Skiddaw via Long Side

It’s been two years since I ventured up Skiddaw. Although the WX forecast wasn’t great I wanted to get the SOTA points, and tick off the related WOTAs for the year.

The route covers the Wainwrights Ullock Pike, Long Side, Carl Side and Skiddaw itself. Wainwright himself recommends this route for the ascent of Skiddaw. I would agree, although being a ridgeline walk probably not the best approach with high winds.


As you traverse the A591 there are a number of potential parking spots. I chose a pull in at Rabbit Warren which can take about 10 cars, and free!

©Crown copyright 2021 Ordnance Survey. Media 018/21
Parking Position


I made the mistake of taking the low footpath to the Ravenstone Manor. The path up from that position (although labelled as a Bridleway) is very steep and muddy with low overhanging branches, not how you want to start such a long ascent. Better to start in the opposite direction (South) from the car park into Rabbit Warren and after about 50m you can turn to the North East for a much more pleasant ascent through the woods to the foothills.

Taking a better route

Initial Ascent from Rabbit Warren

Ascent GPS Track

The ascent takes you through some fantastic woodland - it would be worth a trip to walk through the woods on its’ own.

Amazing Woods

The path to the rideline of Longside Edge is good, and before you know it you are looking back down on Bassenthwaite and across to Skiddaw.


Obligatory Lake District Sheep Photo

Conditions under foot were good although visibility was poor. You have to remind yourself that when you arrive at Ullock Pike you are already at 680m, because it feels like it!

It is then a very easy 10 minute walk to the next Wainwright, Long Side.

Walking in the Mist

Brief views down the Bassenthwaite

Cain stones on Long Side

The plan was to the ascend via Carl Side but in the mist I took the left hand track and ascended Skiddaw via the northern route, rather than Allerdale Ramble. I preferred this route to the ramble, especially when I realised that it reached the summit, and not half way up Allerdale Ramble which is how I read the map!


WOTA ID: LDW-004 Height: 931 m (3054 ft)
SOTA ID: G/LD-004 Grid ref: NY260290
HuMP ID: n/a QTH Locator: IO84KP
Book: The Northern Fells Lat: 54.650551 Long: -3.147009

Skiddaw Map

Skiddaw Summit

Summit Selfie, not the best expression!

Thankfully although misty it didn’t affect the activation.

VHF Contacts

I used the FT1XD with the Spectrum Communications 49cm Whip to do the VHF activation, as I had once again misplaced my Slim J. A nice set of contacts on VHF!

11:22 G1OHH 145.575 FM 59 59
11:24 G4WHA/M 145.575 FM 59 59 Centre of Carlisle
11:25 G1FVA 145.575 FM 59 59
11:26 G7CDA 145.575 FM 53 56
11:27 2E0XUP 145.575 FM 59 59
11:27 M1DYU 145.575 FM 53 53
11:28 G1OAE 145.575 FM 59 59
11:30 2E0LDF 145.575 FM 59 59
11:32 M7KOM 145.575 FM 59 59 Dearham
11:33 G0TDM 145.575 FM 59 59
11:34 G8CPZ 145.575 FM 52 54
11:34 M7BUY 145.575 FM 59 59 Kevin Workington

VHF Contacts

For HF I had the FT-817, with Palm Pico Paddles, SOTABeams Band Hopper IV and 6m travel mast, to support the antenna Inverted V at about 5m. I setup on the easterly edge of the summit ridgeline, and as I was operating from time to time had views over to Mungrisdale Common.

Views to the East

Repairing a path

HF SSB Contacts

It was nice to get some SOTA summit to summit contacts. Band conditions have not been anywhere near as good as we had for the past two weeks, and especially on 20m the QSB was deep at times.

11:52 S59WT/P 14.275 SSB 55 55 S5/KS-061
11:54 F4WBN 14.305 SSB 59 59
11:55 G4IPB 14.305 SSB 55 56
11:55 HB9DDZ 14.305 SSB 55 59
11:56 SQ9MDF 14.305 SSB 56 59
11:57 G8CPZ 14.305 SSB 44 44
11:57 OE6GND 14.305 SSB 59 59
11:58 OK2PDT 14.305 SSB 57 58
11:58 SM5LNE 14.305 SSB 57 58
11:59 EA4BQG 14.305 SSB 57 56
12:00 M0MZB/P 14.305 SSB 59 59 G/LD-025
12:01 SP9AMH 14.305 SSB 56 44
12:02 OK2JIQ 14.305 SSB 55 51
12:07 F4HZR 7.158 SSB 56 58
12:08 EA2CKX 7.158 SSB 53 58
12:08 EA2DT 7.158 SSB 51 51
12:09 GI4OSF/P 7.158 SSB 55 55 GI/SM-009
12:09 M0BKV 7.158 SSB 55 57
12:10 DL3HXX 7.158 SSB 44 55
12:10 G4WSB 7.158 SSB 55 55
12:11 2E0WGA 7.158 SSB 51 57 Anthony
12:15 GB250CC 3.716 SSB 55 55
12:16 M0BKV 3.716 SSB 55 55
12:17 EI3GYB 3.716 SSB 52 58
12:17 G8CPZ 3.716 SSB 58 55
12:18 M6BLV 3.716 SSB 53 53

