Walk 1341 - printer friendly version
Nine Standards Rigg Walk
Author - Lou Johnson
Length - 6.0 miles / 9.8 km
Ascent - 700 feet / 212 metres
Grade - moderate
Start - OS grid reference NY832027
Lat 54.419459 + Long -2.2604045
Postcode DL11 6LR (approx. location only)
Nine Standards Rigg is a collection of large roughly built cairns that offer a commanding view across the Vale of Eden. Technically the summit is not within the boundaries of the Yorkshire Dales National Park although most of the approach route is. The path also forms part of the "Coast to Coast" route and thus sees busy periods. It should be noted that this walk crosses wild and desolate moorland that can be very wet underfoot after rain. It also should not be attempted unless you are familiar with this type of terrain and have suitable navigation skills should visibility worsen during the walk.
The start is a small lay-by (Grid ref. NY832027) on the B6270 road from Nateby (near Kirkby Stephen) to Keld (Swaledale) road. It can be hard to locate this spot as there are very few obvious landmarks but there is a footpath fingerpost to help its location.
The path from the fingerpost is hard to locate on the ground. An easier way is to walk along the road in the direction of Keld for approximately 200 metres and take the clear track that heads over the moor on your left. Stay on this for just over 0.5 km to reach another fingerpost with an access map. Turn left along this path heading for a large cairn that is visible from this point. Generally the path is distinct although near some of the wetter patches it is easy to loose the route.
You are now crossing wild moorland and when researching this walk I was amazed at the quiet solitude of this area. Reaching the cairn there is a nice retrospective view with Birkdale Tarn to the south-east. Continue following the path across a section that is wetter underfoot to reach a 'pile of stones'. Turning north the path continues climbing very steadily to cross the almost flat summit of White Mossy Hill. Its name should give you some idea that it is likely to be very squelchy after rain!
Descending, the path continues to another fingerpost in a broad and boggy col before ascending again to reach the trig point (662 m.). The Nine Standards are another 250 metres further north from where excellent views across the Vale of Eden can be enjoyed.
To return to the start all that you need to do is retrace your steps. However do be careful on the section from White Mossy Hill to the 'pile of stones' as the latter are hard to see from this direction and the path does fade in the wetter areas.