Mount Ida

Mount Ida

Probably named after, though emphatically not the highest mountain in Crete, this Mount Ida is a limestone height north of Brough.

Height (m): 449
Height (ft): 1473
Prominence (m): 31
Classification: Four
Hill No: 16361
Grid Ref: NY795166
OS Map OL19
No. of Visits 1

The fell side stretching north-west from above Brough towards Hilton contains some of the finest limestone scenery to be found in the North Pennines. Unfortunately a good section of this area is within the boundary of the MOD’s Warcop Range and as a result brings with it access issues.

Mount Ida from below Barnarm Scar
Mount Ida from below Barnarm Scar

Fortunately Mount Ida stands outside the range boundary and can be accessed fairly easily from the road end above Helbeck. Together with its close neighbour, the lower but dramatic Barnarm Scar, Mount Ida make for a fabulous little walk which feels much more like being in the Yorkshire Dales than the North Pennines.

The less dramatic view of Mount Ida from the north-west
The less dramatic view of Mount Ida from the north-west

As mentioned there is plenty of room for parking at the road end above Helbeck, just before the entry to Helbeck Quarry. Follow the track around the side of Spoonymire Hill and above Swindale Wood. Below the impressive limestone scar of Carry Band a track branches off to the left. A thin path can then be found slanting up the steep grassy slopes towards the top of Mount Ida just to the west of Carry Band.

The thin path slanting up alongside Carry Band
The thin path slanting up alongside Carry Band

The thin path leads sketchily towards the top of the fell. The summit is an obvious grassy mound topped with a cairn. The view is excellent and includes Mallerstang and the Howgill Fells to the south and a super view westwards towards the Lake District. To the north the sudden change from the limestone of Mount Ida to the gritstone of Musgrave Fell is quite obvious.

The obvious summit of Mount Ida
The obvious summit of Mount Ida

To the west of the summit there is an extensive section of slanting limestone pavement. In my humble opinion this is one of the finest examples of limestone pavement to be found outside the boundary of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. It is definitely worth a detour from the summit to see.

The limestone pavement to the west of the summit
The limestone pavement to the west of the summit

Another detour I’d recommend is to Barnarm Scar, a super little summit in its own right. From the top of Barnarm Scar the flanks of Mount Ida rear impressively to the north.

Mount Ida from the top of Barnarm Scar
Mount Ida from the top of Barnarm Scar

Mount Ida Walks

4th October 2014 – Distance: 7.8 miles: Helbeck – Spoonymire Hill – Horse Shoe – Barnarm Scar – Carry Bank – Mount Ida – Musgrave Scar – White Rigg – Johnson Scar – Pattinson’s Allotment – Thornthwaite – Helbeck.
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