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The Wainwright Summits


Wainwright Summit Data Excel File

Wainwright Summit Data Excel File

Introduction

The challenge of completing all 214 Wainwright summits as detailed in Alfred Wainwright set of Pictorial Guides is one of the most popular, if not the most popular hill bagging challenges in the UK.

The Pictorial Guides were not devised as a Hill Bagging List per se, moreover Wainwright was more about exploring each individual fell, Wainwright did devote a section of each chapter to the Summit area. As such it’s entirely appropriate that lovers of the Lake District want to visit each and every summit.

In the last decade technology has come to dominate our day to day lives and this is no different to exploring the Great Outdoors. GPS has taken over our navigation whether it’s via aeroplanes, boats, motor vehicles and now shank’s pony. Walking GPS’s whether via dedicated units or Apps on Mobile phones greatly improve the accuracy of navigation in the mountains and as a result improves safety for all.

The explosion of GPS units and Apps means there is a need for even greater data accuracy with GPS units requiring 10 figure Grid References which are accurate to 1 metre square.

The Issue

Within the UK the Database of British and Irish Hills (DoBIH) is regarded by most other hill bagging websites and hill list apps as the ‘golden source’ of their data feeds.

This leads to a fundamental issue as to the identification of the summit location between DoBIH and many (older) lists such as Wainwright: –

  • The DoBIH define the Summit of a hill as a single point that is the highest natural ground above sea level (Ordnance Datum Newlyn in mainland Britain or Malin Head for all Ireland) on that hill.
  • However as noted by DoBIH Wainwright’s preference was for a recognisable feature such as a Cairn, shelter of Trig Point. Wainwright did not use Grid References to identify summit locations instead relying upon a mixture of Spot Height, sketch location map with black triangle for the summit, the description of the summit and a sketch of the summit location.

The importance of this distinction was not material when people used paper maps and six figure grid references as the rounding in the latter largely addressed the differences however with GPS units requiring much more accurate ten figure grid references the issue becomes more acute.

The DoBIH have sought to address these differences by adding a Note Field where differences between the true summit and the Wainwright summit are noted. This is fine if one is planning routes from the Hillbagging (and some other) websites but most Apps and other Hill Listings only take the data feed of the ten figure grid reference in DoBIH.

To illustrate the point let’s use an example of Gray Crag.

DoBIH/ Hill Bagging notes the true summit to be at NY 42756 11709 with a note “this is Nuttall summit S of wall; Wainwright summit is N of wall at NY 42672 11869”.

The excellent IOS App Hill Lists by Graham Haley lists Gray Crag summit location as NY 42756 11709.

Gray Crag summit location

Highlighting this issue is not to disparage DoBIH or any of the websites/ apps that take data feeds but to highlight the key point that the latter (as they don’t take the Notes data feed) can be misleading as to the location of the Wainwright summit.

In this particular case, people often climb it as an out/ back from Thornthwaite Crag therefore may out on the Wainwright summit by not walking the extra 150 metres or so to the Wainwright summit position.

The object of this research was therefore to identify and highlight all those Wainwright summits that differ from the true summit location as defined in DoBIH to arrive at a more accurate ten figure grid reference for each Wainwright summit.

Data Accuracy

How accurate should the grid reference be?

A 10-figure grid reference is suitable for input to most hand-held GPS instruments.

Three independent studies have shown that the error in on the ground measurements has been determined as ±8.5m (three standard deviations), with the majority accurate to within ±5m of the summit feature. Any measurements with survey grade GPS receivers (indicated in the Survey field) will be accurate to 1m.

Different brands on GPS units may result in slightly different readings depending on their software and atmospheric conditions may mean data accuracy of 3 to 5 metres.

I therefore decided to set a standard for the ten figure grid reference to be accurate to less than 10 metres.

 

Group A

Where the Wainwright summit is a different recognised summit from the summit recorded on DoBIH. There are six summits in this group.

