It is sometimes said that one of
the beauties of the Wainwright list of hills is that it cannot be altered.
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
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.
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
this is true, he
must hate Borrowdale with a passion!!
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.