Some paths fall into disuse, and new ones appear. This route follows Wainwright’s route from Ravenstone over Ullock Pike and Long side, a grand ridge indeed, and uses an old but still definite path on the descent instead of a new, eroded, and well used one. Take a while just before Ullock Pike to look to the north-east and try to pick out the path to be taken on the way down across the heathery steep western flank of the mountain. After the Carlside Col, climb to the summit via the left of the two routes, slightly less steep and apparently not there in W’s day. Continue down to the next col north, then upto the grassy summit and veer left, to find a definite path down to White Horse, which is roughly between the grassy and stony hillside. As it reaches a flat heathery area on the ridge, take a thin but definite path leading left, south, across the steep western flank of the mountain, and gently down to Barkbeth Gill. This path is on the OS 1:25,000 map. Across the Gill a grassy track “Sledgate”, leads down the valley. Three hundred metres down the track branch left and aim for the obvious col on another good path, then follow the ridge, Great to Little Knotts, same path, initially up a bit then down to the bridge over Southerndale Beck, then traditionally up the short steep pull to Watches, with its jumbled volcanic rocks, not the slates of Skiddaw. Left on this ridge joins your path from the morning to retrace it back home.
The heathery traverse, sledgate and ridge is much superior to carrying on down the eroded steep path of White horse, both underfoot and as it enables scenic appreciation rather than looking out for the next big step down. Sunny Sunday in June, and busy Tuesday in August: neither day was anyone seen after the summit. 6.4 miles, 3460 ft ascent.
Since updating this in summer 2018, we noted a “Trail” article of July 2017 advertising “Skiddaw’s hidden ridge”, which speaks of the ridge mentioned above, but doesn’t mention the steep scree to get down to it, and carelessly illustrates the route as descending the Ullock Pike ridge. Our route is better.