HF SSB Contacts

SSB S2S with Igor S59WT/P on S5/KS-061

Great to get Matthew M0MZB/P in the log S2S from Seatallan G/LD-025. He’d been out camping. I’d recommended the combination of FT-817/8 and a Chinese 50w amplifier and he sounded great on that combination with nice punchy audio via our 20m groundwave contact.

S2S with Matthew M0MZB/P on Seatallan G/LD-025

HF CW Contacts

I braved a Morse activation, and after 25 minutes was thoroughly exhausted! The summit to summit contacts were especially tricky, because there is more information in there and the signals tend to be weaker. I was pleasantly surprised however when checking my log that all but one of the callsigns had been copied correctly. Still struggling to differentiate between U and V, and S and H. Lots of dits, but how many!

12:26 HB9AGH 14.058 CW 549 559
12:28 DL1FU 14.058 CW 569 559
12:31 EA7GV 14.058 CW 529 599
12:32 DL2HWI 14.058 CW 579 599
12:33 UT8UU 14.058 CW 559 559
12:35 HB9AFI/P 14.058 CW 559 519 HB/VS-118
12:38 DL6WT 14.058 CW 599 599
12:40 OH3GZ 14.058 CW 559 519
12:42 HB9CLT/P 14.058 CW 569 559 HB/AR-004
12:44 HB9AFI/P 14.058 CW 569 559 HB/VS-118
12:47 G8CPZ 14.058 CW 539 559
12:50 DJ5AV 14.058 CW 549 599
12:51 HB9CBR/P 14.058 CW 449 519 HB/BE-172

Good to get Andy @G8CPZ in the log - another nice 20m groundwave contact.

HF CW Contacts

Furthest contact of the day at 2,311km with Sergey UT8UU

S2S with Kurt HB9AFI/P on HB/VS-118, Pointe des Mossettes at 2,277m, must have been a nice view!

Descent of Skiddaw

I somehow missed the start of Allerdale Ramble which I though would be more direct to Carl Side than the route I ascended by, but at the bottom it was clear they both converged. The Ramble never gets any easier, thankfully it was dry but the loose scree always provokes some Laurel and Hardy comedy.

Views of Long Side on the descent via Allerdale Ramble

Carl Side Tarn

Arty Cairn Stone pile on Carl Side

Main path to Millbeck

Mountain Bikers on Carl Side

Heading back to Long Side

The return journey was uneventful apart from the rain starting and making stones underfoot slippery. There was sporadic cursing but I managed to stay mostly upright. My trousers were a bit of a state at the bottom however!

Dodd from Carl Side

Dodd summit from Carl Side

Skiddaw now back in the clouds

One of two obvious TV Masts to the North East


Noisy Raven!

Dropping off Ullock Pike

Descent GPS Track

©Crown copyright 2021 Ordnance Survey. Media 018/21
Descent via a path through the Rabbit Warren

Thanks to all the chasers, the legs were suitably stiff this morning - taking a day off now!

All photos including panoramas


Thanks for the complete Mark! Paul

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Well done Mark! That looked like a productive day out.

I’ve not braved the hills in shorts yet this year. It’s either been sunburn weather or hypothermia weather…

Thanks for the fascinating and comprehensive report.

But your noisy rook looks more like a noisy raven from the shape of the bill. :slight_smile:

Noted John. I’m hopeless identifying birds, if it doesn’t have a red-breast I’m pretty much lost!
The Ravens I saw on the jolly were very impressive however, a good size and very comfortable with the environment. I’ve heard they are very intelligent too. The call was echoing in the valley between Long Side and Southerndale. I hadn’t even noticed that the slope is called ‘Raven Crag’ :wink: Would appear they are maybe not a new addition to the area.


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