Between Christmas and the new year we were lucky enough to get a few days away to ourselves. We booked into the Keswick Reach Lodge Retreat which is 10 miles north of Keswick itself. It’s a great base for exploring the North-West Fells and we loved been able to come home to a cosy, warm lodge where we could cook dinner together. We didn’t have the greatest weather towards the end of our stay but managed to pack in two hikes and a couple of visits to Keswick and Ambleside so we weren’t too disheartened.
On our first day we woke up to beautiful blue skies and crisp winter air. We hadn’t yet climbed Skiddaw and thought today was our best day weather-wise to do just this. We like finding routes online as a base for our walks and we found this route over on Walk Lakes which seemed a good starting point.
Briefly, we started our hike at the Old Sawmill Tearoom and followed the marked route up to Sandbeds Gill. The trail cuts through a plantation which feels rather eerie. At Ravenstone Lodge we left the trail to join Longside Edge, a ridge that we followed all the way over Ullock Pike, Long Side and Carl Side.
We were pretty hungry by the time we reached Carl Side and with beautiful views down Southerndale, we decided to test out our Pocket Rocket 2 and Toaks Titanium 750 mL pot combo. I’d welcome anything warm to be honest when we’re on snowy hikes and instant noodles have never tasted better!
From Carl Side Tarn, we headed North-East towards Skiddaw. In typical mountain fashion, clouds descended on us just at we summited Skiddaw so we didn’t have much of a view and only spent a few seconds bracing the icy winds on the summit before returning to Carl Side for our descent down towards White Stones and then along Skill Beck to return to the car. We had the option to turn off the track that runs along Skill Beck, to climb Dodd, but by this point we were feeling less Adventure Weekenders and more Lazy Weekenders so we just enjoyed the gentle walk back to the car by the beck.
Keep your eyes peeled for part two of our Christmas Lakes trip where we climbed a very very slippy (and rainy) Cat Bells.
Until next time,