For newcomers

At the bottom of each post there is the word "comments". If you click on it you will see comments made by followers, and if you follow the instructions you may also comment and I always welcome that. I have found many people overlook this part of the blog which is often more interesting than the original post!

My blog nick-name is SIR HUGH. I'm not from the aristocracy - my middle name is Hugh which relates to the list of 282 hills in Scotland compiled by Sir Hugh Munro in 1891. I climbed my last one (Sgurr Mor) on 28th June 2009


Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Wild Boar Fell

Monday 16th March 2020 - Wild Boar Fell - 708m - 2323ft (SD 755 984) circular

My reaction to the C thing is of course to comply with the strongly forced advice but to drive to remote locations to do obscure circular walks without visiting cafés or whatever.

I know everybody doesn’t agree with the methods the UK government are applying but at least it is a plan that in its own way will tackle the problem and we are now stuck with it and must responsibly try and make it work as well as it can. This not just a matter of self preservation but importantly also not passing C to others when we are living in cuckoo-land seeing ourselves healthy before the eruption of the virus which we are unknowingly carrying - a point that seems to be lost on  some members of our population.  I am no fan of Johnson by the way.

Ok - rant over.

I suppose Wild Boar Fell is hardly an obscure objective but this was planned the day before the latest request to self isolate for the over 70s was announced. That was only after I returned home, and I had been trying to conform along with the previously suggested advice. I had already opted out of a meeting of my book club where the remaining members were continuing to live in denial along the lines I mention above.

It seems Wild Boar is, sort of topically, a subject of some contention:

Wild Boar Fell is a mountain in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, in the civil parish of Mallerstang on the eastern edge of Cumbria, England. At 2,323 feet, it is either the 4th-highest fell in the Yorkshire Dales or the 5th, depending on whether nearby High Seat is counted or not.  Wikipedia

This is also a Marilyn and I have climbed it a couple of times before but from the other side. On the last occasion I was descending the obvious ridge of Swarth Fell and I must have stood out prominently as an RAF jet came across just above my head and waggled his wings.

Today wind was my biggest problem. It was strong, but I have known stronger, but this was unceasing throughout the walk and it got to me. Somehow wind makes simple things difficult like taking photos or stopping for the usual faffs including the sandwich stop, more so than other kinds of inclement weather. I have to say it spoiled the outing today. Most of the route was over pathless moorland and fairly hard going and I wouldn't recommend it to others. I found nowhere except perhaps the summit shelter to stop for my sandwich and coffee, but the wind was so strong on the top that I departed by something akin to a dyno move in rock climbing terms (just touching as one passes on.)

I was glad to get back to the car where I had my food break in comfort wallowing in the anticipation of a hot bath back at home.

It was in fact a good sunny day which doesn't seem to be reflected by these photos.
Nevertheless it's worth a click to enlarge
The Uldale Fell road - my start was from a large carpark just west a couple of hundred yards down the A683 from here

From the fell road out onto open land

Wraygreen Farm

Tarn farm - nobody about

Wild Boar Fell hidden in cloud

Eller Hill Farm

Needle House. There was a bell on the end of the roof of the long building centre - see next photo...

...Just past there a lonely builder was refurbishing the farmhouse - he knew nothing about the purpose of the bell - it remains as one of the many of life's mysteries that I am storing up

Panorama to the Howgills - my route over rough moorland toils up from the dip right of centre

It would have been a fine little ridge walk along to the summit but for the more than irritating wind

Just a flying visit. I think this shelter is new since I was last here


  1. Hi Conrad - we are doing likewise and avoiding social contact by walking in the Ochils where we rarely see, never mind meet, anyone. I may even find time to post. Your ‘rant’,as you call it, seems perfectly sensible to me.

  2. afoot - Thanks. It seems we are not forbidden to take exercise. On a lighter side I have been noticing on TV when queues are being formed people are standing well apart.

  3. Great to see you are out and about - keep the flag flying.
    A good choice of a hill - you didn't meet anybody. Far more adventurous than my modest outings. I won't report you to the virus police.

  4. A good way to isolate, let alone self-isolate.
    Yes, what a horrid wind yesterday - we were planting bedding plants in a mixture of 95% rock and 5% half-cured-epoxy-like clay on an east-facing slope - despite the occasional sunshine, the wind made the task really miserable.
    You should have come for tea - not breaking your isolation is very easy here: a howling gale must surely obviate the need for 2M distance, specially if at right angles - or do virum (virae is definitely wrong) propagate with the speed and power of light ?
    On another tack - that bell - one always there to tell the toilers or loungers when to start, finish, come in for tea etc. - we used to have one at the back of the house in the '40's - and when last staying at Swinton in the 60's, the bell above the stables was still in use - both for that purpose. Mobile phones have replaced pagers have replaced bells have replaced heralds have replaced running slaves but each era finds a way to warn or summon the serfs to the table or the grindstone!
    Keep well and keep fit

  5. i seem to fallen into the anon slot also

  6. Anon to anon.
    Keep the regulatory 2 metres apart and you may be fine.

  7. Gimmer (anon) - From an Internet source:

    The noun virus has a Latin root, but is one of the few nouns that has no plural in Latin. It occurs only in the singular. The English plural viruses (which adheres to the standard rules for forming plurals) is the only way to make the noun virus plural.

