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Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Finishing Wainwright’s Outlying Fells Part 1 – Staveley

bruno bags hugill fell

As many people will attest, I’m a bit of a sad act when it comes to bagging hills. In 2013, my main bagging objectives are to finish visiting the tops listed in Wainwright’s Outlying Fells book and and try to complete the Hewitts.

And so, with a duff back, which many people keep telling me is sciatica , but I prefer the more Northern , working class condition known as “lumbago” – I turned up in Kendal yesterday morning to collect the bro for a brief foray into the hills just a bit North of Staveley for the bagging of three of these tops, and another one that Alf (Where exactly is my pipe?) Wainwright seemed to have overlooked.

reston scar view of ings

We started on the old road out of Staveley and immediately headed uphill through densely packed contours to the little cairn on the top of Reston Scar – a hill with a fine view of the road accidents and other near-misses on the A591 at Ings, just below. The day was sparklingly sunny and warm and, in fact, ideal for this type of thing. And this route provides some unusual views of the Kentmere valley and the Coniston and Wasdale hills to the West.

It seemed that there was a perfectly good path leading from Reston to the next top – Hugill Fell, just over there a bit. Hugill Fell has several tops, all of which we visited, just in case. The last one, which may also be called “Black Crag” is the best, a narrow little ridge with a well defined top, just like a proper hill has.

hay meadow

We descended to Scroggs Bridge and climbed up to Hall Lane via Low Elfhowe. The meadows around here are remarkable at this very moment. If you want a look, you’d best be quick before they’re all cut for hay.

cotton sedge nr millrigg knott

We followed Hall lane uphill for a bit and by various shenanigans, achieved the top of Millrig Knott where it was declared Time For Lunch. Millrig Knott was missed out of all Wainwright publications, but is, in fact, a very nice top with a remote-ish feel and, despite being fairly rough pasture, is outwith any open access land and, so, a visit there is a trespass, so don’t do it. The fact that the top is a trespass is unlikely to be the reason why Alf didn’t include this top, since the next top is a trespass too…

kentmere valley

that stile

We descended to Ulthwaite bridge, passed through Browfoot and climbed to the lane just below Williamson’s Monument. Visiting Williamson’s monument, is also a trespass, despite being in the guidebook. Alf says that there’s a stile which gives access to the final pasture. there isn’t. What there is, is an old gateway, blocked up , except for a thin stile-like gap and defended at head-height by fencing wire. In view of the awkwardness of the wall crossing, and the occupation of the pasture on the other side by a herd of cows, we took turns at visiting Williamson’s Monument, with the other keeping Bruno company on the “safe” side of the wall. He didn’t seem to mind. He doesn’t like cows anyway.

And so, by lanes and pastures and cut meadows, we returned to the A591 and Staveley.

About 9 miles – there’s a map below.

reston etc

It seems that walking about with a pack on, specially up a lot of contours, is the ideal treatment for lumbago (or whatever it is). This deals with any back pain in short order and any twinges etc only return after a long drive home up the M6 and across the A66.

I now have just five Wainwright Outliers to do – and four of these are in a bunch in the South of the Lakes, the other one is near Windermere and is a bit of a billy-no-mates.


chrissiedixie said...

That meadow looked absolutely wonderful!

Tony Bennett said...

The cotton grass has gone bonkers this year. Your pic resembles mine from both up the road and in Northumberland last week. Maybe long winters and late springs bring some benefit after all.

There's a good cafe in Staveley

John said...

Scroggs Bridge, Low Elfhowe, Lumbago....what wonderful names!
Nice trip btw.

Word(s): Necessary tittieman

Alan Sloman said...


Dawn said...

Nice one Mike. Glad to see you out and about, and in good weather too

Howellsey said...

I agree about the meadows, some of the best buttercups I've ever seen and plenty of cotton grass in Snowdonia this week!

Carol said...

There isn't even a gap in that wall corner to get to/from Williamson's Monument on your last peak. Just a private/keep out/trespassers will be persecuted notice. I had a real struggle getting over the wall and back while keeping my outer clothing from being ripped by the wire and, to add to my woes, one of the farm dogs bit me on the walk along the public right of way before I branched off for my wall climbing!

Mike Knipe said...

Carol - I didn't know anybody read these ancient tracts.. Has the little gap been filled-in? One way to avoid being bitten by farm dogs by the way, is to take your own dog. Farm dogs bite your dog instead of you. This is less painful but more expensive. A whack with a walking pole often puts them off too.