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.