Never mind next weekend's Tour de France (de Yorkshire), yesterday me and the boy travelled to the Mallerstang valley between Hawes and Kirkby Stephen for a bit of new mountain exploring, a full tour of the Mallerstang skyline in fact...... Le Tour de Mallerstang. I've driven through Mallerstang loads of times and always, always Wild Boar Fell has looked magnificent, towering over you as you drive through. Its an imposing sight and made all the better by a handful of pepperpot like cairns that are dotted along the top, almost like little standing stones staring down at you. And every time I've driven past I've vowed that I have to flipping run up there.
That said running up and down one mountain can be a bit boring especially going up and down the same way and, with a bit on on-line research and map looking at-ing, me and Haz figured out a rough circular route of the whole valley - we planned to park at Aisgill Moor Cottages and then run Swarth Fell Pike, Wild Boar Fell and Little Fell in a northward line on the west side of the valley, drop down to Pendragon Castle (hopefully finding a path that went that way) and then hack a line straight up the open fell side to High Seat (the Yorkshire Dales High Seat that is, not to be confused with the shorter High Seat in the Lake District) on the eastern side and run the ridge back south via Gregory Chapel (or, as in the know hill walkers call it, Archy Styrigg). We had an added option of also visiting Hugh Seat on the way back but, by the time we'd reached the turn off for Hugh Seat, my knacked achilles was aching a bit and we decided on taking the straight line back. Perhaps we'll add Hugh Seat on next time?
As things turned out it was a cracking route, clocking in at a smudge over 13 miles with 3,199 feet of climb. We found an excellent path down to Pendragon Castle too but, as we very much expected, our route up High Seat was all over open fell side and included one pretty hairy (especially with Harry needing assistance) climb up a dried up waterfall. Anyway we survived and made it round okay.
Another humdinger then!
|Our route profile...... in orange|
|Wild Boar Fell with the car left all on its lonesome at Aisgill Moor Cottages|
|Less than half a mile in and Harry thought rolling in fox poo was a fun thing to do|
|Wild Boar Fell viewed from the climb up Swarth Fell Pike with High Seat and Archy Styrigg far right|
|Wild Boar Fell ahoy!|
|The foxy smelling man dog Harry at the cairns on Wild Boar - note his 'stained' mane|
|Dropping down towards Pendragon|
|Pendragon Castle with Wild Boar Fell behind poking through the gap|
|Leaving Pendragon behind|
|Climbing up this dry waterfall looked like it should have been easy.......|
|The 'understated' cairn on High Seat with Great Shunner Fell on the horizon|
|Harry at the top of Archy Styrigg|
|Harry the nonch mountain dog posing|
|Harry on Mallerstang Edge|
|Looking north from Mallerstang Edge|
|Harry still feeling smug about the fox poo rolling|
|Harry feeling less smug about the fox poo rolling when we got home|