Walk Report: Wild Boar Fell

Date: 30th Aug 2009 Location: Dales
Distance: 12.0 miles Weather: Sunny to begin, cloudy tops, spitting rain, windy, very, very wet underfoot
Ascent: 2500 feet Trig Points: 1: TP6943 – Wild Boar Fell
Time: 5 hrs 40 mins Yorks Top 30: 2: Wild Boar Fell, Swarth Fell
With: Alone Other Info: Parking by Rawthey Bridge, no toilets
Summary: Rawthey Bridge, path on lower slopes of Bluecaster, Flint Howe, Wild Boar Fell, Swarth Fell, Holmes Moss Hill, Rawthey Gill, Needle House, Rawthey Bridge

Key to symbols:
= Trig Point     = Yorkshire Top 30

As walks go I tend to enjoy most of the day – there may be bits of the walk I don’t like or don’t remember with fondness, but today seemed to be a complete mirror image of this. I hated nearly every minute of this walk, apart from about 30 minutes while I stopped for lunch and was rewarded with some fantastic views.

The last several weeks of rain have turned all this area into a huge sucking, spagnum bog. Even though I’d equipped my feet with boots in anticipation of boggy underfoot conditions I wasn’t expecting what I found. I spent 80% of this walk on pathless terrain, mostly spagnum bogs, tussocky grass or peat hags. Holme Moss Hill was the worst place; I must have slipped over a dozen times here and was totally soaked by the time I got to the valley bottom.

My new coat – Paramo Velez Adventure Light Smock – was great, it packs down nicely unlike my other Paramo and weighs in at about 560g, much lighter than the Alta II. It feels great with just a baselayer on too. Great coat.


Not a great start to the walk – several inches of muddy water at the first gate


Looking back to Cautley Crag, with Cautley Spout just visible in the right of picture


That’s Wild Boar Fell, covered in cloud


The path is mostly boggy, wet grass and running water


You get the idea with the boggy track by now I guess


The falls by Needle House


Spagnum bogs on the ascent of Wild Boar Fell


The cloud cover has been replaced by mist now


The summit of Wild Boar Fell is ringed by cairns, which is great of you can see the summit from more than 10 feet away


The trig point and summit shelter on Wild Boar Fell


The clouds eventually peel back to reveal Blackbed Scar – I sat and took lunch – brilliant


The cairns that ring the edge of High White Scar


Swarth Fell, seen from High White Scar


The wall running up to the summit of Swarth Fell


Looking back to the cairns on High White Scar


Summit cairns on Swarth Fell


Rain drops on the lens as I descend across Holme Moss Hill – bloody awful terrain – all bogs


Rawthey Gill (?), running below Holmes Moss


Deserted barn with Baugh Fell behind


Needle House


I normally finish with a picture of my car…

lonewalker

Fell-walker, trig-pointer, peak-bagger, Wainwright-er & Pennine Way author, with a passion for long paths, malt whisky, fast cars & Man City

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2 Responses

  1. lonewalker says:

    Stottie, I doubt I’ll be going back to either fell, unless there’s been a few days of hard frost 🙂 In fact I thought about you more than once as the spagnum tried to suck the boots from my feet and I turned my ankles on the tussocky grass. I guess that must have been how the Pennine Way was when you first did it – if it was anything close then I take my hat off to you and all the other intrepid walkers who managed it in the days before the flagstones.

  2. Stottie says:

    Reminds me of the first and only time I climbed Swarth and Wild Boar. I was still at school. My mate Roxy and I caught the West Riding Ramblers’ Special at Shipley Station, got off at Garsdale Head or thereabouts, and joined a hearty bunch of folks to walk over the hills to Kirkby Stephen. A glorious day, luckily, but I remain convinced that the best way to see those particular hills is in profile from a decent distance, somewhere to the north, from where their distinctive shape always makes me smile.