Monday, 25 July 2011

Nine Standards Rigg (662m) & High Seat (709m)

Nine Standards Rigg (662m) & High Seat (709m)

Summits: Nine Standards Rigg - NY 826 061; High Seat - NY 802 012
Summit Cairns: 662 & 709 metres
Walked: 24th July 2011
Distance: 25 km (15.5 miles)
Time taken: 9 hours
Start/Finish: Kirkby Stephen
Weather: Warm, sunny, excellent visibility.
Height gain: 700 metres
Map: OL19

Route: From the centre of Kirkby Stephen, I followed the the Coast to Coast route to the summit of Nine Standards, following the path across Frank's Bridge and into Hartley, from where a road climbs steadily up to reach a fork at the end of the road. A track then carries on across gently rising moorland alongside Reigill then Faraday Gill up onto the summit of Nine Standards Rigg - an easy walk! There are superb views across the Vale of Eden towards the North Pennines. From Nine Standards to Outhgill, the route mostly follows Open Access Land, with indistinct paths in places but much of it pathless.

From the summit, attention to navigation is required to follow the correct path down across Rollinson Haggs to reach the head of Dukerdale, from where a grassy path heads across limestone to reach the unfenced moorland road at Tailbridge Hill. A grassy 'quad track' then climbs steeply up onto High Pike Hill, from where an intermittent path heads south across the broad moorland ridge (above Mallerstang Edge) up onto the broad summit plateau of High Seat (709m), marked by a small cairn. This is a magical spot, with breathtaking views across to Wild Boar Fell, Ingleborough, Great Shunner Fell and a vast sea of moorland. A remote, wild and lonely place.

From the summit cairn, I turned west down a short but steep escarpment before reaching Mallerstang Edge proper. Care must be taken in choosing the correct route down as there are cliffs and steep ground here that could prove dangerous. I chose a steep but grassy route down between the two small streams that flow down towards Outhgill - the only difficulty was the steepness, as underfoot it was a grassy slope that required a lot of zig-zagging! At the foot of Mallerstang Edge, I continued down alongside the stream across rough, boggy ground to pick up the 'dead end' footpath that leads into Outhgill. Field paths, tracks and lanes then took me back to Kirkby Stephen via Pendragon Castle, Lammerside Castle and Wharton Hall.

I guidied a group of 13 people along this route.

OL19 map and compass required for this walk. Public paths and Open Access Land. Navigation will be difficult in poor weather. The descent down Mallerstang Edge from High Seat is very steep and requires care and attention to pick the correct line of descent.

These photos are in order, and the files are named. Copyright Mark Reid 2011

Friday, 1 July 2011

Yorkshire Three Peaks

Yorkshire Three Peaks
Pen-y-ghent (694m) - Whernside (736m) - Ingleborough (724m)

Walked: 26th June 2011
Distance: 40 km (25 miles)
Time taken: 12 hours
Start & Finish: Horton in Ribblesdale (7am start)
Group: 9 parents raising money for our School PTA (over £1,000)
Weather: Warm, sunny spells, light winds, good visibility, occassional shower late afternoon.
Height gain: 1,600 metres!
Map: OL2

Route: Horton-in-Ribblesdale, Brackenbottom, Pen-y-ghent, Black Dubb Moss, Birkwith, God's Bridge, Ribblehead, Force Gill Aqueduct, Whernside, Bruntscar, Hill Inn, Ingelborough, Sulber Nick and back to Horton.

A well-trodden path, paved with flagstones for much of the way, although with long sections across boggy ground. Navigation straightforward in good visibility, although care must be taken on the summits and across the boggy ground of Black Dubb Moss as well as Sulber towards the end of the walk. The climbs are not that difficult - easy scrambling up onto Pen-y-ghent, long plod up onto Whernside, very steep ascent along a pitched-stone path onto Ingleborough, whilst the descent from Whernside is very steep. The challenge is the long distances between the mountains - 10 miles from Pen-y-ghent to Whernside across bog as well as a river crossing, and 6 miles from the summit of Ingleborough back to Horton, which seems to go on forever across slippery and muddy limestone.

Good stamina and endurance are essential, as well as plenty of food and water. I drank 5 litres over the course of the day, and snacked on high energy food throughout. There are two possible 'escape routes' by bailing out at Ribblehead (train back to Horton) or at the Hill Inn (walk along the road back to Ribblehead Station).

In summary - a test of stamina and endurance, where personal barriers have to be overcome. The climb up Ingleborough is particularly gruelling, although I thought the long walk along Sulber Nick to be the most difficult part of the day as it went on and on and on across muddy limestone. Great sense of achievement though as we finally made it back to Horton. Pick your times carefully as the walk is very busy at weekends throughout summer.

Photos of the walk
These photos are in order, and the files are named. Copyright Mark Reid 2011