts, brews, and Saturday dinner will be provided. You will need snacks and drinks for cold days out on the hill!
If you're bringing alcohol, think about the weight of your bottles, in case you end up carrying your bags all the way there. The Hostel know this, and sell a good range of wine and beers.
Meeting & Times
We will aim to meet at the Horse and Farrier Inn in Threlkeld Village, where we will share out the food, then move cars to a public car park close to Blencathra Field Centre. However, if you are making a longer trip of it, or can't make the rendezvous, know that there are four possible approaches to Skiddaw House, all of them require walking or cycling in:
From Latrigg Car Park: (OS Grid Ref : NY280253). Go through the gate then follow the bridleway left towards Skiddaw. Bear right after the third gate onto a bridleway which contours round the south-east flank of Lonscale Fell. Follow the track for approximately 3.5 miles to Skiddaw House.
From Threlkeld: Park in the Fell car park at the end of Blease Road (OS Grid Ref: NY302256). Follow the track up the east side of the Glenderaterra Valley. After 1.5 miles, the bridleway crosses the valley to the west side and then joins the bridleway from Latrigg car park (turn right). Total distance 3 miles.
From the East: From the hamlet of Mosedale, follow the road signposted Swinside, continue past Roundhouse and park at the end of the tarmac road (OS Grid Ref: NY327326). Follow the bridleway up the Caldew Valley. Skiddaw House can be seen from about halfway. Total distance is 3.5 miles.
From the North West: Park in the parking area opposite Peter House Farm (OS Grid Ref: NY249323). Follow the track heading south-east towards Whitewater Dash WaterFall. Follow this bridleway,for approximately 3.5 miles, all the way to Skiddaw House.
It's easy to get to Cumbria by train. Check this site for info about buses between towns: http://www.cumbria.gov.uk/roads-transport/public-transport-road-safety/t...
Please have a look at the "who's going" tab, to see who might be going from your area that may be able to offer a lift, or who may want to share your car. If you think transport still might be a challenge, do contact the event organiser, who may well be able to help you make arrangements.
What will we be doing?
We can decide when we arrive what we all would like to do, but here are afew ideas to get you going...
The Skiddaw Circuit
From Skiddaw House, ascend Lonscale Fell via 'Burnt Horse', then head west over Little Man to the summit of Skiddaw. Descend via Sale How, the grassy slope which leads directly to Skiddaw House. For a slightly longer (and steeper) alternative, descend via Bakestall, which gives dramatic views over Dead Crags.
The Blencathra Ridge Route
Follow the Cumbria Way footpath north east from Skiddaw House, which heads through the wild Caldew valley. Cross the river at Roundhouse and head up to Bowscale Tarn, situated in a classic glacial corrie. From here ascend Bowscale Fell, then stay up high all the way to Blencathra summit. The quickest route down is via the cloven stone. However, if you still have energy and daylight, it is worth continuing along the ridge to Blease Fell, then descending to the Blencathra Centre and returning to the hostel via the track on the east side of the Glenderaterra valley.
Explore the Northern Fells
Head north west along the track leading to Whitewater Dash. Ascend Great Calva via the small path which leaves the track shortly after the footbridge over the River Caldew. Take in the summit of Knott and the dramatic gorge of Roughton Gill en route to High Pike. Return via the Cumbria Way (shelter at Lingy Hut if needed), descending at Grainsgill Beck and heading back along the Caldew Valley.
For Wainwright Baggers, all of the fells listed in Alfred Wainwright's Book Five, 'A Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells: The Northern Fells', are within easy walking distance of Skiddaw House.
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