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When September Ends

When September Ends


Postby johnkaysleftleg » Wed Oct 14, 2015 6:12 pm

Hewitts included on this walk: Murton Fell

Date walked: 30/09/2015

Time taken: 4

Distance: 14 km

Ascent: 660m

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For once my day off coincided with a fine forecast so I decided heading a little further afeild than a local walk was in order. I've had my eye on this route for a while mainly due to the lack of dog restrictions and an excuse to visit the amazing High Cup Gill again. I arrived at the small village of Murton, huddled in the shadow of the Pennines, on a perfect morning with the peace broken only by the bursts of distant gunfire from Warcop firing range. Where as I appreciate the necessity of 'live firing' exercises and the need of an out of the way place to do it I do feel frustrated by having what looks like some brilliant country to the East of here declared out of bounds to free exploration. This doesn't mean you can't look at it however and it provided good interest as I set off up into the fells, eschewing the track in favour of a nice grassy groove.

ImageDelfekirik Scar by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageVale of Eden by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageMurton Crag by Anthony Young, on Flickr

I was soon hot on this breathless morning and by the time I rejoined the track my fleece was in my pack and I was breathing hard. The brief respite in steepness was enjoyed before I set off on the first of today's diversions and headed in the direction of Murton Pike. A bit of huffing and puffing later I emerged onto the summit to be greated by a truly stunning vista A wonderful view up and down the Pennines was complemented by, across the Vale of Eden, the Lake District fells strung out for inspection on this beautiful morning. Best was of all was the huge inversion developing over the Dales with Wild Boar fell poking it's plateau above the clouds. I lingered quite a while taking it all in, what a morning to be alive :D

ImageWild Boar Fell by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageLooking South East from Murton Pike by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageMurton Pike by Anthony Young, on Flickr

I eventually dragged myself away towards the days main business of bagging a Hewitt. To say that the route towards Murton Fell's barely distinguishable summit was a bit dull after the view I'd just savored was an understatement. The ground underfoot wasn't to bad however and I maintained a fairly straight line up to this unimpressive "summit". Best thing on offer, apart from the stunning feeling of total isolation was the impressive bulk of Mickle Fell rising to the east complete with attractive morning mist on it's slopes. Unlike with Murton Pike I didn't linger and made a beeline for the head of High Cup Gill.

ImageMickle Fell by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageMurton Fell with Meldon Hill behind by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageMickle Fell from Murton Fell by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageLake District from Murton Fell by Anthony Young, on Flickr

This, employing hindsight, was a mistake given I quickly was surrounded by interminable peat hags in all directions. :roll: Fortunately It had been dry for a while so the risk of sinking without trace was reduced significantly. Every time I managed to make some higher dryer ground I could spy the Curricks on the escarpment above High Cup, unfortunately I could swear they were getting further away not nearer :shock:
Hughie was also becoming increasingly disgruntled with events and by the time I hauled myself out of the last of the hags and onto some rough heather he decided he'd had quite enough of this fell and decided to refuse to move.
With me being in no mood to carry a filthy West Highland Terrier who has recently completed the Wainwrights and therefore fit as a lop, a discussion took place and all was well as we made it to better ground and the brilliantly constructed curricks.

ImageColourful Swamp by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageThe Horror! by Anthony Young, on Flickr

I descended towards High Cup over more rough ground, still better than what I had been through however, as slowly this natural wonder revealed itself. Even if you've been here before this place takes the breath away, words and pictures just don't cut it, you'll just have to visit yourself if you haven't allready.

ImageCurrick on Murton Fell by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageCurricks on Murton Fell by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageApproaching High Cup by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageHigh Cup Gill by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageNorthern edge of High Cup by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageLooking down High Cup by Anthony Young, on Flickr

I had lunch at the head of the Gill. A cooling breeze was blowing here but nothing a fleece didn't solve. For the second time on this walk I was dazzled with the view on offer and quite honestly if I had nowhere else to be I could have stayed for hours. Time, tide and picking children up from school wait for no man however so I dragged myself up and set off along the Southern edge of the Gill back towards Murton.

Image
Crags by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageWalking along the Southern Edge by Anthony Young, on Flickr

I was an impressive walk along the Southern Crags as you'd expect but eventually this came to an end and I set off a broad but boggy track towards Trundle Gill. The going was now supremely easy and I made fast progress down to the beck, slowed only by an area where trees are being replanted being fenced off necessitating a bit of back tracking.

ImageTrundale Gill by Anthony Young, on Flickr

I finished the walk by returning to the car via the path that skirts the base of Murton Pike which was a tad rough in places but overall quite nice. This was a strange walk with the main top to be bagged being distinctly underwhelming but with the diversions being first class. One to recommend but if bagging Hewitts isn't your thing I'm sure you can fine easier ground from Murton Pike to High Cup.

ImageRoman Fell by Anthony Young, on Flickr


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johnkaysleftleg
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Posts: 3187
Munros:25   Corbetts:10
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Location: County Durham

Re: When September Ends

Postby Gordie12 » Wed Oct 14, 2015 8:41 pm

Even on an overcast damp day I could appreciate High Cup was a fairly dramatic looking place (even if the walk up through the valley floor was a bit drab after the fun of Cauldron Snout). Your pics of High Cup (and the surrounding area) are fantastic.

