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Nidderdale & Washburn Walks

Dead Man's Hill

The trig point on Rain Stang

Date: 29th January 2007
Distance: 11.1 miles
Ascent: 1626 feet
Time: 4 hours 45 minutes
With: On my own
Start Grid Ref: SE068766

Walk Summary:
An enjoyable but rather rambling route in upper Nidderdale visiting two reservoirs, the trig point on Rain Stang and the flat-topped Dead Man's Hill.

Route Summary: Scar House Reservoir - Carle Fell Quarry - Dead Man's Hill - Shaw Gill Close - Angram Reservoir - Scar House Reservoir - Nidderdale Way - Rain Stang - Woodale Scar Quarry - Scar House Reservoir


1. Scar House Reservoir dam and Dead Man's Hill

2. The quarry on Dead Man's Hill

3. Scar House and Angram Reservoirs backed by Great Whernside

4. Little Whernside

5. The flat moorland top of Dead Man's Hill

6. Little Whernside from the western flank of Dead Man's Hill

7. Nidd Head and the infant River Nidd

8. Angram Reservoir

9. Angram Dam and Little Whernside

10. The trig point on Rain Stang

11. Looking across the valley to Great Haw

12. Woodale Quarry

Walk Detail: The first day of my unemployment (also the first holiday I’d had in three months) saw me decide to visit this part of Nidderdale again.

There was a high thin layer of cloud with the promise of some breaks of sunshine when I set off from an otherwise empty car park. The climb up to the quarry was a steep one but was accomplished fairly quickly.

The environs of the quarry were quite interesting and I made a small detour to the small man made tarn above the main quarry face. From there I should have made a beeline for the summit but instead I followed the quarry track a bit too far which meant I had to indulge in a bit more heather bashing than was really necessary.

The top of Dead Man’s Hill is a flat expanse of moorland and it was difficult to tell where the highest point was but as I tramped over a fair bit of it I should have crossed it at some point. The best views were to be had from the western end of the fell before the drop down to the green way that crosses the col with Little Whernside which looked particularly flat-topped from there. It was here I decided to have my lunch (French onion soup again) before heading down to the green way where I met a man repairing the drystone walls.

Things suddenly seemed a lot more crowded when further down I came across and old couple rambling around Scar House Reservoir. It was from them that I heard about the murderous tavern keeper whose nocturnal activities gave the name to Dead Man’s Hill.

While they were pleasant people I wanted to be off so I wished them a good walk and then put some distance between us. This was the first time I’d been up to Angram reservoir and I was particularly taken with the northern fork which flows in from the infant Nidd. This section featured some particularly excellent views of Nidd Head.

By this time I’d decided I may as well add a couple of miles and a bit more climbing on to the original plan I had for the walk and incorporate Rain Stang whose trig point I had walked close by to the previous year with Lisa. The climb up the rocky path was the first time I’d broken sweat on the walk so far but it is over fairly quickly. Then I was faced with how to cross the wall but in this I was helped by some sheep who ran through a gap in the wall as I walked towards them.

The summit plateau of Rain Stang was a bit boggy but the trig point had a good view of the middle reaches of Nidderdale though not as good as the similar one from Middlesmoor church. I returned via the quarry near Woodale Scar which was quite interesting and from which I had an excellent view of Dead Man’s Hill and Great Haw across the valley.

An enjoyable walk in which I’d finally ‘bagged’ two tops I had come very close to on previous walks.

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