    I am coming across many instances of people who think becuase they are fit and healthy haven't got a problem in mixing whilst missing the point that they can be carrying without knowing and pass on to others. All other members of my book club took that line and contiued with ther meeting yesterday without me.

    Ah! For Whom the Bell Tolls?

  8. A lot changes in 24hours.
    Whilst I commended you on your little adventure the other day I now come with a word of caution.
    The latest BMC advice on hillwalking and climbing -

    People need access to the countryside for their health – both mental and physical.

    Follow the most current NHS advice regarding health and distancing. [Avoid social contacts, keep 2m apart etc]

    Consider your means of travel and distance – close to home is best and, despite the environmental impact, it’s better to be in personal cars than public transport at the moment.

    Stick to familiar areas and low-risk activities.

    Reduce your risk. Be very aware that medical and rescue services and facilities are going to be extremely stretched and overwhelmed. It would be socially irresponsible to be taking risks at this time that could place an additional burden on medical and emergency services.

    Do not assume that Mountain Rescue will be available. There is a real possibility of reduced or even no cover for rescue in some areas as this develops.

    Having considered the above we are all in this together and need to take responsibility for controlling the situation. So I for one will be a little less adventurous in my daily exercise. If the public [That includes me] doesn't respond we will soon be in complete shutdown as in France and Spain our near neighbours.

  9. BC - Thanks for that. I will be less ambitious in future - proper footpaths only and shorter walks. I am working on a prortype extending two metre ruler in case I meet any body.

  10. It's only 2m if the wind is in the right direction - think about it. So you prototype may need to factor in wind speed and direction.
    I'll put an order in for one if they become available before a vaccination.

  11. You could send several of your extending rulers to the members of the Heath and Social Care Committee who were nowhere near two metres apart during yesterday’s meeting. Oh dear.


  12. BC - the MRTs in Scotland have given the same advice, but most areas of the Ochils will be fine I think. Unfortunately not all walkers seem to be complying with social distancing and, as you rightly say, this could lead to a full lockdown. (Sorry for the two deletions Sir Hugh)

  13. BC and afoot - seemed like a good idea at the time. I've cancelled my patent application.

  14. Bowland Climber's list is hard-nosed and right, even for non-walkers. Mes félicitations.

    A bit of laddishness caught my eye on telly last night. One yobbo, determined to sound a hairy-chested note, said he would continue going to the pub "whatever". I would not mourn his passing but I would the people he risks infecting.

  15. Or you could adapt it into an i/r or microwave rangefinder and detector with audible and visual warning : works in the dark - and with a little extra skill, be adapted to virus detection as well (with tuner to determine the type, perhaps) - go for it !
    even if it doesn't work, if you put on the shelf next to the lavatory paper rolls it will sell in its thousands - but don't make any claims, just give it a slightly ambiguous name.

  16. RR = That comes from the British Mountaineering Council who oversee things climbing related in the UK and I agree, a prgagmatic response.


    gimmer - I might need to erect yet another hut in the back garden.

  17. apropos RR's comment
    the French Minister of the Interior said some thing like this of those who flaunted their disregard for the isolation measures :
    "they think they are 'modern day heroes', but they are not heroes, they are imbeciles"
    I somehow doubt whether such remarks would be allowed here - strident calls from snowflakes against discrimination or 'racism' (??) against imbeciles or heroes - or any other persecuted minority one choses to whom the 'imbeciles' belong . . .

    (shed - make sure you disinfect the screws - timber is self-sanitising: i had a builder wondering if building supplies would be considered a priority for delivery - the isolated but fit will hope to fill their time with long neglected DIY so I think a petition to the BBC panic-line may be needed)

    We are taking the whole issue very seriously , despite the feeble attempts at gallows humour - to the extent of querying whether a customer really needs £10K's worth of work doing before mid-April . . . - so , to allay your possibly justified fears we are being too casual, be assured, we are not. Read Churchill's account of visiting a WWI casualty clearing station to remind ourselves of the need for perspective in the face of dire events.

  18. gimmer - I'm glad to see you have taken up on the humour as well (suggested by RR in his recent post.)

    Today I was glad to hear that my single malt does not have strong enough proof alchol to be effective so the burden of the difficult decision to use it or not as a handwash has come as a great relief.

    I think the shed project has been dropped but I am also glad to note that you see me using screws rather than nails, the latter of which I abhor.

  19. Correction: ...the LIFTING of the burden

  20. I didn't comment on this post at the time (bit distracted by getting home from Spain!) but have just revisited it. Does it seem quite incredible, looking back on it now, that this walk was only two weeks ago?