Gibson Knott GR: NY 31855 09924
Hill Name Horn Crag DoBIH Name Gibson Knott
Hill ID 303310 DoBIH Number 2494
Height 421.9m / 1,384ft Height 420m / 1,378ft
Summit Feature Cairn Summit Feature Cairn on rocky outcrop
Grid Reference NY 31855 09924 Grid Reference NY 31690 10036

 

Note DoBIH Observation: “Wainwright summit; Cairn 200m SE at NY 31855 09924 is about 2m higher.” This summit is unusual in that DoBIH does not recognise the true summit position as the highest point of Gibson Knott.

Pointers to the Wainwright summit position from the Pictorial Guide:

The sketch map shows the summit position as directly north of Horn Crag.

Spot Height of 1,379 feet. Whilst now corrected to 1,384 feet, the 1,379 feet spot height was the one recorded on old Imperial mapping.

Wainwright states “it is perhaps safer to say that Gibson Knott is the Ordnance Survey’s only trigonometrical station on the ridge and that usually the most elevated point is selected”.

“The summit is an abrupt rise, surmounted by a Cairn above a smooth rock wall.”

Gibson Knott maps

 

Glaramara GR: NY 24722 10561
Hill Name Glaramara North Top DoBIH Name Glaramara
Hill ID 500023 DoBIH Number 2389
Height 781m / 2562ft Height 783m / 2569ft
Summit Feature Rocky platform bearing two Cairns Summit Feature pointed rock 10m south of Cairn
Grid Reference NY 24722 10561 Grid Reference NY 24600 10456

 

Note DoBIH Observation: “Nuttall summit; Wainwright summit (Cairn) 160m NE at NY 24722 10561 and Cairn 55m W are lower”.

Pointers to the Wainwright summit position from the Pictorial Guide:

The sketch map shows the summit position as the southern of two Cairns on the North East Top. This ties in with latest OS mapping.

Glaramara map

Spot Height of 2,960 feet – within the metric to imperial rounding tolerance of 3 feet.

Wainwright states “Twin summits of rock….but indisputably the finer is that to the north east…bearing two Cairns”.

Glaramara map

Old Imperial mapping did not recognise the current true summit of Glaramara and as such various Hill Bagging Lists identified Glaramara North Top as the summit of Glaramara: Corbett25, Docharty, Falkingham, Moss2000 and Simpson.

 

Haystacks (Buttermere) GR: NY 19336 13204
Hill Name Haystacks North Top DoBIH Name Haystacks (Buttermere)
Hill ID 501446 DoBIH Number 2457
Height 595m / 1952ft Height 597m / 1959ft
Summit Feature Cairn Summit Feature Cairn
Grid Reference NY 19336 13204 Grid Reference NY 19335 13151

 

Note DoBIH Observation: “Wainwright/Birkett is Cairn 50m north at NY 19336 13204”.

Pointers to the Wainwright summit position from the Pictorial Guide:

The Wainwright sketch map shows the summit position as the northern of two Cairns.

Spot Height of 1,900 feet approx. – no OS Spot Height but instead twin 1,900 feet contour circles.

Wainwright states “The highest part of the fell is a small rocky ridge, fifty yards in length, with a Cairn at each end, and a tarn alongside to the west. The two Cairns are at approximately the same elevation, but the north one, lying on the line of the path across the top of the fell, is usually reckoned to be the true summit”.

The summit sketch shows a metal stake extending from the summit Cairn. This is still there.

Modern surveying equipment now show the southern Cairn as the true summit but Wainwright sits alongside Birkett and Docharty in declaring the Northern Cairn as the summit.

Interestingly Docharty is the only known hill list author to declare twin summits here recognising the second 1,900 foot contour circle in his research work.

Hay Stacks map

 

Illgill Head GR: NY 16542 04804
Hill Name Illgill Head (Docharty summit) DoBIH Name Illgill Head
Hill ID 501445 DoBIH Number 2454
Height 604m / 1982ft Height 608.8m / 1997ft
Summit Feature Cairn Summit Feature rock
Grid Reference NY 16542 04804 Grid Reference NY 16898 04924

 

Note DoBIH Observation: “Wainwright summit is a Cairn at NY165048 which is at least 3m lower than true summit”.

Pointers to the Wainwright summit position from the Pictorial Guide:

The Wainwright sketch map shows the summit position at the western end of the summit contour overlooking the Wasdale Screes.

