Tuesday 19 June 2018 (Delayed from Saturday 16 June due to bad weather.)
High Cup Nick visited from the top of Great Rundale
Leader John Jones
Photos John Jones, Keith & Kay Butterworth

Originally planned for Saturday 16 June, the walk had to be rescheduled to the following Tuesday due to an appalling weather forecast.

Leader John Jones. A party of six walkers and faithful Bess left Dufton Village car park at 10.30 am on a pleasant overcast day. The old mine track was followed initially through pleasant farm land and then after passing Pusgill house up and out on the open moor land. A stop was made for coffee at the Lime Kiln above the site of the old smelting works, only the outline of the flues running up the fell side remain.

Continuing up through the steepening rough valley a green path was taken at the side of the valley to avoid the tedious stony ascent. The top of the climb, the Shooting box, was soon attained and was the highest point at 2200 feet. Lunch was then enjoyed beside the adjacent and peaceful Great Rundale Tarn. After lunch the beach at the tarn was explored but the search for ice creams proved fruitless.

The outlet beck from the tarn was followed, initially along a re-enforced shooting track past a large number of shooting butts, and then over almost pathless moor as the beck grew in size and became Maize Beck.

A number of Fell Pones were seen in the distance and we were lucky enough to witness the first steps of a newly born foal.

At Maize Beck Bridge, where the Pennine Way crosses on its way from Dufton to Cross Fell, the interesting erosions by Maize beck were seen. Watch Hill was ascended to give views of the wilderness moorland on the top of the Pennines, particularly to the east towards Teesdale.

The Pennine Way from Teesdale to Dufton was joined and High Cup Nick was soon reached. Here the party relaxed after their exertions and enjoyed the amazing spectacle of the High Cup valley and surrounding fells.

Leaving the Nick, the path on the northern edge of the valley was followed where the isolated pillar of Nichol’s Chair was seen. Nichol is reputed to be a local Cobbler who, for a bet (amount unknown) climbed the pillar, sat on the top and repaired a pair of shoes! Strands Beck was crossed – the outflow from Hannah’s Well. Then the rather tedious stony track of the Pennine Way was followed directly back to Dufton, where to our dismay we discovered the Tea Shop had just closed at 4pm!!

An interesting walk of 10.4 miles to view a spectacular geological feature – the effort involved was probably worth the reward, (debate) but definitely a walk needing good weather.

John Jones 26-6-2018