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One wet foot

One wet foot


Postby johnkaysleftleg » Tue Apr 09, 2013 7:45 pm

Wainwrights included on this walk: Armboth Fell, High Seat, High Tove

Date walked: 01/04/2013

Distance: 8.5 km

Ascent: 445m

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When it comes to choosing the worst of the Wainwrights one fell always appears towards to top of the list, the infamously sodden swelling known as Armboth Fell. The fact it is even included is a bit of a mystery. I believe it was a joke at the expense of prospective hill baggers :roll: by AW himself who even went so far as to say climbing it was a waste of time. :shock:

It is however on the list so must be bagged at some time. The only way to sensibly do this is wait for a drought or do it when the ground is frozen so the boggyness can be walked over.

For the final day before we drove home I decided Armboth and it’s cohorts in vile filthy boggery, High Tove and High Seat should be “got out of the way” on what was going to be another cold frosty day. As we made our way north, through Keswick and up the implausibly narrow road to Watendlath it was obvious far less snow had fallen in these parts. No doubt this was a good thing given the rough terrain that we’d be traversing in the coming hours.


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If you’ve never been to Watendlath you should because it is a place of pure heavenly beauty, and on this fine frosty morn it’s hard to think of anywhere finer to be. The path up onto the moors is excellent; zig zagging up the steep hillside giving stunning views of a snow covered Great Gable above Watendlath tarn. Some reforestation work is underway on the slopes and indeed I’m all for such schemes, but it will be a shame when the view is obstructed. At the top of the path the flatter moorland stretches up at a gentle gradient and is fortunately frozen bone hard. There was not too much in the way of snow and ice and given the gentle slopes the microspikes are not required.

Image
Watendlath by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

Image
Across to the Gables by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

Image
Ullscarf by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

The top of High Tove is reached with the fine prospect of a snow plastered Hellvelyn ridge coming into view. High Tove is a somewhat underwhelming top that is actually used as a pass on the path to Thirlmere due to it being moderately drier than the surrounding ground. Over to our right, dark and uninviting, lies Armboth, a fell that isn’t really a fell named after a place that no longer exists. Given the largely frozen terrain we set off across the rough heathery ground almost directly towards our destination and apart from the occasional bit of deeper snow it’s not bad going as we are heading vaguely downhill.

Image
Grace on High Tove by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

Eventually a larger patch of snow is reached, a bit to far to jump over and I realise it’s a snow covered Fisher Beck. A few tentative prods with the stick and the sight of Hughie dancing around on the top gives me the confidence to venture across and I slowly make the few careful strides to the other side. Or at least that was the plan until my right foot plunges through the snow and I feel my boot filling with icy cold water before I can gain enough purchase to haul myself out.

Fortunately Grace and Nicola, oblivious to the danger wander over the beck without a care in the world and we make our way to the rocky torr that, according to OS Maps is the high point of the “fell”. I vainly attempt to dry off my liner sock as we elect to have lunch. Once you get here it’s not too bad with light winds, sunshine and great views of Hellvelyn. I can only imagine on a wet day hauling yourself up here is akin to dragging yourself onto an island if you’ve fell in the sea.

Image
Final pull up to armboth by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

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We claim this Island.... by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

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Armboth Fell by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

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Grace on Armboth by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

Soon enough it’s time to put my freezing wet boot back on and head towards our high point of the day in the shape of the aptly named High Seat. It may be only one and a half miles to our next top but it proves to be a fairly dispiriting uphill trudge over rough partially snow covered ground that is starting to defrost a bit.

To perhaps demonstrate just how bleak this part of the Lakes is some truly unremarkable features have been awarded a mention on OS maps: an innocuous boundary marker is labelled the Eddy Grave Stake, a foul section of bog and peat hag is named “The Pewits” and most bizarrely the words “Threefooted Brandreth” are printed just to the North of High Seat Summit. I have seen suggestions that this refers to three iron fence posts sticking out of a bog, goodness knows why they are significant enough to mention on a map however. :crazy:

Image
Follow the fence by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

Image
The Pewits by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

As recompense for the journey the destination is first class. For me High Seat provides one of the best viewpoints in the district with fantastic snow capped peeks in every direction.

