walkhighlands

This board helps you to share your walking route experiences in England and Wales... or overseas.
Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

Knock Fell and Great Dun Fell from Dufton

Knock Fell and Great Dun Fell from Dufton


Postby john923 » Thu Nov 10, 2011 8:49 pm

Hewitts included on this walk: Great Dun Fell, Knock Fell

Date walked: 28/10/2011

Time taken: 7

Distance: 21 km

Ascent: 860m

Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

With a fine day forecast we thought it was about time we started exploring some of the Pennine Hills and to check out their reputation as being a bit of a bogfest. There’s a bit of long term strategic thinking behind this too; if we ever get close to completing the Hewitts I don’t want the last 30 or so to be all in the same area. This route takes a bit of one of the Nuttall’s walks as far as Knock Fell and then adds on Great Dun Fell. The latter seems to be often combined with Cross Fell but this alternative fitted in quite nicely.

Knock&GreatDun281011.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts


We set off from Dufton in bright sunshine heading NE on an old mine track following the charmingly-named Pus Gill and skirting south of Dufton Pike. After rounding the Pike the track climbs ever so steadily up the valley to reach the Threlkeld Side mining area.
j923pennines101.jpg
Setting off from Dufton

j923pennines102.jpg
Heading east, Dufton Pike to our left.

j923pennines103.jpg
Heading up to Threlkeld Side

j923pennines104.jpg
Looking back to Dufton Pike

j923pennines105.jpg
Hot and cold streams ?

We headed only a short distance through the untidy area of mining debris and then headed S on a faint grassed-over track. Once the cairns on Backstone Edge were in view we struck off through the heather and stones to hit the trig point. The actual top is a hundred metres behind the edge and we had clear views of Meldon Hill to the east and the Warcop ranges to the south, from which came the occasional muffled thud from the day’s firing exercise.
j923pennines106.jpg
From Backstone Edge looking towards Knock and Great Dun Fells

j923pennines107.jpg
Backstone Edge cairn looking east to Meldon Hill

j923pennines108.jpg
Great Rundale Tarn - 1

j923pennines109.jpg
Great Rundale Tarn - 2

From Backstone Edge we headed roughly NNE over heather and past Great Rundale Tarn to what the map marks as a shooting box. In fact, this turned out to be a substantial stone building with a corrugated iron roof. It was nice and dry inside and well kitted out with benches round the sides and a big long table. A good place for a lunch stop out of the wind, which was starting to feel chilly. From the shooting box our next target, the pile of stones at Pt 716 was already visible, and from there so was our onward route to Knock Fell.
j923pennines110.jpg
Cairn at Point 716

j923pennines111.jpg
Looking back to Backstone Edge

This was pathless going for the most part, and probably the better for it. The going was sometimes grassy, sometimes heathery and sometimes squelchy, but there was nothing difficult and there were no sections churned up by heavy footfall. Knock Fell summit is pretty flat and unremarkable. There are cairns around its perimeter but once there it is fairly obvious that the centre one marks what is marginally the highest point.
j923pennines112.jpg
Great Dun Fell from Knock Fell summit plateau

Here we met up with Pennine Way. The extra traffic this next section sees is very obvious, so much so that slabs have been laid on the worse bits to prevent damage. This made for easy going but what was less encouraging was that we were now heading into low cloud which had built up over the last half hour and had now hidden Great Dun Fell completely.
j923pennines114.jpg
Crossing Knock Fell

j923pennines115.jpg
Endless bog over to the east

j923pennines116.jpg
From Great Dun Fell in the clouds

We continued on the Pennine Way to the summit and walked slowly around the perimeter fence of the radar station, hoping the cloud would lift. It did not. It stuck to the top, and despite brief glimpses of sunny landscape below, we eventually gave up waiting and made our way down, this time taking the easy tarmac option. As is the way with these things, ten minutes later the top was clear.
j923pennines117.jpg
...and 10 minutes later

j923pennines118.jpg
Cross Fell and Great Dun Fell

We continued down the road for a couple of kilometers and then branched off SSW at a footpath sign. There was not much evidence of a path though, so we ended up contouring round and then dropping down to rejoin the Pennine Way where a footbridge carries it over Swindale Beck.
j923pennines119.jpg
Descending to Swindale Beck

j923pennines120.jpg
Round the other side of Dufton Pike

j923pennines121.jpg
Looking back to Great Dun Fell

It was a pleasant walk back to Dufton in the fading light. The first part was on a farm track and the Pennine Way then continued along Hurning Lane, an old, tree-shaded path between stone walls which led back to the village.
john923
 
Posts: 196
Munros:16   Corbetts:9
Grahams:6   Donalds:11
Sub 2000:12   Hewitts:221
Wainwrights:168   
Joined: Apr 20, 2009
Location: Worcestershire

Re: Knock Fell and Great Dun Fell from Dufton

Postby colgregg » Thu Nov 10, 2011 10:16 pm

"if we ever get close to completing the Hewitts I don’t want the last 30 or so to be all in the same area."

