Cross Fell

Sunday, 29 June 2014
13.4miles/8.4km
2283ft/696m ascent
Trail 100 #43


Over a big breakfast at The Coach House we discussed what to do.  We had finished our planned walks for the weekend a day early.  Afterwards Sue let us know what she would have done: ‘Gone for a mooch around and gone to a coffee shop’ – a good suggestion for a summer Sunday.

We stopped off in Hexham on the drive back from Northumberland and bought a map before climbing the largest mountain in the Pennines.  At 2,930ft/893m Cross Fell is one of the largest hills in England but, because it lies outside the big hill walking areas (The Lake District or Snowdonia), it isn’t a popular climb.  Which is a shame, because it is good walk and the view to the West of the nearby Lake District fells is superb.

Bridleway

We walked up the bridleway, always a good route up a mountain as the path tends to be wider and less steep.  Once over the first shoulder of the fell the ground becomes boggy before rising to a fortress of loose rock and scree.

ScreesDescent

The top is a flat expanse of grass with a scattering of stones which have been built into a series of cairns and shelters.  The large white golf-ball shaped radar dome on Great Dun Fell is prominent to the South, but it is the panoramic view of the Lake District fells to the West which is fantastic.

Shelter Pennine Way Cairn Lake District SkylineSummit

We charged down the mountain using the same route and got back in time to listen to the Netherlands vs Mexico World Cup football match on the way back home.


Route

From the road at  NY646325.

Cross Fell Route

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The Calf

Saturday, 22 February 2014
10.6miles/17.0km
2670ft/810m ascent
Trail 100 #24


Windy .. is the best way to describe this walk.

We parked in Sedbergh and walked along the valley floor through sodden fields to Cautley arriving muddy and a bit annoyed at the slow progress.

Cautley Spout

As we walked towards the waterfall (Cautley Spout) we wondered why there were some people sliding down the steep grassy bank. Perhaps they had been watching the Winter Olympics and were practising snowboarding.

The reason was obvious when we started to climb .. the grass slope was soaked, wet like a sponge, and even with good boots the surface was like an icy pavement.

Half way up the bank a strong gust of wind knocked us both from our feet and sent us sliding 20 feet back down the hill. Bruised pride and a banged wrist, but no serious injuries.The Calf

The next part of the walk followed the stream up a sheltered valley ascending towards the summit. And then we reached the ridge where the Westerly wind over 40 miles an hour made the climb to The Calf (2218ft/676m) and the next two miles, over Calders (2211ft/674m) very difficult walking.

The Calf - Windswept Summit

 

 

 

The descent back to Sedbergh was a relief as we found a sheltered route and got back to the car before the rain.

 

 


Route

Starting at the Sedbergh car park  (SD659923).

The Calf Route

 

Bleaklow Head

Sunday, 12 January 2014
8.3miles/13.4km
1870ft/570m ascent
Trail 100 #21


Bleaklow Head (2077ft/633m) is a huge peat covered moor that rises from the reservoirs lining the Woodhead Pass between Manchester and Sheffield, and is just eleven feet smaller than it’s near neighbour, Kinder Scout (2088ft/636m), the highest hill in the Peak District.Bleaklow Head Summit 3

The walk passes through woodland at the foot of the fell and then crosses through fields quickly rising to the edge of the deep valley called Torside Clough. The well worn path is part of the Pennine Way and is obvious even in snow.

Bleaklow Head Snow

The top of the moor was barren, snow covered and bleak – this hill has a very appropriate name. We weren’t the only people climbing on this cold winter day – there were even some fell runners in shorts.

Bleaklow Head Summit 2Bleaklow Head Summit 1

On the way down we met a pig – with a ring at the end of it’s nose.

Bleaklow Head Pig


Route

Starting at the car park by the Torside Reservoir (SK068983).

Bleaklow Head Route