Spot Height of 1,983 feet – within the metric to imperial rounding tolerance of 3 feet. The old OS maps incorrectly showed the Wainwright summit as the higher of the two spot heights on Illgill Head

Illgill Head map

Illgill Head mapIllgill Head map

 

Low Fell GR: NY 13597 22264
Hill Name Loweswater Fell (Low Fell) DoBIH Name Low Fell
Hill ID 3780 DoBIH Number 2493
Height 412m / 1352ft Height 423m / 1388ft
Summit Feature Cairn on rock Summit Feature ground by small Cairn
Grid Reference NY 13597 22264 Grid Reference NY 13732 22616

 

Note DoBIH Observation: “An alternative location for the Wainwright is the south top at NY136223 (412m)”

Pointers to the Wainwright summit position from the Pictorial Guide:

The Wainwright sketch map shows the summit position at the southern end of the 1,300 feet contour circle but Low Fell 5 also references “map shows ‘1350’ contours at both places”.

Wainwright states “The most southerly eminence has the main Cairn” and “two Cairns 100 and 120 yards southeast of the main Cairn indicate better viewpoints”.

The summit page also has a separate smaller sketch entitled ‘Cairn on the north top’.

Wainwright estimated the summit height as approx. 1360’ which is much closer to the Loweswater Fell current height than Low Fell.

Low Fell maps

 

Thunacar Knott GR: NY 27909 08136
Hill Name Thunacar Knott North Top DoBIH Name Thunacar Knott
Hill ID 500026 DoBIH Number 2413
Height 715m / 2346ft Height 723m / 2372ft
Summit Feature Cairn Summit Feature rock 3m NNE of Cairn
Grid Reference NY 27909 08136 Grid Reference NY 27975 07992

 

Note DoBIH Observation: None relating to Wainwright summit location.

Pointers to the Wainwright summit position from the Pictorial Guide:

The Wainwright sketch map shows the summit position north of a small tarn.

Wainwright states “The recognised summit, surmounted by a well-made Cairn, is a mound north of the tarn; the benchmark height is 2351’”. This ties in with the mapping of the era with the 2351’ Spot Height on the northern summit.

Thunacar Knott map

 

 

Group B

Some 37 Wainwright summits which are greater than 10 metres from the current true summit. The average deviation (excluding Mellbreak see note) is 54 metres.

Bannerdale Crags GR: NY 33612 29076
Wainwright Summit Feature Cairn DoBIH

Summit Feature

rock 3m NE of pile of stones
Deviation 97m DoBIH Grid Reference NY 33529 29026

 

Birks GR: NY 38179 14485
Wainwright Summit Feature Cairn DoBIH

Summit Feature

no feature: grass mound
Deviation 203m DoBIH Grid Reference NY 38020 14356

 

Bleaberry Fell GR: NY 28562 19573
Wainwright Summit Feature windshelter

 

DoBIH

Summit Feature

rock 10m E of windshelter
Deviation 15m

 

DoBIH Grid Reference NY 28577 19577

 

Brandreth GR: NY 21489 11928
Wainwright Summit Feature Cairn DoBIH

Summit Feature

rock
Deviation 38m

 

DoBIH Grid Reference NY 21454 11916

 

Caw Fell GR: NY 13185 10999
Wainwright Summit Feature Cairn DoBIH

Summit Feature

rock 13m E of Cairn
Deviation 25m DoBIH Grid Reference NY 13210 10996

 

Crag Hill [Eel Crag] GR: NY 19270 20365
Wainwright Summit Feature trig point DoBIH

Summit Feature

no feature 35m S of trig point
Deviation 42m DoBIH Grid Reference NY 19274 20333

 

Dale Head GR: NY 22310 15330
Wainwright Summit Feature large Cairn DoBIH

Summit Feature

no feature 18m W of large Cairn
Deviation 21m DoBIH Grid Reference NY 22289 15325

 

Dodd (Skiddaw) GR: NY 24422 27354
Wainwright Summit Feature Cairn DoBIH

Summit Feature

ground 2m NE of monument
Deviation 20m DoBIH Grid Reference NY 24442 27350

 

Due to forestry operations the summit of Dodd (Skiddaw) has changed materially since Wainwright’s era. As such it is difficult to be certain of Wainwright’s summit position. A separate analysis on the probability of the Wainwright summit position is available from ron.bowron@btopenworld.com.