That's the dilemma I face in a way and it's a toss up as to whether I go for completing them. I'm almost through my Yorks Dales ones but the thought of bogtrotting the North Pennines tops just because they are on the list is beginning to lose it's appeal, especially as I could be in the Lakes instead, distance wise. Definitely on the agenda is the walk to bag the hewitts you have just done but I'll tag Cross Fell onto my walk so it will probably have to be next year now. I have to say that from the pics my brother has taken during his completion of the N.P. Hewitts the western panoramas are quite superb. It's nice to read reports on walks round the less fashionable areas I'm glad I'm not the only masachist who wants to tramp across the great Northern wildernesses of the Yorks Dales et al.
Good luck and enjoy, just try to avoid bright green "grassy areas" like this:
040.JPG
Step in this and your day out on the moors will not have a happy ending.
colgregg
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 2182
Munros:15   Corbetts:5
Grahams:5   
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:182
Wainwrights:214   
Joined: Aug 25, 2009
Location: Richmond North Yorkshire

Re: Knock Fell and Great Dun Fell from Dufton

Postby Red Peak » Fri Nov 11, 2011 1:17 am

I'm not entirely sure the North Pennines are fully-deserving of their bog-fest reputation. You're certainly going to get your boots muddy, but the really bad bits seem to be few and far between. Maybe the six I have left to do will change that opinion, but up till now, only the sections near Chapellfell Top and Dead Stones/Burnhope Seat spring to mind as being particularly peaty. There's plenty of the bright green stuff around elsewhere, but it's easily avoided.

I won't go as far as saying I'm trying to start some kind of North Pennines Appreciation Society, but I'm going to miss that bleak, peaceful corner of England once I've finished the Hewitts up there :(
User avatar
Red Peak
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 747
Munros:260   Corbetts:27
Grahams:22   Donalds:39
Sub 2000:35   Hewitts:314
Wainwrights:214   
Joined: Mar 24, 2010

Re: Knock Fell and Great Dun Fell from Dufton

Postby SusieThePensioner » Fri Nov 11, 2011 10:23 am

John, I enjoyed reading your report and some great photos :D I'm not able to walk anymore but love to see where people have been and read about their experiences, particularly the North Pennines having lived in County Durham for nearly 24 years :)
User avatar
SusieThePensioner
 
Posts: 1543
Munros:6   Corbetts:3
Grahams:4   Donalds:7
Sub 2000:3   Hewitts:108
Wainwrights:156   
Joined: Sep 7, 2011
Location: County Durham

Re: Knock Fell and Great Dun Fell from Dufton

Postby SusieThePensioner » Fri Nov 11, 2011 10:29 am

Red Peak wrote:I won't go as far as saying I'm trying to start some kind of North Pennines Appreciation Society
Well, if you did, I would definitely join :lol:

Although I can't get out walking anymore I love the bleakness of the North Pennines. I'm fascinated by the ever changing light and moods on the moors and spend a lot of time out with my camera there, even when there's been lots of snow :D
User avatar
SusieThePensioner
 
Posts: 1543
Munros:6   Corbetts:3
Grahams:4   Donalds:7
Sub 2000:3   Hewitts:108
Wainwrights:156   
Joined: Sep 7, 2011
Location: County Durham

Re: Knock Fell and Great Dun Fell from Dufton

Postby SusieThePensioner » Fri Nov 11, 2011 10:35 am

colgregg wrote:It's nice to read reports on walks round the less fashionable areas I'm glad I'm not the only masachist who wants to tramp across the great Northern wildernesses of the Yorks Dales et al.


I enjoy reading them as well and I think people are missing out on some great walks with wonderful views (most of the time). Have had several good walking holidays on the NY Moors and in the Dales but, as you know, I can't walk anymore but go out with the camera instead :lol:
User avatar
SusieThePensioner
 
Posts: 1543
Munros:6   Corbetts:3
Grahams:4   Donalds:7
Sub 2000:3   Hewitts:108
Wainwrights:156   
Joined: Sep 7, 2011
Location: County Durham

Re: Knock Fell and Great Dun Fell from Dufton

Postby john923 » Sun Nov 13, 2011 6:17 pm

colgregg wrote: just try to avoid bright green "grassy areas"

Well at least this route was safe in that respect. But I know what you mean - went up to my knees in something similar doing Glasgwm last year :lol: . The smaller the patch the more deceptive they are.

SusieThePensioner wrote: some great walks with wonderful views (most of the time).

Exactly so. If you pick the right day, the wide open landscapes can be just as uplifting as rocky summits. :D. We'll certainly be back for some more of the same.
john923
 
Posts: 196
Munros:16   Corbetts:9
Grahams:6   Donalds:11
Sub 2000:12   Hewitts:221
Wainwrights:168   
Joined: Apr 20, 2009
Location: Worcestershire

Re: Knock Fell and Great Dun Fell from Dufton

Postby L-Hiking » Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:15 pm

Nice report, the picture looking back to Dufton Pike is fab. I have often looked at these hills as I pass by on my way to and from Lakeland. You have wetted my appetite :D
User avatar
L-Hiking
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 545
Munros:68   Corbetts:7
Grahams:2   
Sub 2000:2   Hewitts:142
Wainwrights:214   
Joined: Aug 30, 2010
Location: York, North Yorkshire

Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).



Walkhighlands community forum is advert free

We need help to keep the site online.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by setting up a monthly donation by direct debit?



Return to Walk reports - Outside Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 13 guests