Each time I drive over Shap summit on the M6 I glance to the side to look for the small pyramidal summit of Kidsty Pike. It’s a striking view amongst the rounded summits of the far-eastern fells and one that’s not overly familiar to those bagging the Wainwrights.
My goal for the day was to tick the Outlying Fells of the Seat Robert and Howes chapters in Wainwright’s book 8, and possibly the Nuttall of Branstree NE top. It was yet another excursion into the Shap fells but probably my last for quite some time.
|Seat Robert summit|
The walk was one of solitude although the summits thereabouts are easily won and are pleasant places to be, despite the boggy nature of the terrain. Seat Robert is a place to linger, with superb views of Cross Fell to the east and the High Street fells to the west. Fewling Stones is an equally relaxing spot. And both have a good view of the outstanding Kidsty Pike.
Haskew Tarn was a worthwhile distraction from the summits, although as it was a day following a recent cold spell, the ground was easier to walk on than I suspect it would be once it had thawed.
I descended to Mosedale Beck bridge where I rested for a while and enjoyed the view of the Brunt Tongue ridge, before taking in the ascent to the Howes ridge. The walk had taken longer than expected so I was in two minds about ticking the Branstree top, but as it was the only Nuttall in the far-eastern fells that I hadn’t ticked, I decided to go for it as I didn’t want to return just for that summit. There was quite a bit more snow at this height, but a fellrunner had left some convenient footprints for me to follow, making the walk just a bit easier.
There was an excellent view of the east face of High Street from the small summit cairn, but there wasn’t much else to recommend staying here for any longer. I retraced my steps and easily reached the top of Howes before descending some well-consolidated neve on the way to Nabs Moor. This afforded a nice view of Swindale before heading for home via the Mosedale Beck bridge and the boggy track back towards Tailbert.
This 10-hour day allowed me to tick 7 Outlying Fells, leaving only 7 to do. Unfortunately, they’re spread out over the national park from far west to south-east but I’m sure that one or two will surprise me with some unusual views.