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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


Thursday, 10 February 2022

Trigs 103. Totridge Fell

Wednesday 9th  February 2022

Totridge Fell   SD 634 487  496m - 1366ft. of ascent

The last but one of this campaign to visit all 76 trig points on Ordnance Survey 1:25000 Sheet 103: Blackburn and Burnley, and a worthwhile contender for best of the bunch. Having said that I am looking forward to the promised nostalgia visit to the final trig at Crookrise Crag with BC.

When I arrived at the bottom of the Trough of Bowland at 9:00am there was a special kind of golden light with the sun catching some of the higher hills.

Once out onto the proper hillside I started getting views back down into the valley and the bowl of the Trough. I found myself stopping frequently, not for rests but from a kind of enhanced compulsion to take in that particular atmosphere and light. I had a sense of being part of,  and inside a massive bowl of surrounding hills often overlapping each other, and here and there more distant views through the cols and passes. I have had a lifetime of walking in the hills but this experience was somehow different and more intense, no jokes please about hallucinants. Much has been said recently about walking as a benefit for mental health and I have no doubt that is the case. My whole being was rejuvenated on this walk and I was so thankful to still be capable of getting out onto proper hill country.

After stiff climbing I arrived at the peat hag surrounded trig. A modest plaque was attached which read:

Bill Smith

1935 - 2011

Fell running legend

died on these hills

Bill Smith was a formidable fell runner and author on the subject holding many records including number of peaks visited within 24 hours in the Lake District. Bill lived alone. It seems he had been running in these hills and was not missed until he failed to turn up as a marshal a few weeks later at an FRA event. His body was found submerged in a peat bog somewhere not far from my trig. There is a detailed entry in Wikipedia covering details of Bill as a person and his achievements and it is certainly  worth a read Bill was obviously very highly regarded as a person as well as for his achievements by the fell running fraternity and sadly missed.

I only unearthed all this on my return home, but it is sobering to think how easy it can be to succumb in those wild surroundings even for the experienced.

I had decided to head north west from the trig to descend into the Hareden Beck valley and follow the Land Rover track on the other side of the beck back to my start. A fairly easy but pathless moorland descent brought me down to Hareden Beck. It was in full spate. There was nowhere I could find to cross. I followed downstream traversing awkwardly the steep banking up and down above the stream. Eventually, after I had covered about two thirds of the distance of the inviting Land Rover track high on the opposite side I came across a large tree that had fallen across the beck. I am glad that nobody took a video of my antics on the crossing. I was glad to get back on the coveted track and erected my portable chair and sat in comfort with my sandwich and coffee somewhat later than planned.

Oh! It was so good to get back out into those hills again. 

Looking up The Trough from my car park. The lower part of my route ascends on the left

I branched off to the left shortly after this onto the proper hillside and the long climb to my trig

Looking back down my line of ascent. The views were improving almost step by step

Note my long early morning shadow

Wild country

Hareden beck. I had to continue on the steep banking on this side being unable to cross to the Land Rover track above

My tree crossing

Little red arrows show the Land Rover Track Hareden beck is in between that and my blue route


  1. I was out on one of my gentle walks in Chipping Vale on Wednesday and stopped to chat to a couple I’ve known for years. She was awaiting an artificial knee operation with some trepidation. I was able to give her some reassurance by telling her of your exploits after similar surgery. To emphasise the point I included your present OS trig points venture. Looking up at the skyline I said you were probably up there on Totridge Fell at that very moment, taking advantage of the good weather. If only I had had some powerful binoculars.
    The story of Bill Smith is well known amongst my fell running and walking friends in Longridge.
    I know that Land Rover track you were trying to reach and the wild surroundings of Hareden Beck. That subsequent sit down and cup of coffee must have been a sweet reward.
    Bring on Crookrise.

  2. BC - I reckon it was somewhere around 11:00 am when I was up at the summit. You were right about not tackling this along with the other trig further up the Trough on the same day. It would have been a long hard day.

  3. With this being the penultimate outing of this campaign, do you have a new project waiting in the wings? I'm imaginging (but quite possibly incorrectly) that you've now visited all trig points within a reasonable travel distance of home?

  4. Gayle - Yes, I reckon I've done trigs to death for the moment. I am looking forward to doing some walks by driving north rather than south, and also based on selection for quality, curiosity and the search for new ground. With a campaign like the trigs one is dictated to and forced to take the mediocre along with the quality. Having said that this campaign has been worthwhile and quite an eye opener.

  5. Having read your blog quite often, in addition to the rich discoveries you have made, I have nominated your persistence and perseverance in that 'hybrid' landscape (excepting the wilder bits) as earning you the 2022 Coolidge award. Well done.

  6. gimmer - Thanks. I presume there is multi-thousand pounds prize to go with it?

  7. dollars maybe - better ask the present incumbent - who is displaying such largess as which inflation and penury follow ineluctably !

  8. Your enthusiasm for these hills certainly shines through, but of course that isn't an unknown characteristic of your writings! Some lovely photographs to go with it too. I hope you avoided damage from Eunice which brought heavy snow here, but little wind.

  9. afoot - thanks.So far we are unscathed but...

    ...there is a large semi dead ash tree at the top of my road on the verge owned by the local authority. I much fear the tree falling onto my parked car below and have had lots of correspondence with the local authority requesting them to sort it. At the last count about six months ago they said it had been put on the list for the next financial year, so I suppose I will have to keep my fingers crossed until after April. I did move the car to a safer location during Eunice.