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 favourite mountains in the Dales. The flat summit area is its crowning glory. The 1 mile square plateau is ringed by some impressive gritstone cliffs which over look the dale of Mallerstang. The actual summit however is set to the west, away from the cliffs. The birds are often out and the views always impressive (weather permitting) in all directions so I tend to loiter 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 so I stick to my preferred Wainwright’s theory that he used on Nine Standards Rigg. Apparently they were built to scare the Scots off! The climb is straightforward and clear on the ground from Hazelgill Farm. 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 two of the Dales 30 Mountains
The obvious descent down to Aisgill Farm from Swarth Fell is steep and trackless. I would suggest carrying on over Swarth Fell and take the faint path to Aisgill Cottages.
The fence line between Wild Boar and Swarth Fell makes an excellent guide in bad weather. Therefore look for its start 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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