Sleddale Pike summit

The summit of Sleddale Pike. Not much to see, but summit #250 of the project.

Summits: There are three in the chapter, which I first visited in the reverse order than that suggested in the book, thus: Ulthwaite Rigg (1648’), Great Saddle Crag (1850’) and Sleddale Pike (1639’).

Volume: Book 8 (The Outlying Fells).

Date bagged: First visit: 14th April 2014, on walk 81.

I then bagged Ulthwaite Rigg for a second time on walk 102, 13th October 2015.

The other two were eventually rebagged on walk 169, 19th September 2019.

Wet Sleddale

On the descent into Wet Sleddale, looking west

Bagged as number: First round: 248, 249 and then number 250 (Sleddale Pike) of the full Wainwright list of 330.  [ << Howes (246-247)  (251-255) Stickle Pike >> ]

Second round: Ulthwaite Rigg is number 20 of the second round [ << Loughrigg Fell (19)  (21) Stone Arthur >> ]

Great Saddle Crag became number 220. [ << Little and Great Yarlside (Wasdale Horseshoe) (218-219)  (221) Wasdale Pike (Wasdale Horseshoe) >> ]

And finally, Sleddale Pike was number 222. [ << Wasdale Pike (221)  (223-227) Seat Robert >> ]

Route of ascent and descent: First visit: As noted above I did the three tops the opposite way round from Wainwright, coming up Ulthwaite Rigg from Mosedale and then descending off Sleddale Pike to the Lunch House then from there to the A6 at Shap Lodge.

Second visit: Ulthwaite Rigg only was bagged by coming over from the Seat Robert fells. I then left it by heading up to Harrop Pike, on the ridge above, and going on to the Crookdale Horseshoe.

View from Great Saddle Crag

View north from Great Saddle Crag — a fairly representative shot of the walk as a whole.

Great Saddle Crag and Sleddale Pike were intertwined with my descent off Great Yarlside into Wet Sleddale.

What Mr Wainwright says (from page 243 of volume 8): “The [Wet Sleddale] dam is large but the reservoir is small, and beyond the drowned area with its sad relics and ruins the head of the valley remains unchanged, copses and woodlands relieving the drab backdrop of grassy fells. In the valley bottom the ancient deer enclosures, unique in the district, are safe from engulfment; a new feature nearby is an ancient packhorse bridge built to replace an old one lower down the beck and within the maw of the reservoir.”

Withnail's fishing spot

Withnail’s fishing spot, under the packhorse bridge

What I say: You are going to have to be a pretty committed walker/peak-bagger to get a great deal out of these three summits, particularly Ulthwaite Rigg which is almost completely nondescript — and I say this having bagged it twice. That summit definitely gets into the ‘Low Reward for High Effort’ list.

However, Great Saddle Crag does have a bit of ruggedness about it and a definite summit, and Sleddale Pike, a good view. But to reach any of them requires about three and a half miles of negotiating pathless heather and tussocky grass, which is probably not most people’s idea of fun. Don’t try it in mist or rain; on a good day the walk is just about tolerable.

On the other hand, Wet Sleddale itself is well worth a visit, being not only a very attractive place (and enhanced, rather than spoiled, by its reservoir: in this I have to disagree with Wainwright), but also a place of pilgrimage for fans of Withnail and I, filmed hereabouts at the aforementioned bridge, and the house of Sleddale Hall, ‘Crow Crag’ in the movie.

[ << Watson’s Dodd     Wether Hill >> ]

2 Responses to “Wet Sleddale Horseshoe”

  1. […] of Wet Sleddale. Fells were bagged from two of Wainwright’s volume 8 chapters, Howes and the Wet Sleddale Horseshoe. Have a look at all those pages if you want to know the details and see more […]

  2. […] moment, I guess. (As well as the Bannisdale Horseshoe see also the Naddle, Crookdale, Wasdale and Wet Sleddale Horseshoes, Howes, and the Seat Robert […]

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