This is our 200th walk story


Date - 1st June 2013 Distance - 7.25 miles
Ascent -
1400ft (appx)
Map - OL19 Start point - Cotegill Bridge (SD 774 970)


Summits Achieved

Name Height (ft) Height (m) Grid Ref
Wild Boar Fell 2324 708 SD 7579 9883
Swarth Fell 2235 681 SD 7559 9667
Swarth Fell Pike 2136 651 SD 7615 9576



All was well with the world. We had mugs of steaming tea in paw and Grizzly's gorgeous chocolate caramel shortbread on our plates.

"Where's Allen?", asked Little Eric. "He never misses out on tea and cakes."

"Well he can smell tea a mile off, so I am sure he will be bounding through the door very shortly", replied Shaun. "So, don't eat all the cake", he went on as he saw Little Eric helping himself to another slice.

Another minute or so passed by then the whirlwind that was Allen, came storming into the room, crying, "great, great great!"

Shaun handed him a mug of tea, while Tetley gave him a plate with cake, and said "what is all the fuss about."

He replied, "thanks pals, for the tea etc, but that is not what I am excited about, even though you know I am a real tea belly. I come bearing news of our next walk."

"Magic", interrupted Grizzly.

"Dad had decided that he must get up on the hills again, otherwise he will end up just doing valley walks all the time. The news is especially good for you Little Eric, as he has decided that the next two walks will be on the hills that will finally finish off your Howgill challenge."

"That's fantastic!", he cried and letting out a cheer too.

"Well you will want a proper Howgill to be your last, so this next walk will have to be to Wild Boar Fell and Swarth Fell", went on Tetley.

"Spot on pal", replied Allen. "Dad has decided to follow the walk as Wainwright defines it in the Howgill Fells book"

Shaun trotted off to get the book and said, "it is walk 28. We will start from Cotegill Bridge then passing under Aisgill Viaduct, go north past Angerholme Pots, to gain the ridge and so climb to Wild Boar Fell. Then it is just a question of following the ridge round to Swarth Fell and Swarth Fell Pike, before descending by Far Cote Gill to the start."

"Well I just can't wait", cried Little Eric, grabbing another piece of cake in celebration.


The Walk

It is a long drive to the start, so we were up early and had the picnic made and packed in good time for Dad's planned departure time. As we heard him slam to boot shut after loading his gear, we dashed out and settled on the front seat.

The first part of the drive was north on the M6 to junction 37 where we took the road east to Sedbergh, which is a book town, having many bookshops. Bypassing the centre we came to a junction, where ahead would have taken us on the very familiar road via Cautley. Many a time have we parked on this road for walks on the Howgill Fells. Today however it was right on the A684 that goes along through the beautiful valley of Garsdale. After an initial enclosed section of about a mile and a half, it suddenly becomes unfenced and there is a fine view north-west of the Howgill Fells, This shot taken by Dad on 29th August 2010 and the fells are from the left, Arrant Haw, Sickers, Knott, Calders and Great Dummacks.

The valley is quite narrow and to the north side it is dominated by the massive bulk of Baugh Fell, which we had climbed on separate walks in the company of both Uncle Bob and Uncle Eric.

Towards the end of the valley, Grizzly called out, "there's Garsdale Station on the Settle-Carlisle line. It was totally derelict after the years of decline, but like all the other stations on the line has now been renovated and restored."

Just a little further the railway crosses Dandry Mire on a viaduct. Tetley commented, "I know I may have said this before, but it was planned to cross the mire on an embankment, but they could not get it to stick so the viaduct had to be built instead."

For those readers who like statistics. The viaduct is actually called Moorcock Viaduct, and has 12 spans being 227 yards (208m) long and 50ft (15m) in height.

Soon now the line crossed the road via a bridge as it turned up Mallerstang. Just a short distance beyond we reached the road junction by the Moorcock Inn, where we too turned left along Mallerstang, and in about three miles we arrived at Cotegill Bridge, where there was verge parking. Wainwright suggested parking opposite in the old quarry, but stones have been placed across to prevent vehicular access.

Dad began getting his boots on, and we waited patiently. Allen said, "look Little Eric ahead to the left is Wild Boar Fell our first objective."

"The route is along to the far end, then we make the ascent behind that steep rocky crag", added Shaun. "The actual summit is about half a mile or so back from the Mallerstang Edge."

