Nine Standards Rigg is a large fell situated near Kirkby Stephen and slap bang on the Coast to Coast. It is a peaty mountain with some hard walking although this route is fine. The summit is a fascinating place.
Nine Standards Rigg is well visited for two main reasons. Primarily it is on (actually just off) the official line of the Coast to Coast. Secondly there is a series of large, imposing but intriguing cairns lined up on the summit plateau. Quite where these came from is a mystery. The less interesting theory is that they marked a boundary line between Eden and Swaledale. A more interesting story is that the Romans or later the English built them to scare off the Scots.
However my favourite is from Alfred Wainwright who believed the locals were just bored and it seemed like a good idea at the time! On arriving along the main path from Kirkby Stephen I was also intrigued by two smaller stones which appeared to be an entrance to the larger stones. I had missed these on my first visit when I took the quick route from the B6270.
Another positive about Nine Standards Rigg is the excellent view finder on the summit. The views are explained although a map would still be needed to get there. As this area of the Eden Valley is somewhere I am not really familiar with it is very pleasant to spend time working it all out. Without these oddities Nine Standards Rigg would be rather a tedious high plateau of wet bog land.
There are a lot of tired and hacked off Coast to Coasters at this point, do not ask if they are enjoying Nine Standards!
Any Coast to Coast walker would argue that plenty are needed! In bad weather a knowledge of taking and following a bearing is vital. There are serious bogs to avoid and very few paths to help. The slopes to the west and north are the worst.
Good morning , I did this walk on Good Friday & found it most satisfying , the views really impressive both out to the Lake District & out over the Yorkshire Dales. Visability was bad on approaching the 9 Riggs due to snow and fog but this added to the drama and gave the approach a really Erie feel when they came into view which I’ve tried to capture on my you tube video “Lakeland lunches Part 3”. One of my objectives is to try to inspire everyone but especially young people to get out an explore and do something healthy for body and mind & I really like your website. I’m a qualified walk guide & expedition leader so If you have any need for a guide . Please contact me . Thank you . Craig Labbett
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