WAINWRIGHT'S WALKING GUIDE TO THE LAKE DISTRICT, BOOK 4: SOUTHERN FELLS– Revised Walker’s Edition by Clive Hutchby. Published by Frances Lincoln, £13.99
Clive Hutchby has now passed the halfway stage of his revision of the seven Wainwright Pictorial Guides and is currently working in the Northern Fells area, having spent most of 2016 retracing Wainwright’s footsteps over the Southern Fells.
The revision of the Southern Fells guide has now been published and will be available from Saturday April 15 when the official launch is taking place at Love the Lakes in Keswick.
The Southern Fells book is the biggest in the Pictorial Guides series having more pages than any of the other books. It also contains four of the six highest mountains in the Lake District – Bowfell, Great End, Scafell and Scafell Pike with the latter being the highest mountain in both the Lake District and England, its summit standing at 3210 feet above sea level.
When Chris Jesty fist revised Wainwright’s original book of the Southern Fells ten years ago he made hundreds of changes to the text. .The fells with the most amendments were Scafell Pike, Scafell and Wetherlam.
Some of these in the Scafell Pike and Scafell chapters related to the changes in respect of the worsening path on Lord’s Rake (which hasn’t improved at all since) but there are also others to do with routes of ascent, the spelling of some names, new or removed cairns, paths that had been paved as part of renovation work on the fells and also stream crossing points.
Also in the Coniston Old Man chapter there was a great amount of revision, and particularly on page 11, where the safety information was much revised.
Changes to the forested areas in the Duddon Valley also accounted for a number of changes to the Grey Friar, Harter Fell and Green Crag chapters where route alterations have been necessary due to this work.
Likewise, in this new Walker’s Edition of the book by Clive, many more changes have been incorporated this time. All thirty fells have had a revision of some sorts made to it, whether this be new paths, alteration to summit maps, routes of ascent, new starting points for ascents, extra pages added or updated maps.
Perhaps the most significant of these have been the extension of the map of Black Fell to show approaches from Tarn Hows, new routes to Cold Pike from Wrynose Bottom, updated ridge route from Crinkle Crags to Cold Pike, new path up Combe Gill to Glaramara, big changes on the map of Harter Fell showing how the Duddon Valley forests are being stripped back, new paths from the Blea Tarn road to Pike O’Blisco, update on the Lords Rake ascent on Scafell, new options to the summit of Scafell Pike from the Corridor Route, new paths on Seathwaite Fell, alternative route from Slight Side to Scafell, alternative path from Levers Water to Swirl How, two new pages in the Wetherlam chapter to incorporate a number of new routes from Coniston and Tilberthwaite and finally an updated map of Whin Rigg showing deforestation plus an updated ascent diagram from Eskdale Green.
Whilst I will always retain my Wainwright original of the Southern Fells, especially as it has been signed by the author, this new walker’s edition will be the one I will use on the fells over the next few years as it provides the most comprehensive and up to date details of each of the 30 fells in the book.
That is why I would also recommend other walkers to purchase it so that they are always using the most up to date information for these, the grandest of all the fells in the Lake District.