DATE                                       06.07.15

DISTANCE                              9.2 MILES

WEATHER                              DONT ASK !

START / FINISH                     CAMPSITE AT DUFTON

High Cup Nick

According to the weather App on my IPad todays weather was going to be dull & overcast with rain at about 16:00 (that’s about 4 o’clock for you non military types) this made it a good day for me to have a wander up to High Cup Nick after all I know that it is a long slow uphill slog and  the last thing I wanted was to be cooked alive under brilliant sunshine , I have found out nothing slows me down like a hot day so being overcast works out well for me , I had planned to see if it was possible for me to walk up the centre of the Nick and do the short but steep climb to the top right at the end but on checking out the route the night before the farmer had filled  the fields with “new” cattle so that would rule Bob dog out if I went that route , so then it was a quick switch to plane “b” which would be a wander up following the Pennine way right to the top , I have done this route before so I knew that there wouldn’t be any surprises and I would hopefully have a mooch around once I got to the top and make a decision on the return route then . and I really wanted to try to get some good photos of the place, every time I have been here before the weather has turned “pants” and ruined any good photos that I have taken and to be honest I have never managed to capture the shear size and scale of the place …………you know what I mean when you say the photos just don’t do the place justice so hopefully that would all change after this walk (famous last words).

So once I had finished cooking breakfast …………..yes I do all the cooking when we are away (it was egg and bacon &sausage and tomato butties if you are interested) and very nice they where too, being brave caring person that I am I loaded up my rucksack and left my better half to clean up and do the dishes, calling Bob who was already waiting and off we went.

The route was simplicity itself, leave the campsite, link up with the Pennine way which was just around the corner and head up the well used track to High Cup Nick.

Weather it was still dull but warm but that didn’t matter and on reaching the Higher Fells (if there is such a place here) a breeze sprung up. Which helped keep the Fly’s and midges at bay, Bob of course was busy ranging around and I was a bit concerned that there was sheep about but Bob wasn’t interested in them and they showed no interest in Bob, I suppose that they are used to walkers and there dogs either that or the size of Bob doesn’t bother them but whatever the reason I was happy with the way things where working out , Bob of course was having a great time but I did have to shout at him when I noticed that he was about to roll in some Fox pooh , he has done this before and it stinks and last time it took nearly a whole bottle of dog shampoo to get him clean and smelling nice again .

We met up with a dry stone wall builder (if that’s what they are called) who was busy repairing a section of the wall and had a chat, he asked me if I had my waterproofs with me, I explained that I had them packed away in my rucksack but was hoping to get up there and back down before the weather changed for the worse. he wished me good luck in getting up there and back in the next hour and reliably informed me that it was going to throw it down in the next half hour or so and the winds at the top of High Cup Nick would get quite strong …………..ERR ! Thanks for that was my reply but I know from bitter experience how the weather can quickly change in these fells and as a local he would have a much better “feel” for the weather than my weather app on the I pad, so saying our good buys me and Bob set off determine to get to the top before the weather took a turn for the worse, However it wasn’t meant to be and within thirty minutes a very damp breeze started , as we slowly gained a bit more height the wind got stronger and the “damp”  feel to the air turned into a heavy drizzle ….you know the kind the sort that quickly soaks you all over , Naturally there is no shelter up here so me and Bob pressed on , I tried to take a few photos but as fast as I cleaned the water off the camera lens it quickly got wet again which was rather annoying , after a while we made it to the top of the Nick (sorry don’t know the correct name for  it) and found a spot that gave us a bit of shelter out of the wind , water proofs where dug out and put on as I was getting soaking wet , I don’t mind getting wet after all its July and warm but if my shorts get wet the dampness runs down into my socket and ARTY leg will lose grip and literally drop off and once the seal gets wet it murder trying to dry it out . the only problem was now I would start sweating , so it was a case of getting wet from the outside in or getting wet from the inside out , I figured if I moved slowly and took my time perhaps I wouldn’t sweat so much .

Lunch was shared between Bob and me which really means that I gave Bob all the roast Beef out of my sarnie and I settled for the boring salad , and we shared the cake .then of course Bob had his doggy treats and bisects (sometimes I think I spoil this dog) .

