I hadn’t thought to get away this weekend but the weather just looked too glorious to miss out on. So at the last minute I found a cheap B&B in Kirkby Stephen and set off north. By the time I got there, checked in, it was well into the afternoon so I wanted something that wouldn’t take too long. This little Marilyn looked just the thing. There is a big car park high up on the A684 above Sedbergh, with a horrifically potholed surface and a big noticeboard celebrating the geologist Adam Sedgwick, where there is usually a camper van or two parked up and one or two people with cameras stopping to photograph the striking view of the Howgill Fells on display. I took it from here and trudged up and down in the same glorious weather that had tempted me out. It was a dry day and there had been a dry spell but still it was decidedly boggy in places and is likely unpleasantly so in wetter conditions.
Aye Gill Pike is crosscrossed by many sturdy walls and fences – most typically walls supplemented with fences – that would be awkward to climb. So it is a matter of finding a way up through them that makes any necessary crossings at points where there are stiles. If coming from the A684 car park as I did, here are instructions to do so. Turn left out of the car park and follow the A684 a short distance east till you reach a cattle grid. Just before the grid a path heads off to the right signposted “Lunds 1¾” (Lunds is a place in Dent Dale. You’re not going there. Though the sighnpost suggests you could just as well start there.) On your left there is a wall. Keep it that way. Don’t cross it, just follow it steadily, with a sometimes rather faint, often boggy path underfoot. It leads up onto the ridge and past the top of a conspicuous strip of woodland. Soon after passing the woods you come to a point where two walls converge blocking your way. But there is a stile. Cross it. Now there is a wall on your right. Keep it that way and follow the ridge. You will twice find your way blocked as the wall on your right radiates branch lines but both times a stile solves the problem. Finally you find yourself on the top but with the wall between you and the trig point but again a stile just where you need it. I came down exactly by the ascent route described based on observations on the way up. Without benefit of those observations, I ascended almost by it but not quite and tore my trousers on some barbed wire. I got down early evening and went off to feast on lasagne and chips at Tebay Services.
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