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Ullock Pike, Carlside Tarn, Skiddaw, Blake Hill, Hare Crag, Dash Beck, Barkbeth, Cumbria
[15.4 km]  Tue 29 Sep 2020

OS Grid ref: NY 23599 30988
Lat/Long: 54.668152, -03.186112

The weather forecast was good and today is supposed to be the best this week. There was a lot of patch mist on the motorway as I drove north but north of Lancaster it was clear. I've returned to the small parking area at High Side north of Keswick where I parked last week. This time I was the only car there. I headed off through dewy grass under a clear sky towards Southerdale.

 Across Bassenthwaite from Ullock Pike.
There was still a blanket of mist hanging over Lake Bassenthwaie as I gained altitude. I took the diagonal path on the east side of Ling How to start the southern way up to Ullock Pike. When planning the walk I wasn;t sure which way to do it but considering the steep and scrambly climb up to Ullock Pike I correctly decided this way was best as to descend it would be difficult in places. I was treated to some nice views across Bassenthwaite and over the Solway Firth into Scotland.

 On the climb of Ullock Pike.
On Ullock Pike I was walking in the sunshine which was pleasantly warm. I stopped for an early lunch to enjoy the warmth but after a while a large slow moving cloud obscured the sun making it rather chilly. The dark hump of Skiddaw was across the deep valley of Southerdale and I could see people walking along the summit ridge. I continued to what the map calls ‘Carlside Tarn’ though it's little more than a muddy patch.
Along Ullock Pike.

 On Ullock Pike with Skiddaw in the background.
I wonder how many campers have planned to stay here and changed their minds? I headed up the steep diagonal path up the west side of Skiddaw and once again was glad I was climbing up and not descending. It was steep and shaley and still in shade so had dew on the ground. As soon as I reached the sunshine of the Skiddaw approach ridge I also met lots of people heading both ways. Getting decent photos on the summit was difficult because of the people.
Looking back to Ullock Pike.

 Skiddaw summit 931m (3,054ft).

Summit information plate.

The same view last week.

 Looking south.
The following information is f
I continued noth and the steady descent above Gibraltar Crag. My route was to descend via Blake Hill which I’ve not been on before and wasn't sure what the path would be like. I could see it below and it turned out to be fine. It was a bit stony at first but I was soon on grass and on to a fence and stile.
Blencathra from Blake Hill.

 Hare Crag cairn.
I had great views across to Blencathra and also my route down to Hare Crag. It was a steady descent on the grass but the flat section before Hare Crag was extremely boggy and I had to make a wide detour to get through. Hare Crag was covered in deep heather and no cairn on the high point. A little further on I reached a substantial cairn with good views down to the stone sheep pen. There were also some stone shooting butts around. I managed to cross Dead Beck OK but the next stretch up to the Skiddaw House road was extremely boggy. At the track I turned left and walked to the descent to whitewater Dash and on down the improving track to the road at Tenter Hill. I turned left through the gate and followed the road to the right bend. Here I turned left to follow the farm-track through the fields to a low valley though the woods and a ford across Mill Beck. Fortunately it was very shallow. The track continued to another ford at Southerdale Beck but fortunately there was a wooden footbridge as well. I followed the path which took a circular route around the Barkbeth Farm buildings. There is also a path going through them but I thought it better to keep away. A nice green path took me across the fields and back to my car. The lay-by was now full.

 Herculese transport plane.
it's been a long time since I’d seen any RAF jets out training. Before long I heard the unmistakable sound of approaching turboprop engines. The next thing I saw was this huge transport plane flying low overhead. I was disappointed that it wasn't the RAF but the USAF and what looked like a C-130 Hercules transport plane.
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