High Rigg

Walk Date – 15th November 2014

Distance – 5.5 miles

Weather – Cloudy, but no wind or rain, sunny spells later


We had lots of rain last week but today it was forecast to be dry although overcast, and possibly brighter later in the day. We decided that a walk over High Rigg might be a good choice given that the cloud base was expected to be low for a while. High Rigg is of modest height, standing at 1161′, so the summit was likely to be cloud free unlike some of its much higher neighbours. It stands between the Naddle Beck and St John’s Beck and so splits the head of the Thirlmere valley. To the east is the Helvellyn range, Blencathra and Skiddaw lie to the north of it, to the south lies Thirlmere, and on a good day there’s a glimpse of Bass Lake and a view round to the western fells.


Here we’re walking over from the Legburthwaite car park to reach the path which starts on the A591 at the end of this lane.

The lane runs alongside St John’s Beck which, after all the rain last week, is very full today.

A view along the Thirlmere valley from the climb up to Wren Crag. Its a steepish climb but on the plus side you do gain a fair bit of height quite quickly.

A view of Castle Rock as we climb higher …..

….. and on the other side of us is Raven Crag.

Continuing with the climb up the southern end of High Rigg.

Lots of low cloud further along the valley, and everywhere else so views were limited today.

Scots Pines on Wren Crag.

The northern end of Thirlmere. I don’t think I would ever feel entirely comfortable if I lived in one of those houses just below the dam wall.

Clough Head is free of cloud for a while.

Looking along the ridge towards High Rigg’s summit, its a bit like walking across a roller coaster as there are lots of ups and downs to deal with. Behind the summit ridge are the Skiddaw fells, not that you can see much of them with the cloud base being so low.

A look back through the pines at a little stretch of Thirlmere.

There was plenty of very soggy ground along the way and plenty of soggy clouds above us too.

Crossing the stile with style?

High Rigg Tarn.

Reflections in the tarn, pity its not a better day as it would have looked a little more inviting.

Pressing on from the tarn towards the summit with still a few more ups and downs to go.

You get plenty of stile crossing practice on High Rigg. Notice the soggy state of the paths.

Over the stile and looking back at the path, on the left, which we had followed from the tarn.

A look back along the humps and bumps of High Rigg.

We parted company briefly at this point to compare the sogginess of the paths. I took the path alongside the wall where the stepping stones beside it were under water. “Is it dry over there?” I asked, “Nope,” was the reply.

So no matter which path was selected it was squelch, squelch all the way.

The fells beyond Bass Lake were enjoying a brief spell of sunshine.

We’re not too far from the summit now.

High Rigg summit.

A close up of Tewit Tarn.

A look back from the summit, well, at least the foreground is clear, and you can just about make out part of Thirlmere.

Clough Head is back in the cloud again.

Making our way down to the lane which runs from the Naddle Beck side of the valley, across the foot of High Rigg  and down to the St John’s Beck side.

Down on the lane and we pass by the Church of St John in the Vale.

That’s where we are off to next.

Looking over St John’s Beck and the lower slopes of Clough Head on the right.

The lower slopes of Blencathra now have a brief spell of sunshine …..

….. and Clough Head is free of cloud again.

Now all the lower slopes of Blencathra have sun on them and the cloud is still covering the tops, but …..

….. I think the cloud is lifting, perhaps it’ll soon be our turn for some sun.

Zooming in for a closer look, and yes, the cloud is definitely shifting …..

….. but I’m still glad I’m not on Blencathra today.

Passing by Sosgill Bridge on our left.

A look back at the path we have been walking.

The sun has now reached Clough Head and the last wisps of cloud are disappearing fast.

Threading our way through the boulders alongside the beck.

Single file only through here.

A quick look up to see if any more boulders are likely to fall down, let’s move on sharpish.

Castle Rock again, now bathed in sunshine.

That’s the end of the walk, we’re out of the woods and onto the road to walk back to the car. We’d had plenty of stile crossing practice on High Rigg so we used the gate instead.

As we walk back to the car we get the clearest view of The Dodds that we’ve had all day. Why does it always clear up at the end of a walk?