We were here this time last year (see here), when we had a fine walk up to High Cup Nick.
This time we journeyed through pouring rain on Friday evening and braved the elements again on Saturday morning. Any absentees were blamed on a game of rugby. By the time the 17 of us paused by the gate shown below, we were astonished to discover that England had thrashed the All Blacks in the World Cup semi-final.
Continuing up to Threlkeld Side, we passed a lime kiln. Or was it an iron smelter?
It was a drizzly view down to Dufton Pike.
A long, low dark tunnel provided respite from the rain. Shame about the blind corner and the ankle deep water!
Then the rain turned to snow.
Knock Fell was found to have several summits, all expertly located by the hillbaggers in the party.
The high point of the day was the summit of Great Dun Fell, 848 metres. We lunched in the cool shelter of the radar station.
A tarmac road led down for all of 4 km, during which time we emerged from several hours of being in cloud.
The sun shone on David. It always does.
Eventually, a signed path led us away from the tarmac, down towards Knock Pike, seen here in the middle distance, beyond some rough going. Some of the party climbed Knock Pike.
Dufton Pike was to our left. We went up that last year; today we just went around it in a very wide arc.
Back at Dufton at about 4.30, we enjoyed tea and chocolates and prepared for an evening at the Stag Inn.
The walk was about 22 km with 800 metres ascent, and took us six and a half hours. An excellent day out. Hardly anyone else was seen on the fells.
On Sunday, some went to Nine Standards Rigg, Mike W abandoned his boots in the hostel, and nine of us drove a short way to the village of Hilton, from where we enjoyed a 15 km circuit, starting in the village near what used to be the village's water supply. Can you spot the tap in the picture below?
After a false start where we missed the path, we headed easily along an alternative good track, past some very active sheep pens. (As always, if you click on an image you get a better picture, and a slideshow of all pictures in the posting, but sadly no captions.)
The good track continued all the way to a broad col between Long Fell and Roman Fell. On the way we passed a chap who had retired to a nearby village. He was surprised to find anyone on these hills, which are usually closed to visitors due to being used by the armed forces.
Some rough ground took us to the 594 metre summit of Roman Fell, an excellent viewpoint, where a late elevenses in the shelter of a small enclosure was most welcome.
A yomp back down to the col, and up easily to the summit of Long Fell, found us at our second summit - about 620 metres - beyond various munitions, including an unexploded bomb in the middle of the path.
Nobody trod on it, so we all safely got to the summit, photographed here from the OS spot height that I went to. Others (hillbaggers) knew better and went to the nearby spot that was apparently 1.5 cm higher...
We all marched off to another 620 ish metre summit - that of Tinside Rigg - for more good views and a consensus that 'this small pile of stones really is the highest point in the area'.
We descended via Swindale, on a well marked footpath all the way to the junction with Scordale, stopping for lunch in a sheltered spot at Christy Bank.
The path down Swindale sported some curious signs. Luckily, we weren't carrying shovels!
Some very tasty looking mushrooms were passed, but we didn't have good enough containers for them. (And Mike and Sarah were cooking our dinner anyway!)
Here's a last look up Swindale, before we turned into Scordale for a stroll back to Hilton. This time we were confident that we carried neither shovels nor cars.
The walk was about 15 km, with 500 metres ascent, taking rather less than 5 hours.
So, another Ramsoc weekend has been and gone. Thanks again to Sue for organising it, to Robin and others for sorting out the walks, to Dot and Tom for the chocolates, and to everyone for attending.
If you care to browse through earlier reports, from 2008, they are here.