Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018

Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018

Monday, 29 October 2018

27/28 October 2018 – Ramsoc goes to Dufton

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Another year has passed. Sue’s YHA weekend for her Nottingham University contemporaries and various other friends has come round again. Last year we were in Helmsley. My reports on various RAMSOC trips can be found here.

This time we split into two main groups, so only a few of the participants are actually pictured here. Those shown above – Christine (Jenny’s friend), Neal, Jenny, Dave, Sal, Sue, Russell and Alison - came on a Saturday walk that I’d planned.

It was a lovely day, if a little cool, for this walk up to High Cup Nick. We were delayed for a while by an overgrown path in the village, then by a wait for sheep that were being shepherded down to their winter quarters. Several 4x4 buggies were in use on difficult terrain, some transporting injured sheep.

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We took a contouring path from the Nick. Sue found a frozen puddle. It was cold.

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We nipped up Murton Pike. It was windy.

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But lovely and calm and warm on the lee side of the fell.

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The descent to Murton was steep. From there on, the undulations were gentle, as was the scenery.

The path to Flakebridge was … overgrown.

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Beyond Flakebridge, good paths led through lovely autumn colours to pick up Frith Lane and proceed to Brampton.

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Easy paths led past a couple of friendly donkeys and some trees full of Fieldfares, back to Dufton.

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Here’s our route – a pretty leisurely 22 km with 800 metres ascent, taking 7.5 hours, including many pauses.

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The Stag Inn provided an excellent meal later, after those of us who had headed for the teapot before showering had learnt the error of their ways.

On Sunday morning we had all warmed up from our cold showers. Some went elsewhere, but nine of us headed up Dufton Pike. Spot the cyclist, Anne, who didn’t come with us. She and Ulrich found us later at a café in Appleby.

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It was another lovely day.

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From the top of Dufton Pike, there’s a good view up Threlkeld Side. Robin headed up there after the summit photo, whilst the rest of us headed down the north western flank to Rundale after having been entertained by several teams of acrobatic crows.

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After watching a couple of red deer on the hillside opposite, we returned uneventfully back to Dufton, by the route shown below – 7.5 km with 350 metres ascent, taking 2.5 hours.

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A characterful café at Appleby provided scones and coffee. “You’ll have to wait for 17 minutes” explained the proprietor, as he disappeared into a cupboard looking for flour.

Then Cary, Sue and I went for a walk beside the River Eden.

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We passed a prize specimen.

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After passing the sewage works, the path got thinner.

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Soon we realised why. Some of the stepping stones were missing.

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It wouldn’t take much to sort the stones out, but it wouldn’t have been sensible to attempt to cross with them in their present state, so we turned back, our planned route having been foiled.

This was just an easy 5 km stroll, after which we went home.

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It was a lovely weekend in excellent weather. Several people expressed a desire to return here in 2019.

I’ve tried to make a Flickr album (56 images) here.

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