We started the walk at Blencarn, after negotiating country roads and Cows!!! The walk started well, with well defined paths. After only about 20 minutes, I managed to do a Dawn French and step in what I thought was a shallow puddle, but turned out to be about knee deep!!! Wet socks for the rest of the walk, YUK!!!!! We continued along this path, admiring the Sheep, Cows and Horses until we came to a farm. This is where things started going wrong.
We followed the signs through the farm yard and into the field, but this where the signs stopped. After much deliberation, we walked through a field and tried to find Littledale Beck. We found what we thought was the right path but turned out not to be!!! We walked up Grumply Hill towards Wildboar Scar. The walk up was fairly steep, and we climbed about 750ft in about 1km. When we got to the bottom of Wildboar Scar, we climbed over a wall to get to the foot of the hill. We started to climb toward the top, which soon turned out to be an extremely steep climb with a little scrambling mixed in. When we finally made the top, and onto Kirkland Fell, we rested and had a well deserved cup of coffee!!!
Because there were no defined paths, we had to guess where to go, and as we mistook a different hill for Cross Fell, we ended up the wrong side of it. The whole way accross the top of Kirkland Fell was very wet and boggy, so we had to be careful to try and avoid another Dawn French moment!!! Because there was low cloud, it made it very difficult to navigate our way accross, and it wasn’t until we were at the foot of Cross Fell wishing that the cloud would disappear (which it did for a split second), that we were in fact standing at the foot of it, only the wrong side!!!
We decided to skirt round the bottom to the side we were originally going to climb so that we didn’t have to double back on ourselves. We were about three quarters of the way around when we stopped for another coffee and in my case, lunch. We carried on round after a while, and spotted an easyish climb up and decided to take this route up. We were nearly at the top when we were greeted by a group of people that had come down from the top who cheerily told us that there is still no path at the top, joy! We carried on walking, and tried to find the Trig Point, which was not easy as the cloud was over the hills and visibility was only about 20ft in front of you. We came accross a Cairn that we though was the top, but was disappointed to find out it wasn’t. There was a sign on the Cairn pointing to the Trig Point, which we followed blindly until we finally found it. FINALLY, WE FOUND THE TOP, HOORAYY!!!!!!!!! After the compulsory photo by the Trig Point, we made our way to the cross shaped shelter for something to eat and a coffee, which turned out to be cold, YUK!!!
Once we had finished, we found the path down and slowly made our way off Cross Fell. At the bottom, the ground became very boggy again, with one piece that felt as though you were walking on a water bed; which was quite dis-conserting really. We hurried off the water beds and headed for a Yad Stone, which turned out to be a footpath marker. At last, we were on the Pennine Way, and onto proper footpaths; Garrigill, here we come!!!
A little way down the path, we came to Gregs Hut, which turned out to be a “Mountain Bothy” (a shelter). We went inside for a look, and after signing the visitor book, we carried on along the Pennine Way. At last, we were walking along well defined paths!!! The path is mainly stone track, and goes all the way to Garrigill. Alot of the land has Grouse nesting on after Longman Hill, and after Pikeman Hill, there alot of Grouse Butts. As the path is well defined, it was easy to follow all the way. The only thing to be careful of is the Shake Holes either side of the path, the disused mine workings and all of the “dead” rock. The path is easy going until you get to Black Band, and almost to Garrigill. Here the path gets a little steeper down towards the road.
We finally reached Garrigill 9 1/4 hours after we started, with wet feet, but no blisters!!!
Start Point: Blencarn. NGR NY639 312
Finish Point: Garrigill. NGR NY745 415
Time Taken: 9 1/4 hours including approximately 1 1/2 hours lost due to mis navigation
Distance Travelled: About 13 Miles
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