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Hughie finds his Seat at Mallerstang

Hughie finds his Seat at Mallerstang


Postby johnkaysleftleg » Wed Sep 21, 2016 7:28 pm

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

Date walked: 13/07/2016

Time taken: 4.25

Distance: 16 km

Ascent: 620m

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This walk was a bit of an impromptu outing, the lack of trips to the hills spilt over into frustration and resulted in a trip to the wonderful Mallerstang Valley on my day off. I elected to not park at Outhgill, I'm sure the residents would prefer there verges unmolested, and carried on to Thrang where a small off road parking area is available.
Suited and booted (but with no gaiters!) me and Hughie set off for a day in the Eastern hills of Mallerstang.

A short road walk later and a very quiet village passed through, we were out on the open fellside following the vague trod of the old mine track up towards the edge. I'll not overburden you with route details as there have been more than one excellent descriptive reports of this route but needless to say the ground soon becomes steep and pathless

ImageThe Nab on Wild Boar Fell by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageSunshine in the Mallerstang valley by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageMallerstang Edge by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageBright sunshine on the way up to Mallerstang edge by Anthony Young, on Flickr

As we climbed higher it became obvious that there was a bit of a race going on, namely between me and Hughie and the rain shower making a beeline for us from the west. I'm not a fan of steep grassy slopes when wet so just as the first drops were starting to fall I deviated to the small stony gully for my final ascent. Fortunately we made the edge and the shelter of the prominent cairn just as the wind picked up and it chucked it down for a few minutes.

ImageLooking up the Mallerstang Valley by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageCairn on Mallerstang Edge by Anthony Young, on Flickr

Shower passed we set off for High Seat summit. This is, I'm sure, normally a very straight forward trip but I ended up making a bit of a pig's ear of things and encountered some peat hags. With some deftness of movement my gaiterless legs remained largely dry and we bagged the barely celebrated grassy top of High Seat. The fact that the high point on the East West Watershed of England is so ignored with only a couple of small cairns is a touch odd but for those who like a bit of peace and quiet it can only be a good thing. We didn't linger long and started along the good but soggy grassy track that headed along the ridge.

ImageHigh Seat Summit by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageHughie taking a breather by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageAlong Hangingstone Scar by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageBog and Sky by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageCairn on the ridge by Anthony Young, on Flickr

By the time we reached Gregory Chapel it was sunny again and during a brief stop to admire the cairns and views I saw my only other walker of the day heading down High Seat. Wherever he was going it wasn't the same place as me for I saw no further trace of him or anybody else for the remainder of the day.

ImageGregory Chapel by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageLooking back to High Seat by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageBog and Sky part two by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageStill some weather around by Anthony Young, on Flickr

The going, quite good so far, started to deteriorate on the way to Hugh Seat and it was around here that my decision to leave the gaitors in the car was punished. Thinking the ground I was about to step on was merely wet I made a confident stride only for my foot to vanish under water to over my ankle filling by boot instantly. Unfortunately my momentum was such that I had to carry on with my next step filling my left boot as well :(

Somewhat unimpressed I squelched my way to Hugh Seat.

I wasn't to be the only unimpressed member of the party once the summit of Hugh Seat was attained, Hughie was unmoved by this eponymous hill and far more interested in the sandwiches I scoffed while sat on Ladies Pillar. Hugh Seat is not, of course named after my constant companion but after Sir Hugh de Morville who was one of the four knights who slaughtered St. Thomas Beckett in 1170. The ladies Pillar was erected in his honour(?) by Lady Anne Clifford, one if his successors as top dog in these parts.

ImageHugh Seat by Anthony Young, on Flickr

Image
An unimpressed Hughie on Hugh Seat by Anthony Young, on Flickr

Moving on from lunch I decided that I was doing OK for time so a visit to Little Fell was on the cards. More rough ground was covered till the boundary fence was reached and a nice easy trod was taken up to the top of the fell. Little Fell is not much to write home about in all honesty and looking over to the next top, Sails I had a worrying thought that some bunch of nerds would come up here and following hours of taking readings declare Sails as the high point by 0.002cm so off I trotted to stomp about on that random bit of moor for a bit.

