The slopes of Wild Boar Fell may be rough but the summit area and ridge to Swarth Fell make for excellent walking. It is a get away from it all mountain. The remoteness makes it special.
Fortunately the boars have left Wild Boar Fell. Having previously encountered a so called tame pack in Scotland I am aware they can be vicious little dears! Their absence leaves the hill to its geographic virtues of which there are many. I would certainly place it amongst my top 5 mountains in the Yorkshire Dales. The flat summit area is its crowning glory, a large peaceful area ringed by some impressive gritstone cliffs over looking Mallerstang, the actual summit being set further back and to the west. The birds were out and the views were extensive in all directions so I loitered for quite a while.
Pondering the reason for the set of large standing cairns which are to the south of the plateau area is a good exercise in the pointless; no one knows the real reason and I stick to Wainwright’s theory on Nine Standards Rigg that they were built to scare the Scots off! The route up is excellent from Hazelgill Farm but deteriorates after the summit. Boggy and wet ground await on Swarth Fell but all told this is a grand circuit and one of the best walks in the Dales.
Wild Boar Fell and Swarth Fell are 2 of the Dales 30 Mountains
The obvious descent down to Aisgill Farm is trackless and wet, better to carry on over Swarth Fell and head for Aisgill Cottages..
The fence line between Wild Boar and Swarth Fell makes an excellent guide in bad weather. The fence starts at the south east corner of the summit plateau near the large standing cairns.
Wild Boars are no more ‘vicious little dears’ than any other animal – this is an unfortunate characterisation of a native animal struggling to regain a foothold after long persecution and eventual extinction. Leave them along, they will leave you alone. You are more likely to suffer at the hooves of cattle than boar.
Nor was Wild Boar Fell ever named after Wild Boar. It was originaly named Wilbert or Wilbrich(t) Fell, the name probably meaning Wild Cliff.
If you descended Wild Boar fell from the Nab (one of the ways up) to High Dolphinsty and then down the bridleway to the first level land you could then head off across the grassy limestone level of Angerholme following the obvious line of potholes and shakeholes until you meet the wall and follow that slight but clear, sometimes damp, but easily used path to the viaduct at Ais Gill farm. A lovely way down (although missing out Swarth fell)
My only meeting with Wild Boar was on the banks of Loch Ossian and they fair flew at us…just my experience.
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