Wainwright Stats

It’s been a while since I updated my Wainwright lists. And lockdown provides a good opportunity to get things like this up to date.

Of course, I finished them in 2015, but I had a bit of tidying up to do. In the aftermath of the completion of the 214, I noticed that the overwhelming majority (203) had been done solo. With only 11 missing, the obvious thing was to re-visit those 11 alone too, so that I’d then have a full set solo. As of now, I’ve done all but 3 of these – Steel Knotts, Hallin Fell and The Nab.

Looking down from Steel Knotts to Ullswater and Hallin Fell

I also only started using Social Hiking from 2013 onwards, before which I’d done 183 fells, although only 164 of them both car-less and solo. So since 2015 I’ve been working on re-visiting these early fells to bag them on Social Hiking. At one point I had visions of being the first person to do this, but ultimately where I live has counted against me, with the 4 Social Hiking completers to date (one no longer a user) all being either outright locals or prolific hikers that live a lot nearer than I do. At the date of writing I’m currently 8th on the list with 167 bagged on Social Hiking. Clearly, I’m not going to advance up that league table this year! The top of the list is deservedly occupied by Colin Ibbotson as a result of his continuous round of Wainwrights and the Outlying Fells in 2018.

The goal now is simply to get to 214 bagged on Social Hiking.

The stats (as of end of 2019)

Total completed214Completion date 18-April 2015
Completed without using a car214
Completed solo211Hallin Fell, Steel Knotts, The Nab remaining
Social Hiked16747 remaining
Visited more than once146
Most visited (number of times)6High Raise (Langdale)*, Thunacar Knott, Swirl How, Allen Crags
Most recent fell>>>Swirl How (Oct 2019)
Longest time since last visit>>>Nab Scar (June 2006)
Total visits440
Area most visistedSouthern Fells. Average of 3 visits per fell compared with 2 for all other areas.
*High Raise (Langdale) actually visited 7 times, but twice on the same day on one occasion, so I only count it once.
Wildcamp #054: High Raise (Langdale)

Favourite Fells

Now we come to the age-old question of which is the best. And I have stats for that too. These are obviously a bit more subjective, but the more visits made over time means that this is increasingly an accurate reflection of my favourites.

Each year, I have looked back on the fells visited that year and ranked them in order, then integrated the list into my cumulative league table. Fells can improve their previous position, but generally only fall down the table through not being visited and other fells leapfrogging them. I do occasionally make an exception for a fell I revisit and find that I’ve really gone off it.

Here is the table as at the end of 2019:

PosFellAreaChange
(vs 2018)
#VisitsHighest PosNote
1BowfellS41
2HaystacksW11
3Seathwaite FellS41
4Green CragS+734
5Grey FriarS+245
6Great Mell FellE-222
7GlaramaraS-253
8Castle CragNW-222
9YewbarrowW-121
10LingmellS-126
The Scafells from Three Tarns below the top part of Bowfell

Things to note:

My favourite fells of all fall overwhelmingly in the Southern Fells area

PosAreaAverage RankHighest PosLowest Pos
1Southern51Bowfell (1)Brim Fell (148)
2Central89Pike of Stickle (11)High Tove (184)
3Far Eastern102Bonscale Pike (16)Rest Dodd (204)
4Western109Haystacks (2)Fellbarrow (211)
5Northern126Blencathra (22)Mungrisdale Common (214)
6Eastern129Great Mell Fell (6)Hart Side (206)
7North Western147Castle Crag (8)Sail (213)

A number of popular fells don’t do as well as you might expect in my table:

PosFellAreaVisitsHighest PosNote
20High StreetFE420
22BlencathraN314
23HelvellynE41
34Scafell PikeS41
36ScafellS25
44Old Man on ConistonS214
63Crinkle CragsS23
67FairfieldE39
80Great GableW216
82PillarW29
101SkiddawN43
109CatbellsNW228

Now this isn’t just an in-built prejudice for the popular fells per se, although admittedly that is one of a number of important factors. Positioning of these reflects mainly the fact that if a fell doesn’t really float my boat, then I’m less likely to revisit it, and if it’s a popular fell also, then that makes it even less likely. So many of these, having held good positions early on in the quest, have simply slipped down the table as others have overtaken.

Some of these also were visited in conditions that weren’t that great, and that has an effect too. But some of them I simply don’t like.

Great Gable in particular: people love this fell. To me it’s a ok viewpoint, but it’s a right slog to get up there. I’d far rather climb nearby Lingmell. It doesn’t help that Gable’s summit is all stony, so it’s not a viable place to camp, meaning it’s far less likely that it will be a fell I grow to love.

Winners and Losers in 2019

Change
(vs 2018)
FellNew PositionTotal Visits
+133The Knott174
+81Thornthwaite Crag193
+31High Raise (High Street)325
+28Yoke183
+22Froswick1263

These were all, fairly obviously, all part of the same walk in 2019. The biggest fall was a large group of fells falling 5 places due to the being leapfrogged by the above and some of the other fells on that walk. Something like this happens every year – the bottom end of the teens is quite a volatile place in my table:

PosFellAreaChange#VisitsHighest Pos
11Pike of StickleC-131
12Loughrigg FellC35
13Harter Fell (Eskdale)S211
14Kirk FellW210
15Allen CragsS615
16Bonscale PikeFE213
17The Knott (High Street)FE+133417
18YokeFE+28318
19Thornthwaite CragFE+81319
20High StreetFE+18420

Poor Pike of Stickle, the 2006 Champion, continues its inexorable slide down the table. I have to keep visiting it every so often to make sure it stays in a respectable position!

This also shows the power of a good camp, for my enjoyment of a fell:

Wildcamp #143: The Knott

Conclusion

I’m sorry if your own favourite isn’t on the list, but obviously this is a personal list, and many will violently disagree with some or even all of my choices. I don’t care. These fells are top of my list because:

  • of the views
  • because they’re great places to camp
  • because they are interesting with plenty to explore
  • because several visits have shown me them from different sides

I’m just hoping now for a chance to work on my outstanding Social Hiking “bags”,and to “improve” the scores of a few other fells that I know will shoot up the list given the chance.

2 thoughts on “Wainwright Stats

  1. Bowfell is my favourite also, such a great walk over the Crinkles to get there, as well as a climb over the great slab. Surprised Pillar is so low, I love the High level traverse or the ascent up from Black Sail. I always think Yewbarrow should be on most people’s list, I prefer that to Great Gable.

    Like

    1. I think in Pillar’s case it’s that there’s fells I really like either side, so Pillar is just somewhere to get past to get to them. I tend to go for fells that have lots of outcrops to get lost among – so Seathwaite Fell, Haystacks, Green Crag etc. Big lumps, no matter how shapely, don’t really do much for me.

      Liked by 1 person

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