Image
High Seat Summit by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

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High Seat view West by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr(click on pic for large version)

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Hellvelyn from High Seat by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr(click on pic for large version)

We couldn't find anywhere out of the wind but still had coffee and hot chocolate before setting off back along the fence to High Tove and the path back to Watendlath. A seemingly more direct boggy trod was ignored figuring better the devil you know since the ground was thawing and might hold some unpleasant surprises. There are so many better places to walk in the Lakes I don’t feel I could recommend these fells unless you’re attempting to complete the whole round. If you must, pick a day where the ground is frozen because I shudder to think just how bad they would be in the wet.

All in all a great Easter weekend however with some great weather and great walking. Three figures now within touching distance….
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Re: One wet foot

Postby clivegrif » Tue Apr 09, 2013 8:25 pm

Another beauty there, sir!

So that's where the Ashness road goes - to a lovely spot as you say.

You've managed to make a boggy lump look very attractive, and the views are something else. It looks like a canoe might be required during the rainy season (summer....) though.

Weirdly when I read about your bootful of icy water, my own right foot suddenly felt very cold! :shock:

Once again some absolutely delightful pictures, and I look forward to your next exploits.
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Re: One wet foot

Postby ChrisW » Wed Apr 10, 2013 5:48 am

What a pleasant surprise, reading through the report it seemed a bit of a damp squib (pardon the pun) but the end product was worth every step (even the wet one :wink: ) What fantastic views from the top :clap:

Love the claiming of the hilltop with the JK Sockflag :lol: :lol:
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Re: One wet foot

Postby Ibex » Wed Apr 10, 2013 10:44 am

Congratulations on reaching your 3 figures!
Had to laugh at your foot going in the stream when the others and Hughie just danced over it. Who'd be a bloke eh? Sorry. But I know it would happen to me too!

It must be bleak and misserable there if AW said it wasn't worth the walk. :lol:
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Re: One wet foot

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Wed Apr 10, 2013 12:35 pm

clivegrif wrote:Another beauty there, sir!

So that's where the Ashness road goes - to a lovely spot as you say.

You've managed to make a boggy lump look very attractive, and the views are something else. It looks like a canoe might be required during the rainy season (summer....) though.

Weirdly when I read about your bootful of icy water, my own right foot suddenly felt very cold! :shock:

Once again some absolutely delightful pictures, and I look forward to your next exploits.


Cheers Clive :thumbup: I'm not sure there has ever been a better day to be on top of Armboth given the sun, blue skies and snow. Thanks for sharing my frozen foot pain :lol:

ChrisW wrote:What a pleasant surprise, reading through the report it seemed a bit of a damp squib (pardon the pun) but the end product was worth every step (even the wet one :wink: ) What fantastic views from the top :clap:

Love the claiming of the hilltop with the JK Sockflag :lol: :lol:


It was still a canny day out Chris, very satisfying to get them out of the way without ending up to my waist in bog ( I have heard about this actually happening on these fells). I might enter the sockflag into the next pic of the month :wink:

Ibex wrote:Congratulations on reaching your 3 figures!


Not quite yet mate :)
Ibex wrote:Had to laugh at your foot going in the stream when the others and Hughie just danced over it. Who'd be a bloke eh? Sorry. But I know it would happen to me too!


I'm just glad it was just the one foot!
ibex wrote:It must be bleak and misserable there if AW said it wasn't worth the walk. :lol:


I think it's the views to all the other better fells that get to you, High Seat is probably worth climbing however (along with Bleaberry Fell and Walla Crag) because the view is truly fantastic.
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Re: One wet foot

Postby Ibex » Wed Apr 10, 2013 2:11 pm

I can see why a bit of a slog through boggy terrain, staring up at more impressive peaks would feel like a bit of a chore. Still you won't have to do it again before you finish all 214. :wink:

I did have a good laugh at the sock on the walking pole photo. :lol:
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Re: One wet foot

Postby SusieThePensioner » Wed Apr 10, 2013 3:30 pm

Some wonderful views again and another 3 completed :thumbup:

johnkaysleftleg wrote:If you’ve never been to Watendlath you should because it is a place of pure heavenly beauty

DO NOT GO at a weekend in the summer as it will be full of tourists visiting the tearooms (if they're still open) :shock:
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Re: One wet foot

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Wed Apr 10, 2013 7:32 pm

SusieThePensioner wrote:Some wonderful views again and another 3 completed :thumbup:

Thanks Susie. :)

SusieThePensioner wrote:DO NOT GO at a weekend in the summer as it will be full of tourists visiting the tearooms (if they're still open) :shock:


I would agree with that, best early on a morning while you visit Grange Fell, Great Crag and equally delightful Dock Tarn (that's if you want a walk of course).

