Hill: Cross Fell
Date: Wednesday 18th October 2017
Company: Just myself
Distance: 12.6km, Ascent: 705m
Time: 4Hrs 30Mins

On Wednesday morning, I decided to head south from New Abbey in an attempt to escape the Scottish gloom. I could see plentiful blue sky in the distance towards the Lakes and even more so towards the Pennines.

I initially considered an ascent of Cold Fell near Carlisle but instead opted for an ascent of Cross Fell near Penrith. Cross Fell is the highest hill in the Pennines. It is a Marilyn, a Hewitt, a Trail100 hill and also one of only four P600 hills in England i.e. a hill with a 600m drop all round. At 893m, Cross Fell is only 21m below Munro height.

On checking the map, I decided to start my ascent from Kirkland. On arriving in Kirkland, I parked the van and put on my boots which were still rather wet and squelchy from the day previous ascending Criffel, Woodhead Hill and Bennan.

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

The weather was outstanding from the outset. This was literally my first good weather walk in almost two months. Sunlight and blue sky is so beneficial when taking photographs.

Parked at Kirkland:

From Kirkland, it was a joy to walk on a good track compared with bog hell on Criffel and the felled trees and tussocks of Woodhead Hill and Bennan the day previous.

Track beyond Kirkland:

I stopped numerous times during the ascent not because I needed a rest but simply to soak in the views.

Heading towards High Cap:

Looking back:

While I totally love walking in Scotland, the Lakes and Pennines are special too. What I particularly like about walking in Cumbria is all the lovely trees. Berry-covered Hawthorn trees are really photogenic.

Beautiful day:

I don't know how many sheep I passed during the walk in. Had I attempted to count them I guess I could have fallen asleep.

High Cap:

While the Lake District fells were cloudier than the Pennines, much of the cloud was inversion. Anyone walking in the Lakes must have had great views and a good day too. Blencathra, possibly my favourite mountain in the Lakes, was looking great.

Blencathra (zoom):

Lake District fells in distance:

I progressed up the hill following the excellent wide grassy track.

Ascent alongside Ardale Beck:

However, on reaching flatter ground the track did deteriorate in places with numerous sections of boggy ground.

Ascending Cross Fell:

View towards the Lake District:

The summit shape of Cross Fell was familiar to me. I recall looking across to this hill several times from the Lake District fells but not knowing what hill I was looking at. I now know.

Approaching Cross Fell:

On reaching a very large cairn, I turned right to follow a wet path leading towards the summit of Cross Fell. In the upper reaches I followed a line of large cairns leading to the summit.

One of several cairns en-route to summit of Cross Fell:

It would be difficult to miss the summit of Cross Fell in the mist as it has a seriously large cross shelter similar to the one on Helvellyn. The next two photos show the difference between having the camera on automatic and manual. On automatic, the camera totally overexposes the sky losing the beautiful clouds.

Cross Fell summit:

A nice line of clouds were sitting just above summit height.

At the summit of Cross Fell:

I took a number of photographs at the summit and was soon joined by a party of four. We exchanged pleasantries and took photographs of each other.

Cross Fell summit panorama:

At the summit of Cross Fell:

I quickly stepped-up onto the top of the large shelter taking care not to damage or dislodge any of the fine craftsmanship.

Standing atop Cross Fell:

From the summit of Cross Fell, I returned via exactly the same route back to the car. I then drove to Carlisle for a late lunch. Alas, this was just a single day of great weather in between two spells of dreich. A very enjoyable walk up a cracking hill.