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Knock Fell and Great Dun Fell from Dufton
by 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: 860mRegister or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
by colgregg » Thu Nov 10, 2011 10:16 pm
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:
- Step in this and your day out on the moors will not have a happy ending.
by Red Peak » Fri Nov 11, 2011 1:17 am
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
by SusieThePensioner » Fri Nov 11, 2011 10:23 am
by SusieThePensioner » Fri Nov 11, 2011 10:29 am
Well, if you did, I would definitely joinRed Peak wrote:I won't go as far as saying I'm trying to start some kind of North Pennines Appreciation Society
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
by 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
by 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 . 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. . We'll certainly be back for some more of the same.
by L-Hiking » Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:15 pm