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Thack Moor & Black Fell

Thack Moor & Black Fell

Postby 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: 625m

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Two new Hewitts on a sunny return to the North Pennines, from what looked the friendlier and more accessible western edge.

thack moor.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

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.
Church of All Saints, Renwick

Eden Valley from the track up


Looking west from Thack Moor trig

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.
Watch Hill & Grey Nag

Back to Thack Moor

Black Fell from Watch Hill

Croglin Fell

Better ground

Thack Moor & Croglin Fell

Grey Nag

Black Fell summit

Fence to Grey Nag, Tynedale in distance

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.
Wet going...

Black Fell

Route down to Loo Gill from Hartside Cross

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.
Thack Moor

Ricker Gill bridge & Loo Gill

Black Fell

Thack Moor over Loo Gill

Black Fell & Hartside Cross




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.
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Re: Thack Moor & Black Fell

Postby Broggy1 » Mon Dec 18, 2017 10:57 am

Nice. Seemingly the best way to do these as well and leave Grey Nag on it's own.

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.
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Re: Thack Moor & Black Fell

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Mon Dec 18, 2017 11:18 am

In this weather these two hills look very appealing despite of the dampness underfoot. I just can't find any motivation for the North Pennines, I've done a few but haven't bagged a new one for over a year.
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Re: Thack Moor & Black Fell

Postby trailmasher » Tue Dec 19, 2017 5:15 pm

A fine walk poppy, and probably the best way round 8) some fine pics there on a stunning day for a walk :clap: Similar day to when E and I did it from Renwick though maybe not as wet as you found it as we went earlier in the year :wink:

I found the Pennine Hewitt's interesting and pleased that I did them :)
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Re: Thack Moor & Black Fell

Postby poppiesrara » Tue Dec 19, 2017 10:23 pm

Thanks. Reading back I might have been a bit harsh about the going, there are certainly worse and boggier stretches in even the popular parts of the Lakes, Peak and Dales. The North Penns are going to nag away at me for years until I 'bag' them, I'm sure, but hopefully there are plenty more of the good bits you found on the way TM. Broggy - I'd seen enough elsewhere not to be contemplating the bit between Black fell and Grey Nag ever!
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Re: Thack Moor & Black Fell

Postby dav2930 » Tue Dec 19, 2017 11:12 pm

This walk, exactly as you did it (and calling in at Hartside Café of course) is one of the nicest I've done in the N. Pennines, even though the weather was nothing like as fine as you had. I'd recommend it to anyone who wants a taste of walking in the area. When I went for Grey Nag on another occasion I was daft enough to go via Black Fell and can attest to the awfulness of the bogs beyond! But Grey Nag itself is an interesting summit and a fine viewpoint. :)
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