~Wild Boar Fell~
3rd December 2016
Scroll down for photos and a description of the walk....
Returning to an old and favoured formula of taking the train up the Settle/Carlisle to walk the wild open spaces of the eastern edges of Cumbria and a bit of North Yorkshire. The 0939hrs from Hellifield is on time and about 45 minutes later, after leaving the train at Kirkby Stephen, we can leave the A685 and join the quieter road for a short stretch before entering the fields en route to Wild Boar Fell.
Walkers leave the station, take the A685 to the A683 and after maybe 150 yards, take the lane off to the left and then enter the fields at a gate - presently no footpath sign, but it is an entry into "Open Countryside" and access is allowed. Follow the fence....
With WBF ahead and in view most of the way, it's just a matter of finding the right way. A short stretch of "Tommy Road" (tarmac) positions walkers in a good spot to start the ascent of the fell.
"They" have promised clearing skies, so there will be plenty of blue sky photos later. In the meantime, it's a bit dull and only the excitement of reaching the minor summit of Little Fell can persuade the camera out of its bag.
High up above the felltop is a paraglider, maybe you can spot him in the photo on the left. So far, we have seen nobody else on this route and this is in common with my two previous ascents of WBF.
Molly The Collie
...on The Nab. For all intents and purposes The Nab is the summit of Wild Boar Fell to anyone coming up from the north. However it is shown on the map as being 8m lower than two other points.
Stone Men of Wild Boar Fell
There is a shelter at the southern end of the summit scar and I am confident we will have it to ourselves, maybe just a paragliders bag or whatever they leave behind when they take to the air.
Ais Gill Summit 1,169ft asl
The shelter was occupied by a family from Darlington. So I stood nearby and must have looked suitably forlorn as I was offered, not a seat, but a cup of tea! Excellent it was too and there is still no sign of any sunshine. What I can say is that I'm glad I didn't head the many extra driving miles to The Lakes to be under such dull skies.
Wild Boar Fell "joint" Summit 2,323ft asl
The trig point shelter and that at the other shelter both record the same height on the map. Molly discusses route plans with a man who is doing the same walk as us, but the other way round. I'll show you why it is better to go this way, in a short while.
Molly & The Snow
We are now heading to Garsdale Railway Station and after the crowded summit, we proceed to see nobody else until the end of the walk. Enjoy the wonderful remoteness of these fells with me and Molly...
To Swarth Fell
Looking Back to Wild Boar Fell
And back in August 2013, here are Alison and Chris with Fudge. Sadly Fudge passed away just a short time before this walk of today.
The Summit of Swarth Fell
To Garsdale Station
It is not pretty and melted snow has led to some rather boggy patches. Still no sunshine and no other walkers.
We crossed the line on the footbridge, just beyond the house and joined the B6259 for a walk to the Moorcock Inn.
The Moorcock Inn
Here is the reason to do the walk this way round. There is a pub just before the station - no such thing in the environs of Kirkby Stephen Station. Last time I called in here, I thought it was dull and unwelcomming - have things improved?
It is 1 mile to the station, allow at least 20 minutes! 17 minutes is only just enough....
Walkers: Molly and Me.
Time taken: 5hrs over a distance of about 12 miles.
Route: Kirkby Stephen Railway Station, turn left A685, A683, countryside route to Tommy Road then up Little Fell, Wild Boar Fell, Swarth Fell, The Tongue, Turner Hill, South Lunds Pasture, footbridge over the railway, Moorcock Inn.
Refreshements: The Moorcock Inn is under new ownership and is much improved. A real fire for the first two visitors to sit in front of (not us) and a good menu for either snackers or main mealers. The meat pie was very good and I like peas, which is great because it's the only vegetable that can safely travel all the way to this remote pub.
Weather and conditions: Dull and breezy on the tops.
Nearly all photos copyright Richard Ratcliffe 2016 ©