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Viewing Hill, Round Hill, Dead Stones & Burnhope Seat

Viewing Hill, Round Hill, Dead Stones & Burnhope Seat

Postby Mendonca » Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:28 pm

Hewitts included on this walk: Burnhope Seat, Dead Stones, Round Hill, Viewing Hill

Date walked: 11/01/2018

Time taken: 7

Distance: 25 km

Ascent: 814m

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These 4 Pennine Hewitts have been on the ‘to do’ list for a while. The enormity of the drive has acted as a deterrent for many of these Hewitts in the far north. Add to this the high potential of endless bog, and it’s easy to see why the Midlander veers towards the rugged Fells of the Lakes. I’m sure that on a wet and windy day this area could be a test for anybody. But being an AONB and in the grip of a snowy winter period, this walk had the attributes to make for a fine trip.

So with fellow club members Woodie31 and Lord Wollaston we made the long journey, eventually parking where available near Harwood Common on the B6277. Being greeted with dense fog and deep snow, it was immediately apparent that navigation would be constant, with physical effort at a maximum. With no rain or wind there was a real quiet, that of course being ruined by us 3, talking about the price of mackerel.

The track before striking off up Viewing Hill

2 Hewitts to the left of the road, 2 to the right in a pleasant round trip. The first of the day being Viewing Hill, requiring a dedicated offshoot from the path through featureless moor to reach its summit. The non existent wind and the deep snow making this a straight forward trudge into the pea soup. The person who gave this hill its name clearly had better conditions than us on the day of their ascent. From here it’s a return to the track and then straight over the Nuttall of Bellbeaver Rigg to reach the track ascending Round Hill. Plenty of mining detritus up there. The fence was an effective guiderail directly to the summit, ideal in conditions that tested navigation.

Mine ruins

Round Hill summit

Deceptively pleasant conditions to walk in

To reach the other Hewitts the walk now follows the River South Tyne, a pleasant ramble down the valley. The B road is crossed before ascending the lane heading out from Mid Ashgill. This was a much cleaner and quicker way to get a few miles in! The lane is eventually left for a direct ascent of Dead Stones, its enormous cairn being unmissable in the failing light. The reflection of the snow helping to maximise the remaining light. The final stretch over to Burnhope Seat is synonymous with bog, slop and peat. We were grateful for this messy section to be blanketed with thick hard snow, making the traversal a far cleaner affair.

Nearly dark now, it was head torch time for the rest of the walk, a part of the walk that I confess to finding extremely enjoyable. With such little wind and with virgin snow, the head torches really added to the occasion, especially when we spread out to find the small cairn at 747m. I can only imagine what we looked like and what my wife would’ve called me. Only a hill bagger could be comfortable with this level of daftness. This summit was surprisingly close to the car, so it was an easy descent along the fence line, with enough time to mentally review the day. Thanks to Lord Wollaston and Woodie31 for the pictures and for sharing a super walk in a wild and lonely part of England.

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Re: Viewing Hill, Round Hill, Dead Stones & Burnhope Seat

Postby Broggy1 » Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:43 pm

I see what you mean now! Proper pea soup and a good test for your compass skills.

Thanks for sharing - always enjoy seeing the NP's in trip reports. :clap:
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Re: Viewing Hill, Round Hill, Dead Stones & Burnhope Seat

Postby davekermito » Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:15 pm

A masochistic route! Snow, fog, ice and miles of moor - I admire your resolve :lol:
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