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Nine Standards Rigg above Kirby Stephen
Nine Standards Rigg above Kirby Stephen

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Route No 56 - 21 Aug 2002
Nine Standards Rigg from Ravenseat & return
Coast to Coast Route - 12km
Yorkshire Dales . . .

Route map from OS Open Space service

Map: OS Explorer OL19 Howgill Fells and Upper Eden Valley. 1:25000


Ravenseat It's the holiday season again and my usual walking companions are otherwise engaged so I decided to climb Nine Standards Rigg to-day. I have seen these huge cairns from vantage points in the North Pennines, the Howgill Fells and from Wildboar Fell but I have never been there before. I drove to Map ref. NY 863028 on the little side road to Ravenseat, a couple of miles from Keld. Around 10.30 I started walking up the road towards Ravenseat for about 200m to a path to my left following the open moor side of the field walls. This path is part of Wainwright's 'Coast to Coast' route. There are two paths from this point up to Nine Standards Rigg and I was planning to go up on one and back down the other.Whitsun Dale However at map ref. NY 855030 where the two routes diverge there is a large sign erected by the County Council informing walkers that as an erosion control measure the two paths are being used alternately for 6 months each. The ground underfoot is wet peat and there are many marshy area that have already trodden into a quagmire so it's probably a sound idea. I continued on the only route open which follows Whitsundale Beck for a couple of kilometres before turning to climb the moor for a further couple of kilometres to the viewpoint marker on Nine Standards Rigg and a couple of hundred metres further on are the Nine Standards themselves. I had seen no-one at all on the way up and I was enjoying the solitude in the vast bowl of wild country - The Nine Standardseven the fighter aircrat had gone away and left the moors silent for a while. As I approached the summit I encountered groups of walkers 'doing the coast to coast' and by the time I reached the Nine Standards I had passed around two dozen people. One group asked me to to take a photo of them (with their camera) beside the Standards - I hope it comes out OK. I sat by the viewpoint marker looking out to the Howgill Fells and Wildboar Fell for a long drink and a sandwich. It was a lovely sunny day with a ring of billowing cumulus clouds around the horizon. The Lake District was lost in the haze, but the view over the Howgills got clearer as I sat there.The Howgill Fells from Nine Standards Riggt Eventually I had to leave and head back down the boggy track - there was no point trying to dodge the wet peat, after all that's what the walking gear is for isn't it? I soon caught up two of the groups I had met at the summit as they tried in vain to pick their way round the boggy bits. "You don't care where you walk!" commented one lady as I overtook her group (it was the ones I had photographed earlier) Mind you my boots and the bottoms of my trousers were well covered in peat by this time. When I reached Whitsundale Beck again I stopped for a drink but the groups behind did not come by. When I reached the rise where the path climbs up to a stile leaveing the beck I had a good look through my binoculars and spotted the two groups still making slow progress though the marshy land beside the beck. I got back to the car just after 3.00pm. The route of about 12km had taken me around four and a half hours. As I drove back towards Keld I passed some of the people who were leaving the summit as I arrived - they would be staying in Keld or maybe even Muker to-night.

One of the Nine Standards
One of the Nine Standards

More of the Nine Standards
More of the Nine Standards