On 1st reading I thought I read the title Mutton Pike and had a snigger with all the sheep in the photo, it was only when I double checked that I noticed it was actually Murton Pike - shame really :? :? :?
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Re: When September Ends

Postby dav2930 » Wed Oct 14, 2015 8:48 pm

A really interesting report JKLL, and of particular interest to me as this area is my back yard, as it were. As ever, your photos are stunning - some of the best I've seen of High Cup (certainly miles better than any of mine :lol: ). What a glorious day you had for it! I was at work that day unfortunately so I missed those wonderful inversions. I completely agree with you that the real interest of this area lies in the two pikes (Murton and Dufton) and of course High Cup, which is magnificent. Thanks for reminding me to get up there again soon! :D

Ps I felt sorry for Hughie !
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dav2930
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Re: When September Ends

Postby Broggy1 » Thu Oct 15, 2015 1:55 pm

Such a shame Murton Pike didn't outgrow Murton Fell.

Murton and especially Dufton Pike may be the best hills in the entire North Pennines.

Great photos as always.
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Broggy1
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Re: When September Ends

Postby ChrisW » Fri Oct 16, 2015 6:28 pm

Another beauty JK with spectacular views, I was genuinely surprised by High Cup, not sure if this shows my ignorance or if it's a well kept secret :think: I laughed at Hugie trying to call it a day half way through thanks to the miserable hags.....he won't forget that you made him continue without a wee carry you know :lol: :lol:
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Re: When September Ends

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Sat Oct 17, 2015 2:58 pm

Gordie12 wrote:Even on an overcast damp day I could appreciate High Cup was a fairly dramatic looking place (even if the walk up through the valley floor was a bit drab after the fun of Cauldron Snout). Your pics of High Cup (and the surrounding area) are fantastic.

On 1st reading I thought I read the title Mutton Pike and had a snigger with all the sheep in the photo, it was only when I double checked that I noticed it was actually Murton Pike - shame really :? :? :?


Cheers Gordie, high cup is a splendid place. Mutton Pike might well be a better name :lol:

dav2930 wrote:A really interesting report JKLL, and of particular interest to me as this area is my back yard, as it were. As ever, your photos are stunning - some of the best I've seen of High Cup (certainly miles better than any of mine :lol: ). What a glorious day you had for it! I was at work that day unfortunately so I missed those wonderful inversions. I completely agree with you that the real interest of this area lies in the two pikes (Murton and Dufton) and of course High Cup, which is magnificent. Thanks for reminding me to get up there again soon! :D


Some back yard to have, mine's full of weeds and dog poo :wink:

dav2930 wrote:Ps I felt sorry for Hughie !
That's exactly what he wants :wink: cuteness can be a weapon.

Broggy1 wrote:Such a shame Murton Pike didn't outgrow Murton Fell.

Murton and especially Dufton Pike may be the best hills in the entire North Pennines.

Great photos as always.


Cheers Broggy, the biggest shame is anybody who bypasses it on the way to bagging Muton Fell.

ChrisW wrote:Another beauty JK with spectacular views, I was genuinely surprised by High Cup, not sure if this shows my ignorance or if it's a well kept secret :think: I laughed at Hugie trying to call it a day half way through thanks to the miserable hags.....he won't forget that you made him continue without a wee carry you know :lol: :lol:


Certainly worth a day out if you ever make it back to blighty Chris. I'm sincerely hoping Hughie does remember he didn't get a carry, some things quickly become the rules in his little head :lol:
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Re: When September Ends

Postby trailmasher » Sat Oct 17, 2015 9:09 pm

Another great report Anthony :clap: accompanied by the usual fine images :clap: . We have had a week away so just catching up with things and earlier in the evening was planning a walk to Murton Fell so looks like you beat me to it :( . We can see High Cup Nick from where we live and as the pictures show it's an enormous glacial cut out of the hill side. It's also a good walk up there when there is some snow about :D . And as for poor Hughie... :crazy: Thanks for posting :clap:
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Re: When September Ends

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Tue Oct 20, 2015 9:43 am

trailmasher wrote:Another great report Anthony :clap: accompanied by the usual fine images :clap: . We have had a week away so just catching up with things and earlier in the evening was planning a walk to Murton Fell so looks like you beat me to it :( . We can see High Cup Nick from where we live and as the pictures show it's an enormous glacial cut out of the hill side. It's also a good walk up there when there is some snow about :D . And as for poor Hughie... :crazy: Thanks for posting :clap:


Cheers TM, wish I lived that close to High Cup, would love to photograph it on a winter morning from the top sometime.
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johnkaysleftleg
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Re: When September Ends

Postby 37201xoIM » Mon Aug 21, 2017 8:24 am

I've just done this walk yesterday myself, chosen on the basis it looked a quick if unexciting Hewitt to bag when I couldn't get away until mid-afternoon... However I thought it was really enjoyable, and needless to say you were right in persuading me to do Murton Pike on the way up, even if it doesn't 'count'...

Quite easy going all the way, I found - and while Murton Fell isn't that exciting (and I took a punt helped by GPS as to where the actual summit was!), the views aren't bad, and personally I rather like that solitude and isolation you get on the tops in the North Pennines!

I didn't find the peat hags on the way over to High Cup too bad (to be fair, it's August) - only significant annoyance was the early evening bringing out some Scottish-style midgies; are they taking revenge for Brexit or something??

In any event, well worth it for what comes next...

Embarrassing though it is to admit it, I'd known nothing about High Cup and was absolutely staggered by it - and I strongly suspect that the other big advantage of coming down from Murton Fell across the top is the way in which you approach it and High Cup is suddenly there in front of you - I challenge anyone to do it for the first time and not exclaim "****ing ****!" or similar!

The way down, as you say, is mostly quite easy and pleasant - though I think I took a slightly inefficient route to avoid those new trees; and the bit around the base of Murton Pike is, as you say, a bit rough for a short while - one of those paths that are at a slightly annoying slant on the side of the hill! But that's quite a short bit.

Thanks for the tips and a really useful report.
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