Skiddaw House : A snow odyssey

skiddaw wild at skiddaw house

On Friday the 22nd of March, gale force winds started, combined with snowfalls, which were horizontal and relentless for 4 days over Skiddaw. The result was huge snowdrifts on the access track, making it impossible to drive in and out of SKIDDAW HOUSE hostel for 3 weeks. Yes, you read it correctly : THREE weeks without new supplies of fuel or heavy shopping.

Skiddaw in the snow

The hostel had been similarly snowed in from Christmas 2009 for 2 months, but there were no hostellers to see to then ! Martin just about managed to fetch some bags of coal from the Mirkholme Farm with the quad-bike, but the second time he very nearly did not make it back as he almost got stuck in a snowdrift and had to shovel the snow for a couple of hours. With the help of hostellers and local friends, Martin and Marie topped up with essentials.  Several hostellers cancelled their trip over Easter because of the bad state of the roads but if we were to dish out a medal, it would go to a group of 9 people from Norfolk, who braved the blocked A66 and the gale & snow on the 22nd of March to finally arrive after midnight. For some, it was their very first hiking experience.

skiddaw house in the snow
For the first time in many years, the incoming water pipe through the scullery wall froze. The only hosteller who stayed that night had to use buckets of water from the wardens’ taps and Martin and Bill Booth had fun the next day, digging the pipes outside and defrosting them with a blow-lamp !   Luckily, the hostel had stocked up in wood and gas cylinders back in October, and because the wind was so fierce, it prevented the snow from piling up on the solar panels, therefore we had no worry with the electricity supply, as there were quite a few sunny days.

Spring has arrived at Skiddaw House

Its a different picture now at Skiddaw House with clear blue skies and summer arriving on the mountains.  Why not come and visit us in the easy season? Take a look at the Lake District Map to see where we are.  This remote and isolated place is a peaceful 3½ mile walk from the nearest tarmac roads.

skiddaw bunks at skiddaw house
skiddaw bunks at skiddaw house
skiddaw kitchen at skiddaw house
skiddaw kitchen at skiddaw house

About 11hostelguide

Independent Hostels UK (IHUK) is a network of 350 hostels, bunkhouses, camping barns and bothies across England, Wales and Scotland. IHUK's handbook The Independent Hostel Guide is printed annually and this website give details of all the accommodation in the network and holiday ideas as weekly blogs. Follow our facebook, twitter, pintrerest, Google plus and YouTube to keep in touch.