As can be seen, the clouds were high and there were sunny periods too, but for the time of year, there was still a very cool wind.

"I can hear a train coming", called out Grizzly.

"OK", replied Dad as he scrambled for the camera to capture it passing. It was the late running 07:52 service from Carlisle to Leeds.

"OK, I'm ready", called out Dad.

We did not need a second asking to settle the rucksack. Crossing the bridge, Dad stopped briefly to chat to a couple. They were waiting to see their son, who was taking part in a cycle race, to pass by. We had indeed passed a good number of cyclists in the latter part of our drive to the start.

"We go along the road to Aisgill Farm, and then it is left through a gate on a track that will climb up passing under Aisgill Viaduct", said Shaun.

This is 1,167 feet above sea-level and carries the line over Ais Gill beck, that joins the River Eden a few hundred yards below the viaduct. It has four spans and is 87 yards long and 75 feet high. Our route can be seen passing on the embanked path under the right most arch.

The path continued beyond the viaduct, climbing to a gate on to open fell, where it was right on a faint path that undulated by the wall.

"That's a good view of the ridge including High Seat and Archy Styrigg, on the other side of the valley", called out Tetley.

"That was some day, when we walked that ridge with Uncle Bob", Shaun remarked.

"Sure was lad", replied Dad. "The ascent from Outhgill to High Seat was almost vertical in parts. So so steep, I still do not know how we finally managed to get to the ridge."

"Then gluttons for punishment, when we had returned to the valley, you took us up Swarth Fell, Wild Boar Fell & Little Fell, added Grizzly."

"If I remember right is was April 2007, the whole round being about 13 miles and a heck of a lot of climb", went on Tetley.

"I lad, not sure I could do that now", replied Dad with feeling.

The way kept on along by the wall, passing by this lone sycamore tree.

Just beyond Dad suddenly stopped and quickly snapped this shot of a sheep with lambs.

"Oh noooo", cried Allen in despair, "we have failed yet again to get a sheep picture free story!"

The terrain now opened out wide and grassy, and upon reaching a point where the wall turned right down to the valley, Shaun said, "we now need to head slightly left to follow the line of Angerholme Pots."

These are potholes and sink holes, some being large and deep, hence the reason that they have been securely fenced off, like this below.

Passing another, Grizzly called out, "look there is a lamb inside the fence."

There were no gaps we could see in the fencing, so Allen added, "well seemingly the only explanation is that it must have jumped over."

A ewe was grazing nearby that we assumed was its mother, and if so was totally unperturbed about the lambs predicament.

Past the pots, the route continued through an area of limestone pavement, to finally join the bridleway that runs between Mallerstang and Stennerskeugh. When visiting Stennerskeugh Clouds and Fell End Clouds, we had walked the first part of this path at that end.

The path climbed steadily to the ridge, where looking left we could see our route to Wild Boar Fell, that had been the dominant feature to our left since the start.

"Doesn't look too steep", said Tetley encouragingly.

"No lad, we have had lots of steeper ascents on our many adventures", replied Dad.

So best foot forward Dad set off up the ridge. It was a steady climb with the last section to the Nab being steepest. As we gained height the view right opened out, giving a fine prospect of the Howgill Fells. Great Dummacks is in shadow on the left with Cautley Crags. Behind this are Bram Rigg Top, and the Calf, the highest point in he Howgills. Cautley Spout waterfall nestles to the right of the crags, and to the right of this is Ben End rising to Yarlside with Wandale Hill below, and Kensgriff to the far right.

"Oh what happy days we have had bagging all those summits", said Tetley, with feeling.

"Ooh yes", enthused Little Eric. "I particularly remember that ever so steep ascent to Yarlside from the col below Kensgriff, in the ice and snow. Thrilling stuff!"

Turning the camera a bit right Dad captured this further shot, showing Kensgriff to the far left and right of that Randy Gill Top, with Adamthwaite Bank in front. On the distant skyline is our beloved Lakeland Fells.

With a sigh Tetley said, "how lucky we are to have had all those amazing adventures climbing to all the summits in Lakeland."

Rather more practicably, Little Eric broke the reverie, "well somewhere beyond Kensgriff, is Langdale Knott, which we will climb next weekend, and I will be able to say I have completed at least one of the challenges. I will be a proud little bear too!"

