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Monday, 26 October 2009

Wild Boar Fell Swarth Fell and Baugh Fell

wild boar fell scarp and hound

This is the first of the Yorkshire Dales Hills walks. A walk very similar to this one appeared in October’s TGO magazine written by Ian Battersby. But I didn’t copy it, I made this up myself….

cautley crag from ravenstonedale common Cautley Crag from Ravenstonedale Common

Anyway, we parked up at Rawthey Bridge and wandered on to Ravenstonedale Common. After the shock of suddenly discovering that I knew where I was, I decided, as there wasn’t much else to amuse myself with, apart from plodding uphill over the soaking mosses, to have a bit of navigation practise. So off I went on short legs and then one really long one designed to bring walker and his trusting dog to Sand Tarn. The surprise was that it worked, despite my assumption that I’d missed it.

Sand Tarn is pretty much hidden from below and lies on a little shelf just below the trig point. Its a grand spot – it would make a good wild camping spot.

sand tarn 1

Bruno had a paddle, I stuck me feet in and they turned a funny blue colour and started hurting, so I pulled them out again smartish.

sand tarn on its shelf

Sand tarn on its shelf

And so we reached the summit and had a little wander around the edges before stopping by a collection of cairns for an early lunch. The views from Wild Boar Fell today stretched from somewhere North of Gretna to the middle bits of Airedale – and Morecambe bay and much of the Lake District hills.

wbf cairns

wild boar fell’s cairn collection

After an egg butty and various other delights, we squelched off to Swarth Fell and Swarth Fell Pike – an easy but sloppy traverse. Even sloppier than this, were the moors to the South which lead down to Rawthey Gill Foot – an ideal place to have another lunch…..

The River Rawthey is a noisy little stream just here and it could have been due to this that it struck me just how quiet the hills were today. There were times of utter silence – just the tinnitus….. and then the RAF hurtled over and over at Warcop ranges, somebody blew something up…. and a sheep bleated and a slug farted and my left boot squeaked….. But apart from that, it was fairly quiet….

We handrailed Swere Gill and Brocken Gill which brought us up onto the big top of Baugh Fell – quite close to its summit – Tarn Rigg Hill. I expect they call it Tarn Rigg Hill due to the fact that its a ridge with a lot of tarns on it… dhuhhh….. Baugh Fell, of course is Very Old English for Dirty, Squishy Flat place. And it is very sloppy in parts – it even scared the dog at one point and he’s in his own little world most of the time (he thinks he’s out hunting wildebeest..)

knoutberry haw to howgills Knoutberry Haw with a view of the Howgills

But there are good views, and we splattered across tot he West top – Knoutberry Haw and then, as time was pressing and it was starting to get a little dark – over the big, empty shoulder to drop down to the Rawthey again just a little to the Right of Uldale House.

We followed a bridleway back as the daylight petered out. I snapped one pic of the autumn trees before the lights turned off. We abandoned the bridleway and followed an ancient track signifed by a little cut on the hillside and a strip of soft rush

rawthey gill

This walk was 15 miles and just over 3000 feet of ascent, and a lot of ruches and sphagnum. Its a good start, though, I think.

wild boar fell to baugh fell


Phreerunner said...

Very good, Mike. Nice to see you so active. Will try to make it on 15/11.

mike knipe said...

I do me best to keep going (koff)
You'll be very welcome on the 15th, as ever. (The Calf! Again!)
I notice I didn't put any starting times on the walks. Half nine seems reasonable....