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Cross on the Fell

Cross on the Fell


Postby Alteknacker » Tue Sep 08, 2020 11:43 am

Hewitts included on this walk: Cross Fell

Date walked: 24/08/2020

Time taken: 4

Distance: 13.5 km

Ascent: 709m

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I was very cross on the last stage of this walk; but in fact it unexpectedly ended very well, and all's well that ends well, as somebody said, right?? :roll:

I’m on my way up to Scotland on a Monday for a few days walking with Dr Duncan, who’s just started a new job in Dundee. And since he’s not expecting to be back home before 9.00 pm, I decide to do a short walk on the way there – not least because the forecast for Dundee and Scotland generally has been steadily getting worse and worse since we made our plans, so I feel I should make the most of what is forecast to be a fine sunny day.

I’ve more or less decided on something in the Northern Pennines – but what?? I’ve been wanting to visit High Cup Nick for a while, but really I'd likd to include it in a longer route, for which today I don’t have time. So after poring over maps for a while, I go for Cross Fell. I think I once walked it in my dim and very distant youth, but I couldn’t remember it at all – which is a good enough reason to visit it again.

I’ve planned (with a bit of help from trailmasher - for which, thanks again) a route starting at Kirkland, ascending on the south side, and descending on the north side via the “Pennine Journey” path. I’m expecting it’ll take me about 4.5 hours, but if I’m ahead of schedule, and/or Duncan is late, there could be time to take in Little and Great Dun Fells.


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The drive from the M6 to Kirkland affords some alluring views of the target, and the weather is superb.
Image20200824_140518.

Image20200824_141108.

There's plenty of parking in Kirkland, and I'm soon on my way.

The first section runs along a metalled farm track...
Image20200824_142452.
...before giving way to a path across fields.
Image20200824_144801. Centre pic is the wonderfully named Grumply Hill.

There's a clearly visible track that runs along the north side of Grumply Hill, and I follow this. The views looking back towards the Eden Valley, and behind it, the Lake District are just magnificent...
Image20200824_145907.

Image20200824_151123. Ahead Wild Boar Scar. Easy walking on a clear track. I hear and then see a Stonechat on the way, but apart from that, and a stunning sighting of a somewhat rarer bird later on, I see very little in the way of bird life. I guess if we poison all our invertebrates through intense agriculture, this is sadly inevitable... :(

Image20200824_151843. SSE Murton Pike and (I suppose) Roman Fell Scar show clearly. Visibility is phenomenal. I guess that the hill in the far background with the scarps either side must be Wild Boar Fell ?

Image20200824_152343. I have to keep looking back along Grumply Hill, towards the Eden Valley and the Lake District...
Image20200824_153603.

Once above Wild Boar Scar, it's a steady pull up towards the Cross Fell plateau. Little (to the left) and Great (to the right with the radio mast) Dun come into view, and I'll soon need to weigh up whether I've enough time to include them.
Image20200824_160208.

Image20200824_163222. View looking south east towards the Duns; slightly left of centre, in the far background, Cow Green Reservoir is just visible.
Now is decision point: it'll be about 17.30 by the time I get back to the car, and the journey time is about 3.5 hours; so I haven't really got time to include the Duns. Decision made. Onwards and upwards!

Image20200824_164138. There's a clear track along the high point line. This pic is taken just before the shelter comes into view, looking back south south east towards the Duns, with again Cow Green Reservoir visible in the far distance.

Image20200824_164651. Shortly afterwards the new shelter comes into view (this must have been rebuilt quite recently, because WHRs from just a few years ago show a different structure). For some reason I'd thought it was rather like an igloo, and as such hollow inside. But it's solid, shelter being provided by the 4 perpendicular walls.

Image20200824_170054. I sit on the west side and have a bite of lunch and a cup of tea as I soak in the sun for 15 minutes or so.

Then, appropriately refreshed, I pack up and head north towards the Pennine Journey path.
Image20200824_170521. This view is looking north.
And this is looking south back up towards the Fell
Image20200824_172642

On the plateau the going is easy, but as I round the edge of the scarp just beyond where the last pic was taken, I look down and see that practically the whole of the area below is a glistening bog!
Image20200824_172816.

This is what the OS tells us:
Image

This is the reality!!!
Image

Initially I gingerly try to work my way through it, but it just gets worse and worse. So I go back up the hill a few hundred metres to a point above the well, and then take a route further to the West than the one I was on. By dint of delicately sod-hopping I don't get too wet, but neither are my feet dry :( .

But it's some consolation to see the unmistakable sight of a short-eared owl quartering the moor - the game keepers haven't got them all yet!
Image (Library pic - my sighting was too far away and too brief to get a pic.)

I'm just getting to a point where the bog is petering out, and am doing my last bit of sod-hopping when my phone rings. I guess it's Dr Duncan, and it is. He's is ahead of schedule and expects to be home around 7.30pm. I give him my ETA, and hurriedly pocket the phone, as the sod I'm teetering on is rapidly sinking. At least I think I pocket my phone... Ten minutes or so later I reach for it in order to take a last photo, and... it ain't there :( . I spend the next hour or so going up and down the path trying to locate it, but without success. I'm not that bothered about the phone itself, but there are lots of pics on it, both from today and other occasions. Regretfully I eventually continue back to the car.
In these covid times, I eschew my usual stop at an establishment of cultural, historical and architectural interest, instead contenting myself with a can of (warm!) Brew Dog Nanny State, before heading north once more, arriving over an hour late at Dr Duncan's place.

