Calver Hill

So on a website about a MOUNTAINEERING club, why even mention a point merely 487 metres ?

Well, there come days to the hills, when cloud and wind pushes onto western slopes, making it difficult to stand up at 700m, the summits shrouded in mist and rain. Against such a forecast, we looked to the north-eastern Dales, for the lee of the weather. And found, Calver Hill. 

This is a shapely and prominent point, overlooking Reeth at the junction of Swaledale and Arkengarthdale. A nifty walled lane led to a rising grouse moor, and the top.

Below the cloudbase, as planned. From the cairn, there are extensive views; although the cold wind was pulling at us by now.

Coming down the north side, largely-featureless slopes are traversed by a thin ribbon of tarmac. We “aimed off” to the left, so as to turn right and follow the largely featureless tarmac across the largely featuresless moor, to locate a spot height which defined our onward route.

A bit of mapwork seemed almost a novelty after a number of days on the well-known clear trails around the Three Peaks etc. 

There was no signal in this area, so electronic devices were of no use.... “back to basics”. 

A pleasant footbridge crossed the river in Arkengarthdale, and on the other side we climbed once again, steeply through old mine tips, up to 400 metres to gain Fremington Edge. This is the top of the northeast side of Arkengarthdale. There are excellent views....... although the weather closed in for a period. 

All the while, the wind ripped and tugged, building up to about 45 mph. At such speeds it begins to be awkward to walk smoothly.... we were being pushed around on the heather.

Fremlington Edge provides level but spectacular going for something like 6 km before finally arriving at a tarmac lane which doubled back to Reeth and the nice fire in the Bull Inn, just as the drizzle started. 

So there we have it for Calver Hill. 

A varied and interestng route, and only 10-12 miles further to drive than (eg) Scugdale. 

Great views, a sufficiently substantial 5.5-hour day, good underfoot. It's modest elevation is nevertheless a handy discovery for days when it's 'orrible upstairs on the real mountains.


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