 

Fellbarrow – Mosser Fell GR: NY 13222 24247
Wainwright Summit Feature trig point DoBIH

Summit Feature

no feature: ground 20m SE of trig point
Deviation 22m DoBIH Grid Reference NY 13240 24235

 

Gray Crag GR: NY 42672 11869
Wainwright Summit Feature Cairn DoBIH

Summit Feature

rock
Deviation 181m DoBIH Grid Reference NY 42756 11709

 

Great Borne GR: NY 12391 16381
Wainwright Summit Feature Trig Point DoBIH

Summit Feature

rock
Deviation 23m DoBIH Grid Reference NY 12394 16358

 

Great Dodd GR: NY 34195 20557
Wainwright Summit Feature Cairn DoBIH

Summit Feature

no feature: ground 30m SSE of Cairn
Deviation 29m DoBIH Grid Reference NY 34204 20529

 

Great Rigg GR: NY 35584 10395
Wainwright Summit Feature Cairn DoBIH

Summit Feature

rock 15m NE of Cairn
Deviation 14m DoBIH Grid Reference NY 35593 10406

 

Grey Crag [Sleddale Fell] GR: NY 49707 07178 
Wainwright Summit Feature Cairn DoBIH

Summit Feature

rocky outcrop
Deviation 43m DoBIH Grid Reference NY 49714 07220

 

Hart Side GR: NY 35887 19748
Wainwright Summit Feature Cairn DoBIH

Summit Feature

rock within 20m of 2 Cairns
Deviation 24m DoBIH Grid Reference NY 35902 19729

 

High Raise [High Raise (High White Stones)] GR: NY 28076 09539
Wainwright Summit Feature trig point DoBIH

Summit Feature

rock 15m SSE of trig point
Deviation 19m

 

DoBIH Grid Reference NY 28089 09523

 

Holme Fell GR: NY 31531 00657
Wainwright Summit Feature Cairn on large rock outcrop DoBIH

Summit Feature

rock 60m SSW of Cairn
Deviation 57m DoBIH Grid Reference NY 31503 00605

 

Ling Fell GR: NY 17961 28593
Wainwright Summit Feature trig point DoBIH

Summit Feature

no feature
Deviation 67m DoBIH Grid Reference NY 17994 28535

 

Loadpot Hill GR: NY 45731 18083
Wainwright Summit Feature boundary stone DoBIH

Summit Feature

no feature: ground 80m SW of trig point
Deviation 100m DoBIH Grid Reference NY 45637 18046

 

Lonscale Fell GR: NY 28540 27171
Wainwright Summit Feature Cairn DoBIH

Summit Feature

no feature: ground 25m S of Cairn
Deviation 28m DoBIH Grid Reference NY 28545 27144

 

Maiden Moor GR: NY 23671 18202
Wainwright Summit Feature Cairn DoBIH

Summit Feature

no feature
Deviation 17m DoBIH Grid Reference NY 23677 18188

 

Meal Fell GR: NY 28258 33711
Wainwright Summit Feature large shelter DoBIH

Summit Feature

small Cairn
Deviation 68m

 

DoBIH Grid Reference NY 28301 33763

 

Mellbreak GR: NY 14327 19495
Wainwright Summit Feature Cairn DoBIH

Summit Feature

small Cairn on flat rock
Deviation 1020m

 

DoBIH Grid Reference NY 14843 18613

 

Note: Mellbreak has North and South tops. The Wainwright summit sketch is of a cairn with a description “south-east from the north top”, behind the cairn Wainwright sketched and named outlines of various fells including the South Top.  He also commented “The more attractive of the two is the heathery north top” and “An odd thing about both summits is that the cairn on each is not quite on the highest ground”. The cairn is 35m north East of Mellbreak North Top true summit.

