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Day 14 – Pennine Way – Dufton to Alston – The Big One

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An early start with a hearty Dufton YHA breakfast ushered in walk day 13 with the anticipation of the biggest Pennine Way day so far with a 20 mile hike over 4 peaks including the highest point on the Way – Cross Fell.

Daytrippers David and Una were on catch up as Paul and I left 8:30am on the dot.

Perfect walking weather of light cloud, dry with a light wind encouraged our walk out of Dufton around Dufton Pike and onwards to Knock Fell.

The daytrippers soon caught up with us (even after a southern detour of the Pennine Way on starting!).

The views from Knock Fell were fantastic with a clear vista across our path ahead and 180° views across to the Lake District.

Moving swiftly across the ridge Great Dun Fell was soon conquered and lunch taken beside the radar station (Helens packed lunch carried by David was very welcome!) with stunning views across to the Dales we had left behind days ago.

Another quick step saw us top Little Dun Fell and then dip through Tees Head and climb the scree to top Cross Fell – the highest point of the Pennine Way.

This was another watershed moment for us made even better with 360° views as far as the eye could see including the Cheviot in the distance to which we have to head towards and climb.

The descent to Garrigill is a long trudge over a painful stoned track, sore feet all round!

The final 5 miles down the valley to Alston was very pleasant although tired legs, knees and feet ensured the view was not necessarily the main thing on our minds!

Alston became an oasis in view and coolers were taken as throbbing feet took hold.

So the Pennine Way Challenge team delivered our Big Game result – just a shame England didn’t in their first game at the World Cup!

Now less than 90 miles to go – total walked so far 180 miles.

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Day 13 – Pennine Way – Langdon Beck to Dufton.

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After a restful nights sleep at Langdon Beck YHA (went to bed at 9pm!) We stoked up on a filling breakfast at this highly recommnded yha.

The path took us back to the beck where we finished yesterdays walk and we proceeded in a westerly direction for around 3.5 miles to Cauldron Snout. This was to be our first treat of the day.

Cauldron Snout is one of the most magnificent cascading waterfalls I’ve ever seen and Harv was so excited that he called for a snack break (he doesn’t normally let me stop for lunch!).

The scramble/climb up the side of the waterfall was exhilarating and thoroughly enjoyable. Upon reaching the top we crossed the head of the waterfall in front of the dam and climbed gradually upwards towards the danger area.

There’s a huge area of land that’s closed for public access to protect nesting birds that the Pennine Way runs alongside. Don’t know why it’s designated a danger area though.

After another three to four miles Harv called for a lunchbreak alongside the magnificent spectacle known as High Cup Nick. The proportion of this hollowed out bowl of a valley can’t really be captured on camera. But worthy of lingering to cement the memory to savour forever.

Even after escaping High cup on its right flank we were further rewarded with a full panoramic view of the Lake District peaks in the distance.

We then continued to descend into the village of Dufton to the 4 star yha. We showered and enjoyed a reminiss of a wonderful day in the hills at the Stag Inn opposite our accomadation.

Our thoughts then began to focus on to tomorrow and our biggest challenge yet…..

By Paul Courtney.

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Filed under fundraising, leukaemia & lymphoma research, leukaemia research, pennine way