Skiddaw Little Man
|Skiddaw Little Man|
Skiddaw (L) and Little Man (R) tower above Keswick
|Range:||Lake District Northern Fells|
|Summit:|| 2,837 feet NY266277 |
The lie of the land
Little Man is often overlooked and disregarded as an independent and distinct fell due to its name which makes it sound like a minor top of its parent fell Skiddaw which in fact lies a mile to the northwest. With a topographical prominence of 200 feet, Little Man qualifies comfortably on the 'Hewitts' and 'Nuttalls' lists and is regarded as a separate fell by renowned mountain writers Alfred Wainwright and Bill Birkett. The fell is actually called 'Little Man' on Ordnance Survey maps and by many guide books.
To the north and east Little Man is connected to the Skiddaw massif, Lonscale Fell being the nearest separate fell to the east, a mile and a half away. To the south and the west the fell falls away steeply with fast flowing streams draining the fell into the River Derwent. Five hundred yards to the southeast of the main summit lies a lower top called Lesser Man (2,674 feet), this is adorned with an unusual cairn consisting of rocks and old fence posts. A further 500 yards to the southeast of Lesser Man, on the other side of the bridleway from Keswick to Skiddaw, stands Jenkin Hill (2,411 feet), this flat-topped height being regarded as an outlier of Little Man.
Geologically, Little Man consists of Skiddaw slate and the summit of the fell is made up of grassy patches within large areas of slate.
Little Man has one big advantage over Skiddaw in that its convex southern slopes make it a far better viewpoint than its higher neighbour. In fact the panorama from Little Man is regarded as one of the best in the national park taking in the valleys and lakes of northern Lakeland as well as all of the best-known fells of the district.
Many people climb Little Man by way of the tourist path from Keswick on the way to the summit of Skiddaw. However, there are several better and more interesting but steep ascents from the hamlets of Millbeck and Applethwaite to the south of the fell. One of the routes from Millbeck is a scrambler's route up the steep southwest arête.