Friday, 24 February 2012

February 2012 - O/S Yorkshire & Cumbrian Nuttalls

With only 36 out of the 253 English Nuttalls to be visited and only 9 of the 171 Nuttalls remaining in the Lake District, it is becoming increasingly difficult to organise a trip in one particular area that does not involve long trips to each walk start point. It is for this reason the outstanding Yorkshire and Non Lake District Cumbrian peaks are being attacked from 3 different bases within the one trip.

Living in East Anglia it is simply too far and too expensive to just pop up for the weekend.

Originally trip was called O/S Yorkshire(ish) Nuttalls and saying ‘ish because although 3 are in the Southern Yorkshire Dales; Great Coum, Green Hill and Gragareth, I will be based in Dent which is in Cumbria, for the last leg of the trip. Green Hill is actually in Lancashire as is Gragareth. In fact Green Hill is the Lancashire Unitary Authority County Top.

It then dawned on me that although Mickle Fell is in Yorkshire, the other 3 in the area are also in Cumbria - hence the name change.

Overview of all walks scheduled. With 6 walks planned from Kirkby Stephen an extra rest day/bad weather day may be required. This will be accommodated if necessary by slipping the move date to Dent by one day effectively moving the rest day in Dent to Kirkby Stephen. This would not be ideal because Clive will leave on Sunday 04 March leaving me to rely on a taxi to get me to the remaining days walk start point.

I'll see how it goes, I may be lucky with the weather, after all I was last November in the Lake District.

After finding out that Hill Top Farm Bunkhouse only accepted group bookings at weekends and the Youth Hostel being fully booked I had to have a quick rethink about where I would be staying in Malham that did not involve sleeping under canvas in February.

As is often the case plan (b) has turned out to be the better option by booking into the Queens Arms in Litton. Slightly more comfortable and of course more expensive but hey I deserve it! Still hopefully being joined by Les Howarth whom I met in Dufton during my overnight stay at the end of day 12 on the Pennine Way.

Not only is the standard better but so is the location. I am able to start both walks from Litton without having to rely on a taxi to the start point which in itself this time of year could scupper the walk by roads being blocked by snow. This way, as long as I can get to Litton; not withstanding snow blizzards or gale force winds with rain I will be able to get out and complete both walks.

Saturday 25 February 2012 - Birks Fell
The first walk from Litton will be Birks, this should have been visited as part of the Yockenthwaite Moor and Buckden Pike walk back in April 2011, however fitness prevented me from visiting this peak. Birks is a Marilyn as well as Buckden Pike and visiting 2 Marilyns in one walk is a milestone I have yet to achieve.

Sunday 26 February 2012 - Fountains & Darnbrook Fells
The remaining top in the area will include a brief return to Day 06 of the Pennine Way where I had intended to pick off both Fountains Fells as well as Darnbrook Fell, but quite frankly doing the Pennine way was challenge enough and if I had used extra effort to visit these Fells I may not have completed the walk. Purist as I am I would have to return to the place where I left the PW otherwise I would not be able to claim to have completed the walk in its entirety even though the diversions would have involved more ascent and undoubtedly have made the walk more difficult.

Kirkby Stephen
As it is central for the Dufton Fells and the Howgills the second part of the trip will be based at Kirkby Stephen Hostel, where I will be joined by Clive Kirk for 5 of the 6 walks based around here. The 6th walk will be to bag Backstone Edge and Meldon Hill on my own where Clive will drop me off in Dufton on his way home and I will have to book a taxi to take me from Dufton to Kirkby Stephen after the days walk.

The timing is also fixed to fit in with the open days on Mickle Fell on Sat 03 March and Sun 04 March. Some of these walks are fairly long so there is some flexibility with when rest days fit in. As things stand in version 4, I think I have got them scheduled about right However if one extra is needed as mentioned earlier I will have to slip the move date to Dent by one day to the Tuesday 06 March.

Wednesday 29 February 2012 - Howgill Fells (East)
At 10.23miles and an ascent of 1031m ascent I would say this qualifies as a good days walking, however as it follows yesterdays 13.76miles it should ensure we are both ready for the scheduled rest day tomorrow.

Friday 02 March 2012 - Howgill Fells (West)
Ideally I would have liked to use this short walk to split the 2 longer walks of Mickle Fell and Backstone Edge. But because the date for Mickle Fell is fixed on 03 March by the range opening days. It will have to fit in here as a short walk after a rest day. This may well work out right as Delayed Onset of Muscle Stiffness (DOMS) sometimes sets in 2 days after intense exercise rather than the day after when the rest day is scheduled. If indeed it does 7.62 miles would be quite good to loosen things off for the longer walk of Mickle Fell to come tomorrow.

Tuesday 28 February 2012 - Meldon Hill & Backstone Edge
At 13.76 miles decided to start with this walk as a baptism of fire rather than a shorter walk today and leave this one until tomorrow. After all the ascent is not massive at 794m so providing we are both as fit at the start of this trip as we were at the beginning of Lake District trip last November there should not be a problem.