ImageBog and Sky part 3 by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageCairn by the fence by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageLittle Fell by Anthony Young, on Flickr

I had several options for making my way down but decided to go for a fairly direct route that passed some curricks. Almost immediately the ground conditions deteriorated, not helped by somebody digging drainage ditches at some point in the past. They obviously hoped that the drying of the ground would encourage more heather and therefore more Grouse to eviscerate come the (in)glorious twelfth but if this was the case it hasn't worked, just made things a pain in the backside.

ImageDescending from Sails by Anthony Young, on Flickr

Following a bit of struggle I came upon a quad bike track following Hell Gill Grains downhill. This was a bit of a godsend and eased progress considerably until I decided to attempt to cut across open ground to Hell Gill Bridge. I had not gone more than a couple of steps when I found a hidden hole full of water that once again filled my gaiterless boot and landed me on my face. Somewhat perturbed I returned to the track and joined the Old Road a bit further South than hoped.

Once on the old road things were very simple on the way back to the car as I made my way along the wide track occasionally disturbing the local sheep from there idyllic existence. One thing if note was a sign on Hell Gill Bridge that informed me that dogs were not allowed on the fell I'd just been tromping about with Hughie in tow. Maybee it only counts if you pass the sign in a southerly direction?

ImageBack down to the Old Road by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageWatercut sculpture and formation sheep by Anthony Young, on Flickr

Image
Through the Watercut by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageWild Boar Fell and Watercut Sculpture by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageMallerstang Valley by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageAcross to Wild Boar Fell by Anthony Young, on Flickr

This despite my gaiterless based stupidity was a very fine hill walk especially if you're feeling particularly misanthropic. This hasn't been a great year for getting to the hills for me and my clan, hopefully we can put that right in the remaining months.


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johnkaysleftleg
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Re: Hughie finds his Seat at Mallerstang

Postby trailmasher » Wed Sep 21, 2016 9:04 pm

Nice one Anthony :clap: E and I did similar a few months ago and unlike you we didn't see a soul the whole way round :D and it looks like you may have to get Hughie knighted now :lol:
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trailmasher
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Re: Hughie finds his Seat at Mallerstang

Postby dav2930 » Thu Sep 22, 2016 11:04 pm

Not bad for an impromptu outing JK! Mallerstang is an unsung gem imo; if your photos don't make people want to go there I don't know what would. Did a similar round sometime back but included Wild Boar and Swarth Fells, thought it was great.

Hughie looks a bit disappointed by his Seat! Perhaps he was expecting something a bit more dramatic? :lol:
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dav2930
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Re: Hughie finds his Seat at Mallerstang

Postby ChrisW » Fri Sep 23, 2016 5:27 am

Cracking shots and write up JK, I confess to laughing a little at the first foot soaking where your momentum required the second step but the face plant toward the end there had me laughing :lol: :lol: sorry mate.

The shot through the watercut is really nice :thumbup:
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ChrisW
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Re: Hughie finds his Seat at Mallerstang

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Fri Sep 23, 2016 12:32 pm

trailmasher wrote:Nice one Anthony :clap: E and I did similar a few months ago and unlike you we didn't see a soul the whole way round :D and it looks like you may have to get Hughie knighted now :lol:


Cheers TM, Sir Hugh of Barkalot it is!

dav2930 wrote:Not bad for an impromptu outing JK! Mallerstang is an unsung gem imo; if your photos don't make people want to go there I don't know what would. Did a similar round sometime back but included Wild Boar and Swarth Fells, thought it was great.


Couldn't agree more it's a wonderful valley, I've considered a full Mallerstang round before but never had the time.


dav2930 wrote:Hughie looks a bit disappointed by his Seat! Perhaps he was expecting something a bit more dramatic? :lol:


When a dog's been around all the Wainwrights, a couple of the Cuillin and the big Bookill to name but a few, can you blame him?

ChrisW wrote:Cracking shots and write up JK, I confess to laughing a little at the first foot soaking where your momentum required the second step but the face plant toward the end there had me laughing :lol: :lol: sorry mate.

The shot through the watercut is really nice :thumbup:


I'm sure it would have been youtube gold :oops: , but fortunately nobody for miles to see it :D
I remembered a comment you made on TM's report of the same hills about the watercut sculpture. So I took this shot with you in mine mate, glad you like it. :thumbup:
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Location: County Durham

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