Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Canine Caterpillar Claims Caterpallot

Lucky( note: not shivering)  lusts after my pasty

All these pictures of snowy walks in the Lakes and Dales and Scotland and So-On made me think I was missing something, and I really hate Missing Something.  So, in cahoots with LTD, we decided to go up the North Pennines to bag an unbagged Tump going by the name of Caterpallot Hill.

Now Caterpallot Hill is a mere pimple on the chin of Melmerby Fell and a walk could be devised to include Fiend's Fell as well and also include the more abcess-or-boil-like Cuns Fell as well.

All good plans must have some weak spot, though and, in this case, the weak spot was a Very Cold Morning and a warm bed including a small dog who wasn't interested that next door's cat was rampaging around his backyard and much preferred to insinuate himself from his cosy bed into mine.

So we set off late and didn't arrive at Melmerby till noon.
Lucky's impression of a green caterpillar on Caterpallot

We achieved the summit of Caterpallot about an hour later after a bit of a slog along the intake wall. Caterpallot is one of those outliers that line the edge of the Cross Fell ridge and include such fine and ever-so-slightly pointy hills like Dufton Pike. The little gap between the outliers and the Pennine scarp is, in fact the boundary between the Carboniferous Pennine rocks and the older Lake District stuff. So, it's interesting, see?
Caterpallot Hill from the slopes of Cuns Fell

Having bagged the bag, we progressed to lunch. For me, this was a Cornish pasty and a curd tart and for the dog, it was a small piece of Cornish pasty and some curd tart crumbs. Its not good to spoil a dog.

We launched ourselves into the steep tussocks and soft snow of Cuns Fell and made ponderous progress. Legs were heavy. The snow was deep in places (Lucky enjoyed these places) and "soon" (not the inverted commas) we were standing, dripping with sweat and trembling with emotion (actually, not the last bit...) on the summit of Cuns Fell - another fine summit with a little rocky tor on top and a steep drop down one side. It was now getting quite murky and the sun was winding up it's alarm clock, had put the cat out and was sipping some cocoa ready for an early night.
Climbing Cuns Fell

So we forgoed...   forewented.... gave up the idea of going up Melmerby Fell and headed off on a Northwards contouring course for the path coming off Fields Fell back to Melmerby. This was done in short order.

Cuns Fell has a little rocky tor on top
At one point, I did notice a line of footsteps indicating that somebody had descended the fell wearing the same kind of MOD snowshoes that me and Matt had used on Cross Fell last winter. I found this fact pathetically interesting, a bit like finding a shovel in a slightly lighter shade of black than the one in our coalshed.
And  a big drop

We did 7 miles. There's no map. I'm not proud of the route, so you're not allowed to see it.

More walkies tomorrow. Hopefully, I will do better. Lucky enjoyed his new jacket by the way and didn't shiver once. Mind you, I did find it quite warm for some reason, although the knipemobile temperature gauge said it was 0.5 C. The snow was wet and thawing a bit, though.


Andrew said...

We would have been interested to see a route map, even if it was to show us this wasn't a good route to take! These two hills are on Little Brenda's "to do list 2016" and as I am in charge of planning such bagging trips, any advice on a good route would be appreciated,

Mike Knipe said...

Andrew - basically, you can follow the intake wall after parking in Melmerby or just a little way up the lane to Gale Hall farm on a grassy area with a bench. Continue up the rough track to the open access. Follow the intake wall. There's fences and walls to cross, but some of these have gates and others are easily crossed with care; plus a couple of deep gills with easily-crossed becks. There's a tied-up gate on the col between Caterpallet and Cuns. Or you can use a series of gates in the pastures on the inside of the intakes, although this is in sight of the farm and will likely have cattle later in the year. Its boggier in places than the moor route too!
Various return routes are possible, but I just wandered back to the footpath over the moor, roughly North-West from Cuns. It would be good to continue up to Melmerby Fell and return either by the public footpath or right along the ridge to Fields Fell, descending to Gamblesby and then on green lanes back to the start. One for the summer, I think...
Cuns would be an ideal place for a nap in warm weather by the way......

Quinn said...

Loved the snowshoe comment and now I'm tempted to send you a picture of my snowshoes. Or the shovel in my shed.
Could be too much excitement if I send both at once :)

Dawn said...

Slaistary Mike and wee bit grey!

Chrissie said...

We could send you a photo of our snowshoes as well, if you like?