"Before that, we need to get today's summits bagged", said Dad as he turned from the view and headed on up the ridge.

Very soon we were closing in on the crags of the Nab at the top. Looking left Little Eric called out, "wow, we have certainly gained a lot of height from the ground we crossed by Angerholme Pots and the areas of limestone pavement."

"The shape of the cloud shadow on the far side of the valley looks like some evil monster", remarked Allen.

"The dragon of Mallerstang, perhaps", went on Tetley, with a laugh. "There's an idea for story Dad."

"Thanks, but I have quite enough trying to keep up with the walk adventures as it is", sighed Dad.

Pausing on the top of the Nab, Grizzly said, "that is an impressive view of Yoadcomb Scar with its line of cairns"

"And the scar behind, is Swarth Fell, are second objective", added Shaun.

"We visited the cairns on 2007, with Uncle Bob", remarked Tetley. Here's the picture Dad took on the day.

"I don't mind not visiting the cairns, it's the summit I want to get too", Little Eric called out.

And so, Dad turned right from the ascent path and strode off towards the summit seen distantly ahead. The path was grassy and a bit muddy in places, with very little ascent to reach the shelter that surrounds the trig column,

on which we sat for our picture. Little Eric looks proud and pleased with himself we think.

We then jumped down and found some convenient ledges to sit on while we had our picnic. We, and Dad too of course, deserved it having reached the summit.

After a while we saw another walker approaching, so not wanting to hog the summit, we packed up, and then set off again heading south-west to climb the gate in the fence. Then following the long path round and down to the col with a little tarn, then on to ascend Swarth Fell, the path climbing by the wall.

"What are those distant hill we can see overtopping Swarth Fell?", asked Little Eric.

Tetley was quick with the answer. "The ridge to the left is Park Fell and Simon Fell rising to the unmistakable shape of Ingleborough. That to the right is another of the Three Peaks, Whernside."

So Dad trudged on descending to the col and then up by the wall, and when almost on the top of the escarpment, we went half left away from the wall to find the large cairn that marks the summit of Swarth Fell.

"Yippee, that means just Langdale Knott to go", cried Little Eric as he scrambled with the rest of us on to the cairn for the picture.

From here too there were extensive views to the fells on the other side of Mallerstang, Howgill Fells and Lakeland Fells, as well as this dramatic view of Wild Boar Fell.

Having taken in the views, we then smartly settled in Dad's rucksack once again, and he strode off along the clear path to Swarth Fell Pike, whose wide flat top makes finding the actual summit rather difficult. There is a cairn on the right side of the fence where we had sat before, but in fact the OS map shows the spot height to be on the left side of the fence along our line of approach today. There was a rock with a few stones on this side adjacent to the larger cairn so we just sat here for the picture.

Dad chatted to the gentleman we had seen approaching Wild Boar Fell summit, who was doing the same walk. They both agreed how much they liked these fells and the Howgills for the solitude, something we heartily agree with too.

Now took the path left that descended steeply at first - hard on poor Dad's knees! Then drifted left to cross and descend by Far Cote Gill and finally we reached the quarry, opposite which the car was parked.

Far Cote Gill empties into the quarry on the left as you look at the picture. The quarry is sensibly fenced off, so we had to go to the right and cross Near Cote Gill, then up the steep bank beyond. A short walk then took us to the stile on to the road.

"Thanks for a great day", called out Little Eric. "Now I really have just Langdale Knott to climb, to complete Howgill Challenge!"

"All being well that will be next week, lad", Dad replied.

"So I guess your thoughts have turned to food Dad?", said Tetley.

"That's right, and I know it is a long way, but the only place I really want to go is Elaine's Tearooms at Feizor."

"I agree", replied Allen. "They are truly the best!!"

She was pleased to see Dad and pleased that he had taken the trouble to drive all the way there. Megan looked after him once again. We came in too and sat quietly while he had delicious cheese and onion pie with chips and beans, followed by lovely apple and raspberry pie with custard, all washed down with a refreshing pot of tea. "

Dad and Uncle Brian are coming as usual on Monday meeting Uncle Bob and Aunt Ann, so there was a bit of friendly banter with Elaine about where they would be sitting. Dad pointed to the table, to which Elaine replied, "you'll sit where you are put" Nice!!

A grand day out!!


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