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Seathwaite Fell



Mick Knapton

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Height: 632m (2,073ft) GPS: NY 22904 10181 Walking Routes

Seathwaite Fell is an area of the Lake District and stands above the hamlet of the same name at the head of Borrowdale.

Seathwaite Fell is a northern ridge of Great End in the Scafells. It projects out from beneath the great northern cliff of its parent, occupying a tongue of land between two tributaries of the River Derwent.

These are Styhead Gill to the west and Grains Gill to the east, the streams meeting at Stockley Bridge below the nose of the fell.

Sty Head Gill falls from the walkers' pass at Sty Head, the main pedestrian route from Borrowdale to Wasdale. Near the head of the pass is Styhead Tarn.

This in turn is fed by the outflow of Sprinkling Tarn, a beautiful indented pool lying between Seathwaite Fell and Great End. Sprinkling Tarn lies very close to the course of Grains Gill, ensuring that Seathwaite Fell is almost surrounded by water.

The prow of the fell above Stockley Bridge has two tiers of crag with Aaron Crags standing above Black Waugh.

A long line of crags also stands above Grains Gill on the eastern side looming above the popular path from Seathwaite to Esk Hause.

The western face, although rough, drops more gently down to Styhead Gill. In addition to a number of rocky knolls, the summit ridge also carries numerous small tarns. None are named on Ordnance Survey maps, although, the one below the south top is of a reasonable size.

The 'traditional' northern top and Pt 632 have small cairns. The view northward is good from both, but only the traditional top shows the foreground of upper Borrowdale. To the south is an intimate view of the cliffs of Great End.

Seathwaite is listed as having 3552mm of rainfall annually and this figure makes it the wettest place with rainfall statistics in England. The rain gauge used for this measurement is on the slope of Seathwaite Fell above the hamlet.

Provisionally, the 24-hour total rainfall at Seathwaite (ending 0045 on Friday 20 November 2009) of 314.4 mm is a UK record for a single location in any given 24-hour period using records going back to 1914.

The fell is invariably climbed from Seathwaite, taking the bridleway from Stockley Bridge which goes to Styhead Tarn for a kilometre, passing the waterfall of Taylorgill Force, before striking south westerly over rocky terrain to reach the cairned northern summit.

A ridge path works its way south from here although it bypasses both Great Slack and the south top and a short detour is needed to reach them.

An alternative is to make for Sprinkling Tarn from either Esk Hause or Sty Head and then work back along the ridge.

Walking routes near Seathwaite Fell



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