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Over-ruling Wainwright

It is sometimes said that one of the beauties of the Wainwright list of hills is that it cannot be altered. 

Those lists where the criteria for inclusion involve absolute height and drop-on-all-sides are subject to change through re-measurement. 

With the Wainwrights, the Fells were either in his books or not (although the status of those in his subsequent guide to the outlying fells is unclear). Nevertheless one does sometimes wonder about how he selected the precise ones to include and not include. 

This led me to speculate on possible improvements to the list; what would I add to the list and what would I take out. This is entirely subjective; the only constraint I set was that the inclusions should be within the same tightly-drawn area as the original guides; Black Combe was rejected on the basis that it was outside of this. I had a hard think about Muncaster Fell to because the panorama is superb; unfortunately it is just outside the main area and is lower than Castle Crag.

                            To be deleted

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Mungrisedale Common: I know that everybody hates it. It might not be original to call for its deletion. The Nuttalls reckon that Wainwright only put it in as a joke. Even so, it has to go; a real Room 101 job. The approach is dull and wet, the top lacks elevation and special interest and the view contains nothing new. In the picture, Mungrisedale  Common is the slight bump at the end of the boring middle ground.



High Tove: it's a long, boggy, tedious pull from Ullscarf to High Seat. Wainwright includes minor bumps along the way, High Tove and Armboth Fell. I'm tempted to exclude both but that would be decadent. Armboth Fell involves a pathless trudge out and back across heather and bog; I can understand anyone hating it. For all that I'm opting for High Tove as a meaningless pimple on an uninspiring path. I found this comment on it: "For me High Tove in the wind and rain beats Borrowdale on a good Saturday hands down" If this is true, he must hate Borrowdale with a passion!!



Watson's Dodd: the Dodds as a ridge are interesting but Watson's Dodd is another pimple on the sweep round from Stybarrow Dodd to Great Dodd. It lacks any particular distinction and is less worthy than the proposed inclusions on that basis.

                      To be included

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Ill Crag: this is the top which is often thought to be Scafell Pike by those ascending from Esk Hause, mainly because it blocks the view of the top. It is a refuge for those wanting to get away from the crowds striding out to the Pike even though it only involves a 200 yard diversion; you can get the top to yourself for a break and take in the glorious view down Eskdale. The top is also rocky and is interesting in itself.



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Rough Crag: the high point on the most interesting approach to High Street with splendid views of Haweswater and Riggindale, where there is always the chance of seeing eagles. Again the summit is rocky; I've got a thing against grassy banks although they can be redeemed by their setting (eg Blake Fell)



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Great Intake: this is a slight cheat because I haven't actually climbed it and so I cannot vouch for the view. Come to think of it, there are plenty of hills that I have climbed but I cannot vouch for the view either. I first noticed Great Intake as an interesting peak looking from Holme Fell. This opinion was confirmed when going up Wetherlam Edge. Great Intake is a final crown of the Edge offering a significant final climb which is sufficiently far from Wetherlam for it to be considered a separate peak. It seems to offer a super view over Little Langdale and down to Windermere. The only thing it lacks is real height being 397m.


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