Drawing 180: Skiddaw, from Derwentwater

Direction of view: N

Notes: Wainwright’s view indicator diagram seems to show the viewpoint as near to Friars Crag, but in fact it is the very southern tip of Calf Close Bay, most easily accessible from Great Wood car park. The sketch seems to show pine trees, but I have never seen these. This view does not appear in any of Wainwright’s other published works, but the photograph from which this sketch was drawn is in the County Archives at Kendal, reference WDAW/4/1/1/2/19.  In the photograph, there is a thin skin of ice on the lake, and one wonders whether that photograph was taken on the same day as that used for sketch 38.

Comments: I took this picture on slide film on 7th April 1991, a day when Peter Messenger and I had planned a traverse of the Central ridge; but my diary records that distracting photo opportunities combined with the violence of the wind led to the abandonment of our plans.  In the event, we also got drawings 90 and 155, and crossed the Central ridge from Ashness Bridge, via High Seat and Raven Crag.

I first took the picture for the digital project on 29th August 2015  – another day when Peter and I retreated from the fells due to strong winds!  When I found the location of the sketch, I also found that it was impossible to reach the exact viewpoint, due to the very high lake water level following much recent rain.

The opposite was the case on 29th June 2018, when I walked down from Keswick Lakeside car park, via drawings 248 and 38; there had been a lengthy drought, and lake levels were much lower.  A large tree stump lay beached on the gravel, so I decided to use this to illustrate the changed conditions.  Having got my picture, I settled down to enjoy my picnic lunch sitting on the stump; a lunch shared with a bold crow, which was scavenging along the waterline.