This page is here purely for fun – and for those who like lists. You might also look at the ‘Personal Notes in Conclusion‘. Note: all records include fells and walks in the Outlying Fells, except where noted.

Furthest north, south, east and west

For obvious reasons all these geographical extremes come in the Outlying Fells.

Northernmost point reached: The summit of Faulds Brow, which is therefore also the northernmost Wainwright, on walk 94.

Sellafield, from Crag Fell

Looking south from Crag Fell towards the Irish Sea, only a few miles away. A late autumn shot (walk 28, late November 2010).

Southernmost point reached: The summit of Humphrey Head on walk 72. At SD 738391, or roughly 54º 9′ N, this is also the southernmost Wainwright of the 330.

Westernmost point reached: Bus stop just outside Egremont, at NY015100, or about 3° 31′ W, the starting point of walk 28 (pictured) and walk 100. The westernmost Wainwright is Dent, which turned out to be the last one in my first round (walk 103).

Easternmost point reached: The end of the lane to the back of the Shap Wells hotel, terminus of both walk 80 and walk 81. This is at  NY5867103, 2° 38′ W.  The easternmost Wainwright is a close thing between Whatshaw Common (one of the Wasdale Horseshoe fells), bagged on walk 80, and High House Bank (Crookdale Horseshoe), bagged on walk 102.

Longest and shortest

Longest one-day walks so far:

  1. Walk 102, 20.2 miles (13th October 2015).
  2. Walk 35, 17.8 miles (2nd April 2011).
  3. Walk 93, 17.5 miles (10th March 2015).
  4. Walk 87, 16.6 miles (5th September 2014) [pictured].
  5. Walk 53, 16.1 miles (12th March 2012).
Kent valley, looking south

The Kent valley, looking south from the Shipman Knotts – Kentmere Pike ridge. Green Quarter Fell is the prominent hump in the middle distance.

My four two-day hikes measure up as follows. Walk 43a plus walk 43b from Cleator Moor to Gosforth via Wasdale Head, was 27.1 miles.  Walk 20a and walk 20b (also breaking at Wasdale Head, but now from Ravenglass to Dalegarth) involved 23.8 miles. Walk 117 was 21 miles approximately. Finally, walk 60 as a two-day hike was 19.84 miles (long, but not as long as the single-day walk 102).

All the longest single-day walks are in the far east of the district, either in Wainwright’s volume 2, The Far Eastern Fells, or that section of The Outlying Fells. a sign of how remote much of this area is from habitation. All start and/or finish in either Staveley or Burneside, adjacent stops on the train.

Shortest walks I did:

  1. Walk 22, 3.32 miles (9th August 2010).
  2. Walk 4, 3.5 miles (24th July 2009).
  3. Walk 57, 4.29 miles (20th May 2012).
  4. Walk 110, 4.75 miles (23rd May 2016).
  5. Walk 31, 4.81 miles (29th January 2011).
Hall's Fell ridge

The Hall’s Fell ridge of Blencathra, leading straight to the summit.

Walk 4 could have been shorter still, as we went wrong at the end and unnecessarily extended it.

Walk 110, despite its brevity, bags one Blencathra, via what Wainwright calls “the finest ascent in the District”, Hall’s Fell (see picture), so is not to be sniffed at.

I have omitted walk 104B (Loughrigg Fell) from the list because at the time that was a sort of stop-gap, unofficial walk and the distance was very approximately measured, but if it is counted, its 4 miles would put it third on this list.

Most feet of ascent:

I would say any walk with more than 3,000 feet of ascent (remember, Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England, is ‘only’ 3210 feet above sea level) is going to be a stiff walk, and these five are well above that.

Scafell Crag

Scafell Crag, from the final slope up to the nearby Scafell Pike.

  1. Walk 16, 4315 feet (Pillar from Buttermere: the Ennerdale ridge needs climbing first, and again at the end of the day)
  2. Walk 54, 4242 feet (Dale Head and Newlands: perhaps the most surprising one on this list, but there are substantial descents involved on both sides of Robinson)
  3. Walk 20B, 4191 feet (Scafell [pictured]: high enough without the descent from Mickledore that then adds to the burden)
  4. Walk 56, 4167 feet (Scafell Pike; my route saw me climb Seathwaite Fell first, which added a chunk of climbing)
  5. Walk 64, 4079 feet (Crinkle Crags from Eskdale, plus then Pike o’Blisco)
Summit of Longlands Fell

Summit of Longlands Fell, looking to Over Water and Binsey

Longest distance between two summits on the same walk: Probably the longest is the 4.66 miles between Longlands Fell and Binsey on walk 26, The picture is of Binsey taken from Longlands Fell, and shows the distance I had to travel. Later on in the project I became more lax about measuring distances beyond that of the walk as a whole, but the distance between Knipescar Common and Heughscar Hill on walk 137 must vie with this for first place.

