High Seat, High Tove and Armboth Fell

2 January 2009

With another cold day forecast, I decided to take advantage of the frozen ground and head for the central fells, west of Thirlmere, an area widely reported as damp and boggy. When the ground is frozen is an ideal time to visit damp terrain. We parked in the little car park at Armboth - a locality almost infamous for having no habitations since the raising of the water level of Thirlmere to create the reservoir. It is still used as a name of the area, and appears on signposts.

The walk starts with an ascent alonside Fisher Gill, taking the footpath towards Watendlath. That footpath is notable for being one of the very few that doesn't cross a pass or col, but instead goes over the summit of High Tove - in an effort to avoid the wettest ground.

The icy path. Most of it was easy going, but where surface water ran over the stones of the path, it had frozen into very smooth and slippery ice. Fortunately it wasn't difficult to find a way around.

Thirlmere as we ascend by Fisher Gill; Helvellyn is on the right.

So, emerging from the steep section next to the forest, we reach the flatter ground. This is a frozen Fisher Gill as we prepare to cross it.

George by Fisher Gill

Frosty on Armboth Fell

Approaching the summit, and at half past ten the sun is over the horizon.

High Tove and High Seat from Armboth Fell. I visited the other two tops of Armboth Fell, but both my eyes and the GPS reported this to be the high point.

Wainwright advises taking a long way round from Armboth Fell to High Tove to avoid the bog, advice I was delighted to be able to ignore today, with no soggy ground to be found anywhere on this beeline towards the top of High Tove.

Looking back to Armboth Fell (centre) from High Tove - Helvellyn is on the far left on the other side of the unseen Thirlmere.

The cairn on the top of High Tove. The precise location of the highpoint was unclear in the tussocky grass.

Heading towards High Seat from High Tove.

Frozen peat groughs posed no difficulties today.

A locked gate (why? - the fence is so damaged in places that it doesn't form an effect barrier) and the two summits of High Seat

Looking north to Skiddaw past Bleaberry Fell from the trig point on High Seat. Part of Derwentwater can be seen left, with Bassenthwaite Lake disappearing into the distance beyond it.


Two fellwanderers on top of High Seat. The other summit of High Seat is seen behind us, not obviously lower. A survey is needed to make sure.

Today's pictures include some which are very white and frosty and some which are lovely and brown. This one and the next are taken from the same place, but in opposite directions, and shown this nicely.

It has been white and frosty all the way from the summit of High Seat, but looking back it looks like different country.

A herd of deer runs across the centre of picture as we make a beeline back towards Fisher Gill. Helvellyn has emerged from cloud across Thirlmere.

Zoom in for more detail, or click to view larger map in new window

A great outing, and a good decision to visit here in frosty weather when the ground was hard. Total distance 8.2 km and 509 metres of ascent in 3 hours 18 mins



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Unless otherwise stated, all images copyright (c) Stephen and Lucy Dawson