Yorkshire Dales Walks
High Seat & Little Fell
Date: 4th September 2004
Distance: 12.5 miles
Ascent: 1966 feet
Time: Too long ago to remember!
Start Grid Ref: SD778962
A very wet walk visiting High Seat and the other tops on the eastern side of Mallerstang.
Route Summary: Aisgill Moor Cottages - Hell Gill Beck - Hangingstone Scar - Archy Styrigg - High Seat - High Pike Hill - High Seat - Archy Styrigg - Hugh Seat - Little Fell Sails - The High Way - Hell Gill Bridge - Aisgill Moor Cottages
1. Low cloud over Swarth Fell
2. Matt measuring wind speed on Archy Styrigg
3. Little Fell
4. A big smile from Matt when the rain finally stopped
5. Hugh Seat and Archy Styrigg from Little Fell
6. By the small pile of stone marking the top of Little Fell
7. Looking north east from Little Fell towards Rogan's Seat
8. Hellgill Force
Walk Detail: This was our final prep walk before we tackled the Three Peaks and it proved to be an absolutely wretched day for walking. Parking our car in the same place as the Wild Boar Fell walk 3 months earlier we headed up Mallerstang. The cloud was very low and before we had even got to a prominent cairn half way up visibility was greatly reduced. We were lucky on this walk though because there were a number of trodden paths, though unmarked on our maps, on the route we had chosen.
Along Hangingstone Scar we could occasionally make out some very impressive cliffs below us. With the cloud being so low we could not see the valley floor and this gave us the eerie feeling of walking along the edge of an abyss.
Our first top, Archy Styrigg, was marked by the most impressive cairn I had yet seen as it was constructed to almost look like the upper half of a body. The cairn provided enough shelter to protect us from the increasingly strong and cold wind blowing in from the west.
We then followed a path north to High Seat in weather which was rapidly deteriorating. By the disappointingly small pile of stones marking the summit of High Seat we made the decision to push on and bag the minor top of High Pike Hill. On one hand this decision was clear proof of our determination in the face of elemental opposition, on the other hand it was made a case that we were a little bit mad.
The pile of stones at High Pike Hill was more impressive than High Seat but due to the awful weather I did not get any pictures at either summit. Having become drenched on our left hand side walking north we now turned south and retraced our steps all the way back to Archie Styrigg and so got soaked on our right.
From Archie Styrigg we walked over Hugh Seat and as we descended the latter the weather finally began to clear and we got some views of Great Shunner Fell and even Rogan’s Seat in the far distance to the northeast.
The climb on to Little Fell proved to be quite difficult due to the thick heather and occasional bog. Eventually we got on to a track that took us over what seemed to be three distinct tops two of which were marked by a small pile of stones. In doing so we bagged Lund’s Fell, Sails, Ure Head, Little Fell and whatever other names are given to these tops.
Overall this walk was a real test of stamina and will power and we passed with flying colours.