Shortest distance between two summits: From Woodend Height to Yoadcastle in the Devoke Water chapter of the Outlying Fells (walk 101) is barely 250 yards, or 0.14 miles: I haven’t measured it accurately but it can’t be a great deal more than this. Runners-up: 0.25 miles, Steeple to Scoat Fell (walk 43a); 0.33 miles, Rampsgill Head to Kidsty Pike (walk 14) and also 0.33 miles between Buck Barrow and Kinmont Buck Barrow (both summits in the Whit Fell chapter) on walk 85.

Yoadcastle

Yoadcastle, from Woodend Height — the shortest distance between two Wainwright summits.

Longest distance walked without bagging a summit: I stopped keeping this data fresh after a while, but within the main 214, and in my first round, the longest summit-free passage was the 16.04 miles from Yewbarrow (no. 136) to Holme Fell (no. 137). A long walk back from Yewbarrow to Gosforth accounted for about 9.5 miles of this, then at the start of the next walk, it took the rest of the distance to get from Ambleside to Holme Fell.

Runners-up: 14.35 miles walked between Allen Crags (no. 61) and Whin Rigg (no. 62); and 13.29 miles between Dollywaggon Pike (no. 123) and Green Crag (124).

Langdale Pikes

Langdale Pikes, from Gummer’s How. Picture taken on walk 86.

‘Fastest’ and ‘slowest’ bagging: Probably the most efficient place to go Wainwright-bagging is the Langdale Pikes. On walk 112 I bagged five summits on a walk that was only 5.1 miles, and if one discounts the ascent and descent, it’s only about 2 miles between the five summits (Pavey Ark, Thunacar Knott, Harrison Stickle, Pike o’Stickle and Loft Crag); once on top of the first, the rest were all bagged within the next 90 minutes.

Honorable mention also to walk 60, a two-day hike, between Great Borne (number 182) and Base Brown (no. 191) I bagged 9 summits in approximately 10 miles, or 1.1 miles per summit.

Tree in Lowther Park

Tree in Lowther Park, walk 88

Looking at other single (one-day) walks, walk 3 included six summits in only 6.8 miles, one every 1.13 miles.

On the other hand, at about 14 miles, walk 88 (pictured) was the longest on which only one fell was bagged (Knipescar Common).

Highest and steepest

The ten highest Wainwrights are:

  1. Scafell Pike (3210 feet, no. 174)
  2. Scafell (3162 feet, no. 65)
  3. Helvellyn (3118 feet, no. 143)
  4. Skiddaw (3053 feet, no. 5)
  5. Great End (2984′, no. 175)
  6. Great Gable (2949′, no. 189 [first round[ and no. 100 [second])
  7. Bowfell (2960′, no. 106 [first round] and no. 82 [second])
  8. Pillar (2927′, no. 55)
  9. Nethermost Pike (2920′, no. 122)
  10. Catstycam (2917′, no. 192)

Bowfell and Great Gable are the only ones to have so far been visited a second time. The next highest Wainwright I’ve so far bagged twice is Raise at 2897′ (no. 12 on the overall list).

Fleetwith Pike

Fleetwith Pike, viewed from the path to Scarth Gap

Notable outbreaks of steepness on the walks so far include the ascent of Fleetwith Pike from Gatesgarth (1717 feet in 0.881 miles, giving an average gradient of 1:2.9 – up the slope on the left of this picture); the climb to Great Door on Yewbarrow, 1132 feet in 0.53 miles, at 1:2.7; Great Gable from Beck Head (856 feet in 0.456 miles, at 1:2.87); the climb of Pillar from the Liza memorial footbridge in Ennerdale (2295 feet in 1.324 miles, at 1:3.05) and the ascent of Rosthwaite Fell from Stonethwaite, which thanks to taking the wrong route up the face saw me ascend around 1000 feet in approximately 1/3 of a mile of horizontal distance, at an almost unbelievable gradient of about 1:1.75.

However, the winner of all of these is probably the climb of Dow Crag via South Rake on walk 96; from the shore of Goat’s Water to the ridge is 750 feet of ascent in less than 900 feet of horizontal distance. I make that 1:1.2. Easy Gully on Pavey Ark (walk 112) can’t be much less steep but is noticeably shorter.

Wainwright’s best six fells – and other favourites

At the end of volume 7, Wainwright writes the following:

Bowfell (left) and Rossett Pike

Bowfell (left) and Rossett Pike, viewed from the slopes of Pike o’Stickle

“I promised to give my opinion of the six best fells. I should not have used the word ‘best’, which suggests that some are not as good as others. I think they are all good. The finest, however, must have the attributes of mountains, i.e. height, a commanding appearance, a good view, steepness and ruggedness…. I now give, after much biting of fingernails, what I consider to be the finest half-dozen:

These are not necessarily the six fells I like best. It grieves me to have to omit Haystacks (most of all), Langdale Pikes, Place Fell, Carrock Fell and some others simply because they do not measure up in altitude to the higher mountains.”

