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Thack Moor & Black Fell
by poppiesrara » Mon Dec 18, 2017 12:05 am
Hewitts included on this walk: Black Fell, Thack Moor
Date walked: 29/10/2017
Time taken: 4
Distance: 16.75 km
Ascent: 625m1 person thinks this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
Renwick, the obvious starting point for climbing Thack Moor, is a pretty farming village with few of the accoutrements that suggest a walkers' hub, and plenty of parking. For the first mile or so up there's a clear and easy track, good walking with wide views back over the Eden Valley to a Lakes skyline, and even when that peters out in a spongy flat area, you can head for a clear enough tread climbing the final slopes ahead. Nothing's very difficult and even into the teeth of a fierce wind I was at the pleasant little peak in less than an hour.
From there, the very broad and flat 'ridge' east to Black Fell is harder going, not too exciting and pretty damp almost everywhere. The target hill looks really wide and flat, and the parts away from guiding walls wouldn't pass Wainwright's test of 'possible to follow in mist'. No dangers on a clear day, but it's still a relief each time the ground steepens and firms up a little, and especially to reach the summit and some new views east.
The shortish stretch south to Hartside Cross (presumably trodden twice by most people bagging this hill the shortest way) is proper upland bog. Experience tells you the colours of grass you can tread on without getting a bootful of slop, but it's still a very zigzag route around the deeper hags needing some athletic tussock-jumping. Probably rather more fun than the unvarying wetness of the earlier ridge, but quite an effort and I don't think many of the queue in the summit cafe looked like they had come the same way rather than on wheels! The food there was far better than expected, excellent bacon and enormous cakes, and probably rather more so than it needs to be for its captive crowds miles from anywhere – well recommended.
After taking in the vista from the top with everyone else, the bridleway heading west is pretty rough in its early reaches after crossing the road – ambitiously and prominently signed as a cycle route, it probably isn't without some sort of amphibious kit, there are watery holes and ruts that would swallow much of a wheel without care… It improves further down though into a typically-Yorkshire walled lane, and there were impressive views in the sun back to the two hills climbed; Black Fell definitely looking better from this side with becks cutting its slopes.
It's a slow mission, but I'll probably get through all the Pennine summits in the end (doing it relentlessly for a few weeks to finish the list would be a bit much). The ups and downs of this route were good walking, the high plateau rather less so, and that's possibly the key to designing routes around here, but this was a nice day out on new terrain.
by Broggy1 » Mon Dec 18, 2017 10:57 am
I combined Black Fell with Grey Nag and as others will attest that stretch between the two hills (or more precisely between Black Fell and Tom Smith's Stone) is without doubt the worst I've come across on the hills.
For Thack Moor though I used your route for an evening short walk and found it pretty pleasant.
Looking forward to more of your reports from the Pennines.
by johnkaysleftleg » Mon Dec 18, 2017 11:18 am
by trailmasher » Tue Dec 19, 2017 5:15 pm
I found the Pennine Hewitt's interesting and pleased that I did them
by poppiesrara » Tue Dec 19, 2017 10:23 pm
by dav2930 » Tue Dec 19, 2017 11:12 pm
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