But... (remember: all's well....?) About a week later while we're walking the dogs, my better half receives a call from a number she doesn't know. We debate whether to take it, but eventually we decide to; and thank goodness we did! It turns out that a guy has actually found the phone, and is ringing the last number I rang to try to trace me! Really really kind. Thanks a million, Mac. Like I said, I seriously owe you a beer or three!
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Alteknacker
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Re: Cross on the Fell

Postby Mountainlove » Wed Sep 09, 2020 8:59 am

Great report about an area I never ventured to. Grumpy Hill haha brilliant name and yes sometimes I wish the maps would show bog, peat hags etc! Great that you saw an owl... Only ever seen one at night while driving.. Equally no chance to get a photo
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Re: Cross on the Fell

Postby Broggy1 » Wed Sep 09, 2020 10:42 am

Definitely an all ends well kind of report and nice pics.

That section of Cross Fell rarely dries out and it's strange that they haven't put slabs there like they have so many other ares of the PW. I do like the top of Cross Fell - it just feels really high.

Your pic is actually Dufton Pike and Brownber Hill with Knock Pike in the foreground. Murton Pike and Roman Fell are a bit further along the valley but just hidden. It is indeed Wild Boar Fell in the background though :)

Enjoyed the report - thanks.
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Re: Cross on the Fell

Postby trailmasher » Sun Sep 13, 2020 11:15 am

Nice one AK and pleased that you managed to get it done :) Your route shows you cutting the corner off before reaching the PW and just as well maybe as the ground is very wet for a while once the paving stones have been left behind :?
Some good shots there across the Eden Valley and just love that Grumply Hill name :lol: Wonder how it got it :? Also a good result with the lost phone :)
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Re: Cross on the Fell

Postby past my sell by date » Tue Sep 15, 2020 11:59 pm

Nice:
Cross Fell is a lovely wild hilltop. If only it had been 20m higher the whole history of British hillwalking would have been different. :wink:
I've done it from Dufton via the Pennine Way - Great Dun Fell with its mysterious dome, and down by Greg's hut - left a car at Garrighyll - and from Knock I think or Milburn. I also set out one day from Hartside - half way up but several km to walk and didn't make it for some reason - time or weather maybe :(
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Re: Cross on the Fell

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Fri Sep 18, 2020 9:42 am

I've done just about that exact route in reverse, fortunately the work of the bog was frozen/covered in snow. The views from Cross Fell are quite something making such a worthy place to visit on a day as beautiful as that was.
Nice to see there are some good folk left in the world, great of them to bother returning your phone.
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Re: Cross on the Fell

Postby Alteknacker » Sat Sep 19, 2020 11:49 pm

johnkaysleftleg wrote:... fortunately the work of the bog was frozen/covered in snow. ...

VERY smart move!!!


johnkaysleftleg wrote:....The views from Cross Fell are quite something making such a worthy place to visit on a day as beautiful as that was. ...

Yep, I was well impressed. The Northern Pennines get a bit of a bad press from some of us, but (apart from the north path) Cross Fell doesn't deserve it. [/quote]

johnkaysleftleg wrote:Nice to see there are some good folk left in the world, great of them to bother returning your phone.

Absolutely! This is how we should all be.
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Re: Cross on the Fell

Postby Alteknacker » Sun Sep 20, 2020 12:06 am

Mountainlove wrote:Great report about an area I never ventured to. Grumpy Hill haha brilliant name and yes sometimes I wish the maps would show bog, peat hags etc! Great that you saw an owl... Only ever seen one at night while driving.. Equally no chance to get a photo


Thanks for the kind words, ML. Short-eared owls are THE most wonderful birds, with wings so long it doesn't seem like it can bereal. And they hunt generally by day, so if you're walking in an area they frequent, there's a good chance of seeing them. I've a good few pics of them, because my late dad was a very keen bird photographer.


Broggy1 wrote:Definitely an all ends well kind of report and nice pics.

That section of Cross Fell rarely dries out and it's strange that they haven't put slabs there like they have so many other ares of the PW. I do like the top of Cross Fell - it just feels really high.

Your pic is actually Dufton Pike and Brownber Hill with Knock Pike in the foreground. Murton Pike and Roman Fell are a bit further along the valley but just hidden. It is indeed Wild Boar Fell in the background though :)

Enjoyed the report - thanks.


Thanks for the kind words Broggy. I got as big a buzz from Mac returning my phone as I did from the actual walk, In the end, we're social animals, and REALLY appreciate people living that out.

Thanks for the correction RE: the hills identification. I was a bit doubtful, but so pleased to have my pics that I rather rushed the report!


trailmasher wrote:Nice one AK and pleased that you managed to get it done :) Your route shows you cutting the corner off before reaching the PW and just as well maybe as the ground is very wet for a while once the paving stones have been left behind :?
Some good shots there across the Eden Valley and just love that Grumply Hill name :lol: Wonder how it got it :? Also a good result with the lost phone :)


Paving stones?? PAVING STONES??? I must have gone astray, because I didn't see any!!! I probably wasn't careful enough in choosing my descent route.

past my sell by date wrote:Nice:
Cross Fell is a lovely wild hilltop. If only it had been 20m higher the whole history of British hillwalking would have been different. :wink:
I've done it from Dufton via the Pennine Way - Great Dun Fell with its mysterious dome, and down by Greg's hut - left a car at Garrighyll - and from Knock I think or Milburn. I also set out one day from Hartside - half way up but several km to walk and didn't make it for some reason - time or weather maybe :(



Hmm! It's a more interesting hill than one might suspect from the map, but the "whole history..." :lol:

There are so many possible route variations - I have half a dozen or so, that I just binned on the day. Anyway, I guess that when the weather's that good, it doesn't seem to matter where one is, so long as it's in the hills.
Yes, there are so many possi
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