Ascent of Skiddaw on 2018-03-31

Climber: William Musser

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Saturday, March 31, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Elevation:3054 ft / 930 m

Ascent Trip Report

Thought this would be easy and from a hiking and route finding perspective this is an easy 2000 foot prom peak but the weather made this a tough day. Despite many stops to orient myself in the white out on my phone GPS I still managed to get up and down this nearly 8 mile route in under 3 hours. But I was passing people all day. I would guess I passed 40 people going up and 100 going down later in the day. Interestingly I saw nobody summit. People continued to turn back all day because of the wind and snow. The winds were 20 mph down low and the snow very light but as you got on the exposed ridges it rushed up to 40 mph quickly. Both the ridge to little Skiddaw and the final ridge to the top of Skiddaw had 50 mph winds. Not strong enough to sit me down but enough where I had to stop several times and stand still because i could not balance with the gusts (perhaps 55 mph). The mud, snow, ice, and wind was intense without the aid of poles and microspikes I would have had to turn back. My face received some minor wind burn on the right side. Tomorrow, when I climb i will have to bring something to protect my face. There were some views near the saddle of the TH for perhaps the first 500 feet of climbing but from above that elevations it became low clouds. In some places the visibility deteriorated to only 50 to 60 feet. There area many gates along the way (i believe 5 in all). The summit ridge is desolate rock with many large cairn piles which were helpful to keep on trail in the blinding wind/snow. The trail up this peak is well used and wide as a road. it would be hard to get lost on this route at any time.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2225 ft / 677 m
    Total Elevation Loss:90 ft / 26 m
    Round-Trip Distance:7.6 mi / 12.2 km
    Quality:3 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Snow on Ground
    Gear Used:
Crampons, Ski Poles
    Weather:Snowing, Cold, Very Windy, Low Clouds
40F bottom freezing at top winds up to 50 mph or more
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2180 ft / 664 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 2135 ft / 650 m; Extra: 45 ft / 13m
    Loss on way in:45 ft / 13 m
    Distance:3.8 mi / 6.1 km
    Route:Maine Trail
    Start Trailhead:Upper Skiddaw parking  919 ft / 280 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:45 ft / 13 m
    Gain on way out:45 ft / 13 m
    Distance:3.8 mi / 6.1 km
Ascent Part of Trip: England-1

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Latrigg2018-03-30281 ft / 86 m
2Skiddaw2018-03-31 a2225 ft / 678 m
3Skiddaw - Little Man2018-03-31 b410 ft / 125 m
4Cat Bells2018-03-31 d1365 ft / 416 m
5Scafell Pike2018-04-01 a2963 ft / 903 m
6Lingmell2018-04-01 b327 ft / 100 m
8Whitbarrow2018-04-02585 ft / 178 m
Total Trip Gain: 8156 ft / 2486 m    Total Trip Loss: 455 ft / 138 m

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