And me? Of these six I most highly rate Bowfell and Blencathra, probably in that order.

On the other hand:

Mungrisdale Common summit

‘Summit’ cairn of Mungrisdale Common. Great Calva behind.

Wainwright gives the following fells very bad write-ups:

  • Mungrisdale Common (Book 5, The Northern Fells – from pages 1 and 2 of his chapter): “To add to its other failings, Mungrisdale Common does not lend itself to illustration. Most fells have at least one good aspect, but the Common, from whatever side it is seen, has no more pretension to elegance than a pudding that has been sat on… [its] natural attractions are of a type that appeals only to sheep…” [pictured]
  • Armboth Fell (Book 3, The Central Fells – from page 1 of his chapter): “Peak-baggers and record-chasers may have cause to visit the summit, but other walkers may justifiably consider its ascent a waste of precious time and energy… for the flat desolate top is little better than a quagmire, a tangle of swamp and heather and mosses, as is much of the surrounding territory. It can be said of very few fells that they are not really worth climbing: Armboth Fell is one of the few.” [See picture]
  • Armboth Fell

    Armboth Fell, viewed from Fisher Gill

    High Tove (Book 3, The Central Fells – from page 1): “It is hard to imagine that anybody feels any affection at all for High Tove, except perhaps from the sheep whose natural heaf it is. This dark heathery mound, squatting on the ridge between Watendlath and Thirlmere, and so gently contoured that water cannot drain away from it, is everywhere shockingly wet – a condition persisting even in drought – and is without any redeeming feature except as a viewpoint.”

  • Little Mell Fell (Book 1, The Eastern Fells – from pages 1 and 2): “Little Mell Fell barely merits inclusion in this book. It is a fell – its name says so – but it is not the stuff of which the true fells are made…. It is an uninspiring, unattractive, bare and rounded hump – the sublime touch that made a wonderland of the district overlooked Little Mell…”

For my opinions on this kind of thing, see my ‘Personal Notes in Conclusion’.

Birks, from Nethermost Pike

Birks, from Nethermost Pike’s east ridge. Picture taken – somewhat precariously – on walk 39.

And finally…

Wainwright fells with vaguely silly names

Most common words used in the names of fells

A truly geeky list that I can only excuse by having had half an hour to kill one lunchtime. Note that some fells get counted on here twice: e.g. Scafell Pike comes under both ‘fell’ and ‘pike’. (This list includes only the main 214, I have not yet been geeky enough to go through the additional 116 OFs.)

  1. Fell (occurs in the name of 43 Wainwrights)
  2. Crag(s) (30)
  3. Pike(s) (27)
  4. High (12)
  5. Great (11)
  6. Dodd (10)
  7. [equal 6th actually] Knott(s) (10)
  8. Side (8)
  9. Rigg (7)
  10. Moor, Head, Barrow and Gray/Grey each appear in the name of 5 fells.
Sail from Ard Crags

Sail from Ard Crags. Picture taken on walk 54.

Crag Fell can therefore be said to have the most unoriginal name among all the 214 Wainwrights.

Shortest and longest names

Discounting the Outlying Fells the shortest name of a fell is 4 letters, a record shared between Dodd, Sail (pictured), Yoke, and Barf. However, including the OFs makes the typing of all that redundant as that volume can muster the 3-letter Caw. Also, some of the Outlying Fells’ summits are unnamed so technically come in at zero.

The longest is a tie between Mungrisdale Common and Kinmont Buck Barrow (Whit Fell) at 17 letters, followed by Skiddaw Little Man (16 letters). Some of the chapters in the OFs (like the Wet Sleddale Horseshoe) have longer names but these are not the names of actual summits.

On St John's Hill

On St John’s Hill, looking north

None of the Wainwrights begin with the letters J, Q, V, X and Z. In fact the letters X and Z don’t appear anywhere in the names of any Wainwright. J only appears once in all the 330 – on St. John’s Hill (Caermote Hill) [pictured]. Q appears in the name of the Green Quarter Fell chapter, but this is not actually the name of one of the summits, so there is no Q actually in the name of a Wainwright.

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2 Responses to “Records, lists and oddities”

  1. […] Records, lists and oddities « The 214 Wainwright fells: without a car Filed in Uncategorized « Ross whitehead […]

  2. Guy Willson said

    Super adventure – I may embark on a similar journey soon. Best of luck. Guy

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