 

Rampsgill Head GR: NY 44227 12772
Wainwright Summit Feature Cairn DoBIH

Summit Feature

rock
Deviation 145m DoBIH Grid Reference NY 44333 12871

 

Rest Dodd GR: NY 43271 13701
Wainwright Summit Feature Cairn DoBIH

Summit Feature

grass mound
Deviation 53m DoBIH Grid Reference NY 43256 13646

 

Robinson GR: NY 20180 16873
Wainwright Summit Feature Cairn DoBIH

Summit Feature

rock
Deviation 13m DoBIH Grid Reference NY 20193 16872

 

Sail GR: NY 19822 20291
Wainwright Summit Feature Cairn DoBIH

Summit Feature

ground 10m SW of Cairn (actually 17m)
Deviation 17m DoBIH Grid Reference NY 19817 20275

  

Scar Crags GR: NY 20749 20598
Wainwright Summit Feature Cairn DoBIH

Summit Feature

Cairn
Deviation 119m DoBIH Grid Reference NY 20849 20662

 

Seat Sandal GR: NY 34390 11515
Wainwright Summit Feature Cairn DoBIH

Summit Feature

rock on knoll by ruined wall
Deviation 34m DoBIH Grid Reference NY 34420 11530

 

Seatallan GR: NY 13944 08401
Wainwright Summit Feature large Cairn DoBIH

Summit Feature

no feature: ground 12m SSW of small Cairn
Deviation 72m DoBIH Grid Reference NY 14003 08443

 

Selside Pike GR: NY 49073 11186
Wainwright Summit Feature Wind shelter DoBIH

Summit Feature

grassy rise with embedded rocks 40m SSW of wind shelter
Deviation 43m DoBIH Grid Reference NY 49062 11145

 

Sour Howes GR: NY 42832 03198
Wainwright Summit Feature Shaly ridge DoBIH

Summit Feature

grassy hummock
Deviation 69m DoBIH Grid Reference NY 42766 03217

 

Stony Cove Pike [Caudale Moor] GR: NY 41867 09997
Wainwright Summit Feature Cairn DoBIH

Summit Feature

rock
Deviation 86m DoBIH Grid Reference NY 41782 10006

 

Stybarrow Dodd GR: NY 34296 18923
Wainwright Summit Feature Cairn DoBIH

Summit Feature

no feature: ground 15m SE of Cairn at NY 34296 18923
Deviation 19m DoBIH Grid Reference NY 34308 18908

 

Thornthwaite Crag GR: NY 43138 10008
Wainwright Summit Feature beacon DoBIH

Summit Feature

rock 45m N of beacon
Deviation 47m DoBIH Grid Reference NY 43150 10050

 

Troutbeck Tongue GR: NY 42233 06386
Wainwright Summit Feature Cairn DoBIH

Summit Feature

grassy knoll
Deviation 45m DoBIH Grid Reference NY 42240 06428

 

Wether Hill GR: NY 45571 16782
Wainwright Summit Feature Cairn DoBIH

Summit Feature

no feature: rough grass
Deviation 29m DoBIH Grid Reference NY 45596 16767

 

Group C

These Wainwright summits are correct in DoBIH but worth noting as an alternative true summit with the same/ similar name is close by. Important not to get the summits confused when bagging the Wainwright summit.

Armboth Fell
Wainwright Alternative Summit
Wainwright Name Armboth Fell Alternative summit name Armboth Fell (Birkett)
Wainwright Summit Feature rocky mound DoBIH

Summit Feature

large smooth outcrop
Wainwright GR NY 29584 15739 DoBIH Grid Reference NY 29679 15968
Height 475m / 1558ft Height 480m / 1575ft

 

Brock Crags
Wainwright Alternative Summit
Wainwright Name Brock Crags (Wainwright) Alternative summit name Brock Crags
Wainwright Summit Feature large cairn DoBIH

Summit Feature

no feature: large grassy mound
Wainwright GR NY 41666 13662 DoBIH Grid Reference NY 41903 13699
Height 561.2m / 1841ft Height 564.3m (1851ft)

 

Gowbarrow Fell
Wainwright Alternative Summit
Wainwright Name Gowbarrow Fell (Wainwright summit) Alternative summit name Gowbarrow Fell
Wainwright Summit Feature trig point DoBIH

Summit Feature

embedded rock
Wainwright GR NY 40762 21821 DoBIH Grid Reference NY 40731 21722
Height 481.2m / 1579ft Height 481.2m / 1579ft **

** NB: the Wainwright summit hill (rock 3m SE of trig point) is 1cm lower hence no difference in height quoted due to rounding.

