Thursday, 1 January 2009

Skiddaw, The Lake District, UK

Submitted By: Methuselah
Location: The Lake District, UK (map)
Workouts: from workout diarySkiddaw is located two valleys away from Buttermere, where Mrs M and I regularly go on holiday and which is a veritable activity centre for caveman workouts.

Skiddaw is an interesting hike or run because there is quite a variety of incline and terrain. It's also not for the faint hearted, with over 800m of ascent if you start at the nearest town, Keswick, which nestles between the the mountain beast and the nearby Lake, Derwent water. There is an alternative ascent from 300m thanks to a car park at that altitude. No doubt there are other ascents, but these are the only ones I am familiar with.

The Race

There is an annual fell race which starts at Fitz park in Keswick. Runners ascend the mountain and then come back the way they came. This is Skiddaw the hard way.

Here is a photo of the upper section of the route taken from the air when we flew to the Ben Nevis race:

...and here is the same photo with the route overlaid:

If you are inclined towards mountain running, it's a great challenge because it's possible to run the whole way. However, in doing so you find yourself at the very cusp of counter-productiveness. I have run the whole thing myself and yet achieved worse times than when I power-walked some steeper sections in previous years; but I was more satisfied!

Otherwise, I suggest just hiking it. Spectacular views. Look in the workout posts for some photos.