Saturday 03 March 2012 - Mickle Fell
This will be the first return to Mickle Fell since my unsuccessful attempt to bag this top back in February 2010 described in the earlier posting Mickle Fell aborted. Saturday 03 March and Sunday 04 March are this months MoD open days that give access to Mickle Fell. So unless the weather is really horrendous, today is the only day we can take on this Fell if I want the company of Clive. I have planned the same return route down from Mickle Fell as I think I followed on the previous walk to (a) refresh my memory of that memorable walk and (b) maybe (with a bit of luck) find my phone and camera amongst other items which were lost on that eventful day. At over 14 miles this is nearly the longest walk of the trip so an early start will be required.

Sunday 04 March 2012 - Rogans Seat & Water Crag
Again these 2 peaks were planned to be completed during my Pennine Way trip back in October 2010 and like all the other off route tops were abandoned within 4 hours of the first day when I realised how tough the PW was going to be.
In a bit of a quandary as Keld is closer to Kirkby Stephen than Tan Hill I have made the start point as Keld. However I really would have liked to look forward to a pint at the Tan Hill Inn at the end of the walk. As Clive will be dropping me off here on the way home I need to choose the start point which is on the way home for him as well as the end point being close to Kirkby Stephen for the taxi to pick me up in the evening. Where this one scores over Backstone Edge as well is that it is 4 miles shorter which may also be important at the end of this leg of the trip.

Lovely Seat (See Friday 09 March 2012 based at Dent)
Walk to be attempted from Dent now rather than Kirkby Stephen. This was so that I could be guaranteed at least one rest day while staying at Kirkby Stephen. Bad weather may even force a second rest day but this will be accommodated by staying in Kirkby Stephen one extra day and foregoing the already planned rest day in Dent. Even with good weather there will be 5 walks in 6 days.

Finally the last leg will be based in Dent staying at The Green Dragon, from where I will be able to start the walk in the case of Great Coum or by public transport for Great Knoughtberry Hill. Although Lovely Seat is near Hawes I will also be able to get to the start of this walk by public transport from Dent Station to Garsdale and finally bus to Hardraw where the days walk will start, then bus and train back to Dent at the end of the walk. Trains along the Settle Carlisle Railway and the 855 Little White Bus service, between Garsdale and Hawes, links together sufficiently to give me 9 hours (between 10:40 and 17:05) to complete this walk.This should be plenty of time. Maybe even leave enough time for a pint in The Green Dragon Hardraw.

Assuming I have managed to stick to the plan I will have 4 days in Dent with one rest day scheduled. I should be capable of walking 3 long walks on consecutive days. The unknown is bad weather. The weather would have to be worse in Kirkby Stephen to stop a walk simply because I will be with Clive and the weather would have to be worse to not walk when I am with somebody than if I am alone, as I will be in Dent.

Tuesday 06 March 2012
Access to fell bottoms and return is more or less the same as route Gina and I took on our visit here in January. In view of the cold and wind Gina was not ready to ascend the extra 200m to walk the ridge between Great Coumb and Green Hill so am returning today to walk what will be one of my best prepared routes up along Green Lane and down past Lockin Garth Force.
Option for a longer walk of 17 miles to return via Calf Top to bag this "nearly Nuttall". At 690.58m misses out by 2cm so if the snow is lying thick may well be over the 2000ft mark. In all honesty I do not think I will be up to this with two walks of the trip left to do, so will most likely leave this top for another day and stick with the planned 14.25mile route. Even revisit if the accumulation of moss over the next few years takes it above 2000ft!

Wednesday 07 March 2012
Will make use of Settle Carlisle Railway to make this a point to point walk between Ribblehead and Cowgill (Dent Station) which will also take in the 2 Dewey's of Blea Moor and Wold Fell as well.
Planned this walk for Wednesday to take advantage of the bus from Dent to Cowgill, to cover the 4½miles between Dent and Dent Station. The only other day this bus runs is on a Saturday. Will then catch the train to Ribblehead and walk back. That way, at the end of the walk I can set off for Dent on Shanks' pony without having to hang around for the train at Ribblehead to get me home. The morning bus is timed to coincide with the train so there should not be too much hanging around first thing. Won't bother with a taxi as next day is a rest day.

Friday 09 March 2012
Last walk of the trip. Originally planned to tackle this walk from Kirkby Stephen but moved to Dent as it can be accessed relatively easily on public transport. Dent Station to Garsdale Head then the Little White Bus service 855 from Garsdale to Hardraw.
Also originally planned to re-visit Great Shunner Fell along the Pennine Way from Hardraw but now going straight to Lovely Seat from Hardraw as days walk will include walk from Dent to Cowgill (Dent Station) plus return - an extra 9 miles albeit on road and level ground. May well consider using Taxi here if I am really tired.

One of my most ambitious schedules but I remain optimistic based on the success of the last Lake District trip, especially as I intend to follow the same training program. If all peaks are visited the count will be increased by 19 leaving only 17 left. 2 in Dartmoor, Cold Fell near Carlisle, 5 in The Cheviots and last but not least 9 in the Lake District

The intention is to complete these this year in 3 trips, with the last one being in the Lake District and the last Nuttall being one that I can be joined with as many friends who want to come with me. This therefore excludes Pillar Rock and Catstye Cam via Striding Edge

Reckon it could be either Wether Hill or Loadpot Hill along High Street Roman Road.

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