Graystones
Wainwright Alternative Summit
Wainwright Name Graystones Alternative summit name Graystones (Birkett)
Wainwright Summit Feature small cairn on rocky outcrop DoBIH

Summit Feature

cairn on rocky outcrop
Wainwright GR NY 17616 26621 DoBIH Grid Reference NY 17760 26491
Height 452m / 1483ft Height 456m / 1496ft

 

High Stile
Wainwright Alternative Summit
Wainwright Name High Stile Alternative summit name High Stile (Grey Crag – High Stile)
Wainwright Summit Feature large cairn DoBIH

Summit Feature

small cairn
Wainwright GR NY 16740 14787 DoBIH Grid Reference NY 17009 14817
Height 806m / 2644ft Height 807m / 2648ft

 

Rosthwaite Fell
Wainwright Alternative Summit
Wainwright Name Rosthwaite Fell – Bessyboot Alternative summit name Rosthwaite Fell (Rosthwaite Cam)
Wainwright Summit Feature Cairn DoBIH

Summit Feature

rock tor
Wainwright GR NY 25831 12479 DoBIH Grid Reference NY 25586 11828
Height 551m / 1808ft Height 612m / 2008ft

 

Seathwaite Fell
Wainwright Alternative Summit
Wainwright Name Seathwaite Fell (Wainwright summit) Alternative summit name Seathwaite Fell (Great Slack – Seathwaite Fell)
Wainwright Summit Feature Cairn DoBIH

Summit Feature

Cairn on rock
Wainwright GR NY 22904 10183 DoBIH Grid Reference NY 22735 09710
Height 601m / 1972ft Height 632m / 2073ft

 

Wansfell
Wainwright Alternative Summits
Wainwright Name Baystones [Wansfell] Alternative summit name 1 Wansfell (Baystones)
Wainwright Summit Feature Cairn DoBIH

Summit Feature

no feature: mound
Wainwright GR NY 40314 05143 DoBIH Grid Reference NY 40356 05275
Height 486.9m / 1597ft Height 486.1m / 1595ft
Alternative summit name 2 Wansfell Pike
DoBIH

Summit Feature

outcrop 6m S of fence
DoBIH Grid Reference NY 39416 04169
Height 484.3m / 1589ft

In respect of Wansfell, the Wainwright summit is the true summit in this area. The naming conventions between Wansfell and Baystones makes it confusing. Also, some people confuse Wansfell with Wansfell Pike at the south western end of the ridge mainly because it’s the visible summit from Ambleside.

Group D

The final grouping to note is where the Wainwright summit is correct but there is a true summit nearby which is NOT recognised as a summit in the DoBIH.

Bakestall GR: NY 26634 30855
Wainwright True Summit
Wainwright Summit Feature Cairn True

Summit Feature

Cairn
Deviation 114m Grid Reference NY 26644 30746
Height 658m / 2519ft Height 673m / 2208ft

 

Blea Rigg GR: NY 30167 07834
Wainwright True Summit
Wainwright Summit Feature Cairn True

Summit Feature

rocky knoll
Deviation 92m Grid Reference NY 30079 07807
Height 541m / 1775ft Height 544m / 1785ft

 

Bonscale Pike GR: NY 45348 20085
Wainwright True Summit
Wainwright Summit Feature small cairn True

Summit Feature

Cairn
Deviation 142m Grid Reference NY 45314 19950
Height 524m / 1719ft Height 529m / 1736ft

 

Broom Fell GR: NY 19444 27191
Wainwright True Summit
Wainwright Summit Feature tall cairn True

Summit Feature

Cairn
Deviation 174m Grid Reference NY 19545 27055
Height 504m / 1654ft Height 511m / 1677ft

 

Tarn Crag (Easedale) GR: NY 30371 09302
Wainwright True Summit
Wainwright Summit Feature cairn on rocky outcrop True

Summit Feature

No feature
Deviation 100m Grid Reference NY 30277 09335
Height 549m / 1801ft Height 552m / 1811ft

 

Author – Ron Bowron

 


Author: Phil Newby

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Author: Phil Newby