45 at 45 Wainwright’s Challenge

Starting A New Challenge 45 New Wainwrights Aged 45

A second trip to Lakeland in three days and a new challenge. 45 new Wainwright’s while I’m 45. As it is my birthday no time like the present to get started. I’ve got about 150 left to climb so plenty to choose from. I’ve got a bit of a history of age challenges 43 peaks at 43 (Bob Graham round plus one) and 44k on the road for 44 last year in lockdown. Both of these challenges were less than 24 hours so I’ve chosen one which will take longer to complete this year.

I can pick up six new ones today and two more familiar peaks in Little Man and Skiddaw. After parking at the bottom of Spooney Green Lane in Keswick I join the Cumbria Way and start climbing. I’ve got my sun cream on again as it is another beautiful day.

Looking West from the Cumbria Way

Longscale Fell

The first of my 45 at 45 is Longscale Fell. Similar to most of the peaks today I’ve passed it many times but never climbed it. At the bottom there are several paths to choose from and I choose a direct route straight up. I could have taken a well used path out and back from Jenkin Hill but I’m feeling adventurous. On the first little plateau I realise this has been a mistake as the path runs out and I’m engulfed in heather.

Heather bashing on Longscale Fell

An eternity of heather bashing on pathless moor later I’m on a grassy runable top and hoping my day is going to get better. My hopes are immediately dashed when I’m then called a Geordie by an older gentleman from South East England with two sticks. He is getting his photo taken at the summit cairn. I don’t get into the conversation about regional identity and head towards Skiddaw.

Blencathra from Longscale Fell

Skiddaw Little Man

Skiddaw Little Man

My favourite way up Skiddaw is via the Little Man. It always seems much colder on the main path which circumnavigates the hill. I enjoy the great views from Little Man and would love to be able to work the 360 camera on my phone. The Little Man is the 15th highest peak in the Lake District at 865m/2,837ft and is only a kilometre away from Skiddaw. I’m overtaken on the way up by a much faster runner who looks as if he’s jogging on a road while I’m a sweaty mess. He disappears towards Skiddaw only to reappear a few minutes later on his way back down. Now I know how struggling walkers feel as I run past.

Keswick from Skiddaw Little Man


Climbing Skiddaw is my first memory of being on the Lake District fells. Warm at the bottom freezing by the top in the middle of the 1982 Summer Holidays. Today is slightly different it is only chilly. I push on to the summit and take a sneak peak down the steep path to Carl Side I’ll be running down later. There are several big groups of walkers near the trig enjoying the afternoon. I’m trying to work out if I think they are breaking the law as I head north towards Bakestall.

A clear day on Skiddaw


Bakestall is another of the new tops for my 45 at 45. It is only a mile away from Skiddaw along a path in a North Easterly direction a few hundred metres after the summit. The path is well trodden and leads straight to the pile of rocks indicating the top.


This doesn’t stop me going out of my way trying to take a good photograph and descending too much. The photograph is poor quality and I need not have bothered. I’m tempted to continue on and climb Great Cockup but my mistakes on Longscale and Baskestall make me think better of it. I turn and head back towards Skiddaw climbing the 250 metres I’ve just descended.

Looking down onto Bakestall

Carl Side, Longside Edge and Ullock Pike

West of Skiddaw are Carl Side, Longside Edge and Ullock Pike. All three are about 700 metres high and are accessible via a series of steep dusty trails from the Skiddaw summit plateau to the edge of Carl Side. They are three more tops on my 45 at 45 journey.

Dusty path from Skiddaw summit

Longside and Ullock are located on a ridge line with a perfect path at the top. It is impossible to get lost as there is only one path. There are good view to the west from these two tops but the cliffs at the back of Skiddaw aren’t exciting. Unlike Bakestall or Longscale Fell it is somewhere I’d like to visit again from a different route. The path from Bassenthwaite looks interesting.

Longside Edge and Ullock Pike from the bottom of the Skiddaw summit path

Completing the out and back to Ullock Pike I return to Carl Side. It is pretty similar to Bakesale and little man as a distinct top but still part of the Skiddaw massive. There’s nothing we haven’t seen already today and I keep of moving to something I’m hoping will be more interesting. Our last Wainwright of the day a tree lined Dodd.

A tree covered Dodd from Carl Side


Eleven miles into the run I’m approaching something different. Dodd is low enough to have some tree cover at only 502 m or 1,647 ft. I haven’t seen any trees since the Skiddaw Forest near Latrigg. It seems a long way down from Carl Side on tired legs. The paths are narrow and a few startled tourists try to find a safe place to stand as I screech to a halt just in front of them.

Logging trail on Dodd

Of the climbs today Dodd is an anomaly, divorced from Skiddaw. The gentle climb is via the logging paths and there is a marker at the top of a small summit. The climbing is over and it is time to head back to Keswick. After retracing my steps I head down towards the road and Millbeck.

Monument on top of Dodd

Over the last couple of years there has been extensive felling in the wood between Dodd and Millbeck. Logs have been left lying around and the footpath shown on the map has branches lying on it. I hit the road and head towards Keswick.

Logging activity in Thornthwaite Forest

Running The Road

Even on the back roads views pop up now and again that make you happy. A couple of miles on flattish country roads to finish the run. I pass through Applethwaite and avoid the turn for Latrigg. After cutting across a field I’m back on Spooney Green Lane and heading back to the car. A successful day to start my 45 at 45. 6 Wainwrights down 39 to go.

A great view from the front window of this house

We hope you enjoyed reading about our “45 at 45 Wainwright’s Challenge”. Do you enjoy setting challenges? Do you have any ideas for peak bagging runs in the Far Eastern or North western fells? Let us know in the comments below.

Read some of of other blog posts for more hilly adventures on dreamingofthefells.uk

Old Crown Round Recce

Running in Newlands Valley after the second Covid-19 lockdown

Exploring the Northern Fells

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