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High Tove bogs tamed

High Tove bogs tamed


Postby Pointless Parasite » Sat Dec 15, 2018 11:45 am

Wainwrights included on this walk: Armboth Fell, Bleaberry Fell, Gowbarrow Fell, Great Mell Fell, High Seat, High Tove, Little Mell Fell, Raven Crag

Date walked: 26/11/2018

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Sometimes while climbing you look at another hill and think "one day I'd like to climb that". I can't say I've ever felt this way about High Tove. I've been doing quite a bit of walking on the other Borrowdale fells lately and often found myself looking at High Tove and wondering what on earth Wainwright was thinking about. Why have a seperate chapter on this? Was he having a laugh at other walker's expense? Was it a case of 'salami publishing' in which authors try to get as many publications as possible out of one subject? Either way, despite being one of the worst hills in the Lakes, I was quite looking forward to High Tove and its infamous bogs:

High Tove.JPG


Before tackling High Tove, I climbed the two Mell Fells and Gowbarrow, starting at Aira Force and finishing at the Troutbeck Inn:

Gowbarrow.JPG


Little Mell Fell was pretty dull:

Little mel fell.JPG


The descent was an ordeal though. Somehow I ended up in a large area of gorse bushes. I thought I'd found a path but it led me deeper and deeper into the gorse, and soon I was crawling through tunnels of the stuff, getting scratched all over :roll:

Great Mell Fell was just wierd. There's something really odd about the way it has a sparse cover of pine trees near the summit. The atmosphere as I approached the top, passing a group of horses, felt surreal.

Mel fell sun.JPG


Mel fell horses.JPG


Mel fell trees.JPG


The direct descent from Great Mell Fell was very steep and wouldn't have been much fun in the snow without an ice axe.

Mel fell descent.JPG


I stayed in Keswick and got up early the next day. A proper alpine start was needed if I had any chance of climbing the mighty High Tove. Actually, this was a sensible idea as it was very cold and the boggy ground was partially frozen. This would make the 'Pewits' easier, but I needed to get a move on before the sun started to melt the ice.

Bleaberry ascent.JPG


Bleaberry from High Seat.JPG


High Seat summit.JPG


High Seat descent.JPG


And so it started. Down in the Pewits.

Bog 1.JPG


The bog was partially frozen. Not enough to walk across normally, but enough to make progress a little easier.

Bog 2.JPG


More bogs... I should get the Piolet d'Or for this :lol:

Bog 3.JPG


Mostly it wasn't so bad, but near the end there was a large marshy section that took a large detour to cross.

Bog 4.JPG


The 'Eddy Grave Stake' wasn't much but did mark the end of the worst of the bogs.

Eddy Grave stake.JPG


High Tove ascent.JPG


High Tove summit.JPG


Looking over to the other silly Wainwright in the area, Armboth Fell:

Armboth from High Tove.JPG


The traverse between Tove and Armboth was a little boggy but nothing compared to the Pewits.

High Tove from Armboth.JPG


Raven from Armboth.JPG


From here I made a beeline for Raven Crag. There is a track and right of way marked on the map, although little was evident. Once on the forest road it was easy going until the rather OTT steps and boardwalk leading to the summit of Raven Crag.

Raven boardwalk.JPG


Raven summit.JPG


Thirlmere.JPG


Up until now, everything had been straightforward and gone as planned. Unfortunately my preferred path down from Raven Crag was closed, forcing me to use the forest road instead. After walking along this a short distance I found this too was closed due to felling work. I followed the diversion for a while, going along a track not marked on the map and seemingly going in the opposite direction to that intended. After a while I lost patience and decided to cut through the trees (it was fairly thinly planted). This started off OK but soon I was climbing over a mass of felled tree branches and getting increasingly annoyed at my choice of route. Eventually I got out and made it onto the small path leading Northwards. Soon I was going off-piste yet again, trying to get across to the road, when it looked like the path was going to take me too far North.

It looked like I was finally able to get going on High Rigg, but within yards I was faced with yet another path closure. This time I'd completely had enough. The closure was due to drilling work for the pipeline and there didn't seem to be anything actually happening so I carried on up the path, ignoring the warnings.

I saw the route going over a stile and off to the right. After crossing the stile I found a dead shrew, frozen solid in the cold weather. I'd managed to climb most of the way to the 'summit' before I happened to turn around and realised there was a much higher summit in the complete opposite direction. After descending back to the stile, past the frozen shrew, I found a remarkably obvious path leading in the correct direction. How did I miss it? Anyway, after a short walk I was on the summit of the final Wainwright of the day (9 for the whole trip), meeting the first people all day. From there, I walked to Threlkeld to catch the bus home. Job done :)

High Rigg summit.JPG
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Pointless Parasite
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Posts: 100
Munros:84   Corbetts:5
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Wainwrights:214   Islands:2
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Location: Sunderland

Re: High Tove bogs tamed

Postby dav2930 » Sat Dec 15, 2018 12:54 pm

Looks like you're making good progress with the Wainwrights. Inevitably it can seem a bit of a chore mopping up some of the lesser ones, but these two walks looked quite interesting in their own ways. It has to be said, some of Wainwright's choices of fells for separate chapters do seem a bit eccentric. I could never understand why he included the likes of Mungrisedale Common (basically just a brief levelling off of the moorland on the northern slopes of Blencathra) while excluding fine hills like Black Combe and the Dunnerdale Caw Fell. :?

The Mell Fells are pretty undistinguished hills, lacking in the features that characterise the Lakeland fells as a whole, but at least they are definite hills with relative geographical importance. The same can't be said of High Tove and Armboth Fell, which are just sprawling areas of boggy moorland between High Seat and Ullscarf. It seems Wainwright felt the need to include them just to fill in a blank space on the map, for the sake of neatness. I think I've only ever been to their so-called summits once, in order to complete the list, and I don't think I'll bother again. There are simply too many more worthwhile things to do. That's one reason I don't think I could bring myself to do a complete second round of Wainwrights, even though I've been up some of the more interesting ones forty or fifty times.

Anyway, good luck with the rest of them! :)
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dav2930
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Posts: 1306
Munros:237   Corbetts:13
Grahams:10   Donalds:37
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Re: High Tove bogs tamed

Postby Pointless Parasite » Sat Dec 15, 2018 10:40 pm

Yes I know what you mean about Black Combe and Caw. There's also Iron Crag (Ennerdale Fell) which is hard to miss and dominates the South side of the valley. It only gets a brief mention in the chapter for (Ennderdale) Caw Fell. Sometimes I think Wainwright included the rubbish hills like Mungrisedale because he enjoyed having a good moan. Indeed, the Mungrisedale common chapter is one of his most entertaining.
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Pointless Parasite
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Posts: 100
Munros:84   Corbetts:5
Grahams:4   Donalds:12
Sub 2000:7   Hewitts:115
Wainwrights:214   Islands:2
Joined: Apr 9, 2017
Location: Sunderland

Re: High Tove bogs tamed

Postby Sgurr » Sun Dec 16, 2018 11:06 am

We utilised a day following days of dry weather this summer when the lake was so low that the boats couldn't get to some of the jetties to do High Tove. Sorry to report that there was not a bog to be seen.
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Sgurr
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Location: Fife

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