Maiden Way & Cross Fell 2-day backpack

Pitch on Green FellA 2-day route around the hills and moors south of Alston culminating at Cross Fell.

The outward route closely follows a section of the Maiden Way Roman road (MW) from the flank of Park Fell, a new Dewey 500m hill, to its highest point near the summit of Melmerby Fell. It then heads into the broad and little trodden, wild and remote region of Cross Fell's north-western approaches for a pitch on Green Fell.

The second day completes the traverse of Cross Fell and heads north-east through an area of old mines to join the Pennine Way (PW) for a couple of miles. It then branches off westwards into grouse-shooting country over Staneshaw Rigg to Greencastle Tarn, descending Rotherhope Fell via a vehicle track to the River South Tyne and rejoining the PW to Alston.

Much of this route is about spacious landscape views, but also crosses stretches of wilderness of great character where atmosphere and feeling predominate over visuals. There were a few walkers on the two short PW sections, but for the rest of the trip the whole area was deserted. Cross Fell still retained small pockets of snow on its northern face.

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Warcop Fells 2-day backpack

Pitch on Cronkley FellA 2-day route around the fells of the remote Warcop military exercise area culminating at Mickle Fell and returning via Cronkley Fell and the south side of Maize Beck to Murton Fell.

Recent surveys have added two new 2000′ tops to the Nuttalls list, Long Fell and Tinside Rigg, that I was keen to visit to maintain completion status. Another visit to the area had in any case been on the agenda for some time, partly to explore the Tinside Rigg region and also to more fully experience Mickle Fell by doing a complete traverse of its long curved ridge. The route also gives an obvious opportunity to add a couple of new Dewey 500m tops, Roman Fell and Murton Pike.

Some sections of the route are rough and trackless, boggy and very remote, a superbly wild landscape but one that can appear confusing even in clear weather.

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