I decided that we would sit it out for a while hoping that the weather would improve  after all its July and then we would have a mooch around , after all there is quite a lot of stuff up around here ….so I am told and I was keen to simply have a look around , after a while the weather showed no signs of improving , infact the wind was getting worse , nothing to get excited about but with the wind and the rain my head was getting soaking wet and the deet I had carefully put on in the morning was running into my eyes making them sting a bit ..Lesson learnt here don’t put deet on.

Bob was starting to let me know that it was time to move, and once we moved out of our sheltered spot we got exposed to the wind and rain, taking photos was out no matter how many times I wipe the lens dry ……………….so much for trying to capture High Cup Nick and doing the place justice and any thoughts of mooching around and exploring went right out of the window ………………..who knows may be next time I up this way. my seal was starting to bite my sore spot on my stump and stopping and stripping off was out of the question in this weather and so I decided to head back down, retracing my earlier route up along the Pennine way …………..yes I was pissed I really wanted to have the day up here mooching around, taking it easy and looking at other ways back down to Dufton .still never mind there is always another day.

Then right out of the blue a memory of the time I came up here with my Good friend Dave (sadly not with us anymore ) and I remember how we just got to the top and got caught in a passing hail shower , now this hail really hurt when it hit my face and ears , and how we laugh as we scarpered about looking for shelter and made a very quick shelter out of a couple of survival bags only to get it all ready set up only for the shower to pass just as we finished …………………….I miss you Dave , that was a great day .we should have had many more days like that ……..bitter sweet memory’s  eh ?

And so with Bob leading we headed back down , I met a couple of walkers coming up and had a chat , mostly about the weather , one of the walkers informed me the last time he was up here and had good weather was in 1976 and he has been back dozens of times so maybe my few times doesn’t count yet , as normal as we dropped down the wind died down and with it the rain stopped and turned into a fine mist , I managed to get out of the water proofs as I felt that I was in one of those “boil in a bag” type things  then after another mile or so I managed to get behind a wall and remove my arty leg and do a bit of first aid on my stump that was a bit of a bloody mess , however after cleaning it up a bit it turned out that it was nothing to get concerned about and things where much better when I put the leg back on.

We passed the man who was still rebuilding the stone wall and had a chat , I am certain that he really wanted to say “I told you so” but was to polite to come straight out and say it .

Then on the last mile or so the sun came out and we returned into the campsite actually steaming as our cloths started to dry out.

We walked just over nine miles with 1609 ft. of the ups and downs, Bob of course did loads more,

Yes I was disappointed that once again the weather wasn’t that good and I failed to have a good mooch around and didn’t get the photos that I wanted but so what! We had a good day and there are things that are out of my control like the weather, but I am certain that I will be back and will get that good photo and find other routes back down or who know may be I will attempt to cut up the centre of High cup Nick …………now that is something to look forward to.

As normal a few photos (wet) enjoy:

On the Pennine way, a well used farm track at this stage

 

One day I will head off along that track to see where it goes

 

Looking up at an old lime kiln?

 

Starting to gain a bit of height looking back at the start of the nick

 

Bob meeting up with another walker’s dog

 

Looking back down the nick

 

A few more phots as we make our way along the Pennine way, sadly there is a fine mist blowing which has ruined most photos

 

Strands beck?

Hannah’s well waterfall?

 

Dropping over the edge

 

Looking towards the bottom

 

Looking straight down

 

Bob dog, waiting for me to catch up

 

A few locals, again I have failed to capture the sheer size of this place

 

A few more photos  as we make our way to the top

 Bob decided that this is a good place to stop for lunch

 

Not sure what this is called

 

Time to head back down a few rather wet photos as we make our way down

 

Last one looking down at Dufton

 

Day after thoughts

I was stinking when I got back to the van, a quick shower sorted that out, I will admit to being tired, my stump was very tender around the “hole” but its healing up quite nicely …not as fast as I would like it too but hey its better than nothing, I was a bit stiff and sore in the morning but once I got moving around things weren’t that bad and after a hour or so I was back to normal ……….what ever that was. I felt sorta funny in the head about my mate Dave, guilty because I hadn’t thought of him for a while, sad because he wasn’t with us anymore & I miss him and happy with the fun memories we had together …………I guess bitter sweet is the term and so…………… in saying that I must say that I had a bloody brilliant day yesterday despite everything.

Thank you.

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