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High Seat (Mallerstang), Nine Standards Rigg

High Seat (Mallerstang), Nine Standards Rigg

Postby poppiesrara » Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:29 pm

Hewitts included on this walk: High Seat, Little Fell (Dales), Nine Standards Rigg

Date walked: 27/05/2012

Time taken: 5

Distance: 22.25 km

Ascent: 820m

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A sunny day of walking among the rounded lumpy hills of the northern Dales, firstly up High Seat from the Mallerstang valley.

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As so often in Yorkshire, the walking through the dales – like the short riverside stroll to Outhgill - is easy and picturesque. From there, things get tougher – it’s basically pathless through the long grass to Mallerstang Edge, which looks vertical and unscalable from the approach, and isn’t too much easier close-up. You need to pick your own route up the staggered grass-and-rock cliff-faces – this one, which drew the eye from the approach, but ended up well north of the summit and was anything but easy, may not have been the best, but nothing looked much friendlier. It’s hands-down climbing for much of the way, sometimes pleasantly through little jutting rocks, but more often tugging on the grass and being grateful that it was no wetter… Emerging into the fierce easterly on the very broad flat summit ridge felt quite a relief.
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Wild Boar Fell

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Bridge over the Eden near walk start

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High Seat

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A rare resting point climbing Mallerstang Edge

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Archy Styrigg from High Seat

The troll over the sub-peaks of Archy Styrigg and Hugh Seat (more interest in the names than in the little rises themselves) is over quickly on a clear and unexpectedly dry track, and the Hewitt Little Fell towards the southern end of the ridge – while it at least has a little more distinction and prominence – is another rather nondescript lump.
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Back to High Seat

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Little Fell (L), and distantly Ingleborough & Whernside, from cairn near Archy Styrigg

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Wild Boar Fell

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Summit of Hugh Seat, Swarth Fell behind

This route down – although initially over curiously rutted ground – is better, taking in the pretty and increasingly rocky Hell Gill and then a very pleasant couple of miles of gentle grassy descent along Lady Anne’s Highway, enlivened by the unexpected sight of the modern ‘Water Cut’ sculpture. Not everyone’s cup of tea, I’m sure, but I love to see sights like this in the wilds (my little local hills are enlivened by the ‘Noon Columns’ project: http://www.nationalforest.org/involved/noon/). Having earlier seen the unfurnished peak of High Seat, one of the highest of the Dales, I rather wished this had been positioned up there instead. It’s unlikely that any significant summit curricks will be built again, and certain that there will be no new trig-points; it would be rather good to see a new way of making up the ‘summit furniture’ for future generations.
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Hell Gill

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Wild Boar Fell from Lady Anne's Highway

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...and Hangingstone Scar

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'Water Cut' over Mallerstang

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...and looking back towards Swarth Fell

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Final view of Wild Boar Fell

Nine Standards Rigg is the ‘next-door’ hill to High Seat and there’s probably a way to combine them, but the map and previous reports didn’t really give much inspiration, so it was a 15-minute drive instead. Plenty of parking at the foot of one of the obvious (part of the ‘Coast-to-Coast’) paths up and a pretty easy route up and down a clear track (very surprising to come out of this day with entirely clean boots, so much for what should have been boggy hills…). A nice limestone pavement surrounds the early steps, but otherwise – apart from a bird’s-eye view of the deep gorge of Dukerdale – there isn’t much to catch the eye before the summit area. Cut off east from the obvious path that leads to the toposcope to reach the actual peak, and then it’s an easy tramp across to the viewpoint by the towering – and pleasingly disparate – Nine Standards themselves.

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High Seat 082.jpg
South to High Pike Hill from the high pass

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Starting the climb to the Nine Standards Rigg (R)

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Nine Standards Rigg summit

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North past the Nine Standards

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Tailbridge Hill over Dukerdale
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Re: High Seat (Mallerstang), Nine Standards Rigg

Postby colgregg » Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:48 pm

You've certainly had a great day out there. I was a few miles to the West of you on Sunday doing a long trek in the Northern Howgills ( Randygill - The Calf - Fell Head) I'm becoming very lazy as I've done four great walks in the last three weeks but haven't even got around to writing Trip reports yet.
Regarding linking up mallerstang and nine standards: it would be possible but would be around 20 miles. Setting off from Ravenseat C to C path to Nine Standards then South to Road and up High Pike hill onto the summit ridge right along then doubling back from Little Fell and down Great Sleddale. I did what you did and tagged Nine Standards on to my Mallerstang trip via the Sleddales by driving up to the parking area.
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Re: High Seat (Mallerstang), Nine Standards Rigg

Postby ChrisW » Sat Jun 02, 2012 6:23 pm

Great read as always P, you keep on posting these beautiful views of my home county with me so far away....its making me yearn for some rolling hills :D A good distance wandered in lovely conditions, what more could a man want. I'm with you on the summit idea....Noon columns for all I reckon :thumbup:
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