Saturday, 16 July 2011

Dufton to Alston over Cross Fell

Dufton YHA was a delight and the food at the Stag Inn was great but after sleeping like a proverbial log I got an early start as I knew it was going to be a long day. This was the day I'd looked forward to and dreaded in equal measures - the longest and the highest on the 'way'. There was a lot of low cloud and as I climbed it came and went so that I caught occasional glimpses of the tops. The climb up was a hard slog but when I reached the summit of Knock Old Man I realised that I had gained the majority of the days elevation and after that it was just a case of dipping down a bit and them back up again.

The radar domes on Great Dun Fell appearing out of the mist

I reached the summit of Cross Fell (which was cloud free by then) at 1315 - 5 hours after leaving Dufton.

The cloud free summit of cross fell

Coming down off Cross Fell was easy enough because I had good visibility but I can easily see why some people could get lost if the mist was down. The way down is mostly on tracks and I passed Greg's Hut which would be a very welcome site in bad weather.

Greg's Hut

5 hours after that I arrived at Alston YHA which is superbly situated right on the PW as you approach the village. I have never been so glad to see a YHA. The 2 or 3 miles coming down into Garrigill along a gravelly farm track are hell and then you've got another 5 miles to go to Alston!

A very welcome bench as you enter Garrigill!

The final 5 miles seem to be just one stile after another - as if you need that after 15  miles! Anyway I made it in one bit and lived to tell the tale.
Janet Donnelly
Sent on the move

1 comment:

  1. When I stayed at the YHA at Alston it had recently been privatised and it was really excellent. You are right - it is a very long way after Cross Fell!