Ibex wrote:I can see why a bit of a slog through boggy terrain, staring up at more impressive peaks would feel like a bit of a chore. Still you won't have to do it again before you finish all 214. :wink:


Don't think I'll set off around the lot again, looking forward to picking and choosing depending upon how I feel :D
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Re: One wet foot

Postby DaveB1 » Thu Apr 11, 2013 1:14 pm

Hi JK You definitely picked the the right time for these delightful three as the photos show. I loved the pic of Armboth Fell and noticed that some unfortunate soul had added two extra rocks since we were there last year :clap: . Coincidentally, in a straw poll last Sunday whilst in the Langdales, Armboth Fell came top in the 'what's the worst Wainwright you've been on competition. It won by a running or should I say wading mile. Hope the foot has warmed up again, the next hundred or so will keep you busy :lol: Dave
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Re: One wet foot

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Thu Apr 11, 2013 2:12 pm

DaveB1 wrote:Hi JK You definitely picked the the right time for these delightful three as the photos show. I loved the pic of Armboth Fell and noticed that some unfortunate soul had added two extra rocks since we were there last year :clap: . Coincidentally, in a straw poll last Sunday whilst in the Langdales, Armboth Fell came top in the 'what's the worst Wainwright you've been on competition. It won by a running or should I say wading mile. Hope the foot has warmed up again, the next hundred or so will keep you busy :lol: Dave


Thanks Dave, Armboths "victory" doesn't surprise me even if I visited it on perhaps the most pleasant day possible. My foot warmed up quite quickly, in fact when I took my boot off back at Watendlath it was steaming :lol:
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Re: One wet foot

Postby colgregg » Wed Aug 07, 2013 9:23 pm

Just back from doing the Northern section of the central fells. Walla Crag, Bleaberry, High Seat, High Tove, Ullscarf. I missed out Ambroth and Raven crag as I wanted to bag Ullscarf. It is a bit moist up that neck of the woods!!! It's times like this that you wonder about the "wainwrights" as credible hills. I'm sure he used some of these obscure ones as page fillers. Despite the stretch between High Seat and Standing crag on the way up Ullscarf being a bit Grotty the rest of the walk makes for great views. Mind you it's a bloody long way back from Ullscarf to Surprise view.
I only noticed when I got back to the car that they have a pay park system. I never saw the machine when I set off and fortunately got away without paying. I looked around for signs but there aren't any either. £6.50 for the day!!!
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Re: One wet foot

Postby stevesey » Wed Aug 07, 2013 10:00 pm

Thought Surprise View was poorly named - we all looked out and agreed the view was not surprising at all - Derwent Water was exactly what we expected ;-)

When we did High Seat to High Trove one my companions disappeared up to his thigh in the bog. We also spotted a Vicar of Dibley style puddle near High Seat - about 18in across - when probed with a walking pole it went in up to the handle - could have been nasty had someone assumed it was "just" a puddle.
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Re: One wet foot

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Thu Aug 08, 2013 8:40 am

colgregg wrote:Just back from doing the Northern section of the central fells. Walla Crag, Bleaberry, High Seat, High Tove, Ullscarf. I missed out Ambroth and Raven crag as I wanted to bag Ullscarf. It is a bit moist up that neck of the woods!!! It's times like this that you wonder about the "wainwrights" as credible hills. I'm sure he used some of these obscure ones as page fillers. Despite the stretch between High Seat and Standing crag on the way up Ullscarf being a bit Grotty the rest of the walk makes for great views. Mind you it's a bloody long way back from Ullscarf to Surprise view.
I only noticed when I got back to the car that they have a pay park system. I never saw the machine when I set off and fortunately got away without paying. I looked around for signs but there aren't any either. £6.50 for the day!!!


Sounds like a good mileage racked up on that walk col. I'd agree about the page filler theory especially given some of the omissions in the Lakes better areas. I suppose once he'd decided upon his geographical boundaries he was a bit suck with it. £6.50 for parking is certainly a surprise view and not a welcome one either!

stevesey wrote:Thought Surprise View was poorly named - we all looked out and agreed the view was not surprising at all - Derwent Water was exactly what we expected ;-)

:lol:
stevesey wrote:When we did High Seat to High Trove one my companions disappeared up to his thigh in the bog. We also spotted a Vicar of Dibley style puddle near High Seat - about 18in across - when probed with a walking pole it went in up to the handle - could have been nasty had someone assumed it was "just" a puddle.


So glad I did this in winter!
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