The drive from Dunmail Raise to Keswick was quick, and once there I had no
difficulty with directions, having stayed here with Marianne the previous week.
In fact the hotel we stayed at, Underscar Manor, backs right onto the cul-de-sac
lane up to the popular parking area and start point for Skiddaw, so I was able
to drive straight there without even Jimmy's help with directions.
We set off, and all too soon hit the long steep ascent up the stony track. I
began to question my sanity - was I really going to climb all the way up here at
teatime?; was it really the non-time-consuming walk I recalled it to be? Jimmy
quickly reduced to a dot on the horizon as he opened up a considerable lead over
his old dad. Add one tablet of chocolate covered Kendal Mint Cake. Ten minutes
later, I looked back and saw that I had just climbed another few hundred feet
without even feeling it. Good stuff this Kendal Mint Cake, I thought.
We were now rewarded with a long horizontal section, bypassing Skiddaw Little Man, before the final approach onto Skiddaw's long summit ridge. We walked the kilometre or so along to the trig point for photos, before returning to the south end of the ridge and the junction with the Allerdale Ramble path. We thought we would have better 2m FM take-off from this end. We sat ourselves down just below a small cairn for a bit of shelter, finished the soup and fired up on 2m FM. 9 contacts were made, included 3-out-of-3 for the day with both G4BLH and GW0DSP. A couple of other stations were heard calling, and I tried walking around a bit to make the contact, but I couldn't make myself heard. Thanks to the following who were worked on 2m FM with 5 watts:
As we left the summit, we chatted briefly to a couple before they veered off
to take in Skiddaw Little Man. We continued with the main descent, although they
did catch us back up later. We walked with them for the last third of the
descent, and they were fascinated with the Marilyns list. It turned out that
Underscar Manor, visible beneath us, was also their favourite hotel. We said
goodbye at the car park as they made a note of my website URL.