Ascent of Sighty Crag on 2014-10-18

Climber: Peter Stone

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Saturday, October 18, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:4x4 Vehicle
Peak:Sighty Crag
    Elevation:1706 ft / 519 m

Ascent Trip Report

A marvellously remote hill with extensive views and a real sense of space and freedom. This may be Cumbria but it feels so different from the Lake District, much more like Northumberland and indeed Hadrian's Wall is a nearby feature. Despite being the weekend, with reasonably good weather, I and the wildlife had this hill to ourselves all day. I think it likely that the only people who visit are completing the English Marilyns (150 metre prominence hills) which is a shame because it's a fine area to walk in, but then that's one of the arguments for list-ticking, to avoid repeating the familiar and to open up wider experiences.

A short but non-trivial walk. I parked SW of the hill at NY 561785 by the UPM Tilhill forestry plantation sign, at the end of the track which heads NE just before The Flatt. Initially it's an easy but muddy hike following forestry roads (keeping right whenever there's a choice) until you reach the brow of the hill at NY 584797 where a small path heads through a gap in the forest to the open ground above between Slaty & Tod Crags. From there it's a hard high-stepping slog across the trackless land of stumpy detritus of clear-felled forest with bog, heather and grass up to the summit. The highest point is clearly the rocky outcrop 5 metres or so W of the trig point. After an extended break for lunch and to take in the panorama I decided to return due west to shorten the walk across rough ground albeit in exchange for a longer walk back along forestry roads. Fortunately I found that there is a clear gap between new and old growth forest just below Twolads' Crag at NY 588809 and it's very easy to make your way to original forest road at NY 587808 and head S and SW back to the start.

Lots of birdlife and a close encouter with a pair of roe deer hinds. 1 hour 45 minutes up, half an hour on the summit and 1 hour 15 minutes down. 12 km total distance.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:987 ft / 300 m
    Trailhead:The Flatt  719 ft / 219 m
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Open Country, Bushwhack
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles

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