High Cup Nick & Murton Pike

3 11 2021

Thu 27 May 21

Still on the theme of Eden Valley Fells, after dropping Richard off at Appleby railway station to go home, I drove on to the village of Murton to the superb carpark there and nipped up Murton Fell with a view to continuing on to see High Cup Nick.  I hadn’t seen High Cup Nick since I was a child and used to walk with my parents!

All photos:
my Zenith manual film SLR

Without further ado, the path sets off out of the carpark and heads straight off up Murton Pike!

As the caption says, you set off up a great track immediately from the carpark for Murton Pike! There were two other chaps with largish rucksacks just in front of me who thought they’d had a better idea however… I thought not!

They struck off straight up the long grassy ridge in the blazing hot sun with their packs while my track meandered quite gently upwards…

After a nice amble, the track flattened out to approach the ridge of Murton Pike where I left the vehicle track for a grassy track to the summit. The final pull is pretty steep but has those nice steps up which have formed in the earth – these are great until ‘mountain’ bikers find the path and annihilate them into a gully! 😦

At the summit I had a decent break in the sun for a coffee and energy bar. I wondered where the two guys with packs had gone and could hear something below. Soon, they appeared about two-thirds of the way up their long ridge looking very hot and bothered and having to have a sit down! I just knew they’d taken the wrong route for the hot weather – it would have been a tedious ascent up the featureless grass anyway – give me a nice track any day!

Pretty soon, I set off back to the vehicle track. I’d noticed on the map that there were two vague summits above me so I decided to branch off and go and look for them. The first one took me just inside the danger area of Warcop Range but I’m pretty sure they don’t do any firing so far from the main range as there’s a deep intervening valley before these hills. I milled around in the rough heather and peat hags but wasn’t sure I ever found the summit.

In the end, I headed back to the tarn I’d seen and which I could see on the map and headed for the other summit (if indeed the second one existed). After I’d done around a mile of rough country in the right direction, I could see two large tower cairns just off to my right. I visited both and decided they must mark the summit. Satisfied, and with boots full of scratchy heather and now very wet, I headed back towards Murton Pike as I wanted to rejoin the vehicle track near the outer end of High Cup Nick.

I was soon back on the track and found I was too high up as I wanted to traverse the very edge of the Nick all the way around. The ground below was rough so, in the end, I just plunged downwards to the craggy edge of the Nick.

The whole traverse around the top of the crags is exceedingly spectacular and I walked along peering at crags and down gullies and clicking away with my trusty film camera.

The next shot I think best illustrates the geological stupdendousness of The Nick – it’s definitely going on my next year’s calendar anyway!

There is a central descent down from the head of The Nick which follows the side of the boulder field down by the beck. It then goes out along the valley for its full length. I’d like to come in this way sometime as the views will be totally spectacular!

Today, however, I crossed the beck and continued with my plan to follow the edge to its completion. There were some nice fell ponies grazing here but I think they were all ‘touristed out’ and wouldn’t come and chat. I didn’t bother them but had another quick coffee in the sunshine…

The route back yields superb photos of the side I’d just traversed 🙂

Looking Across to Murton Pike

View to Murton Pike again

From here there was a lower path which looked less used and closer to the action as it were… I took that and everyone else took the one above so it was nice and quiet…

Very nice evening light starting looking back…

My path rejoined the higher one for the descent. I soon left it though as it curved off to go back to Dufton instead of Murton village. I descended the fellside before a rather attractive hill (which I now wish I’d included – maybe next time!). The fellside was very wet indeed – even in the dry summer we just had.

There was no real route across the river so I just forded it and set off up the opposite hillside to join the path which had come down the valley. I took a last photo looking back to The Nick… this is the view the farmer has from his farm!

Final look back before turning the corner

The path I’d joined passed this very beautiful little pond with the hill I wish I’d done behind it…

And this was my final shot before I ran out of film and put my camera away for the walk back up the road from the farm – another one for the calendar and my favourite shot this year!

From here I had a long walk back along the road – probably about a mile and a half. I found this very hard as I had brand new boots on and, with the heather-bashing and the wetting, I was now getting a very severe blister indeed on the back of my heel!

It was also very hot walking along the road and I found it tedious and was glad to get back to Murton village and my faithful old Sunny at last!

You’re reading a post by Mountain Coward. If you’ve enjoyed this post, be sure to follow The Mountain Coward from my homepage


Actions

Information

16 responses

8 11 2021
tessapark1969

That looked great! I’ve never been to High Cup Nick, or done any walking in that area. Looks as though that needs to be rectified.

Like

8 11 2021
mountaincoward

That particular walk was great and, if you don’t bother going looking for the 2 pointless summits I went looking for, it’s not that long of a walk.

Like

7 11 2021
underswansea

Those are wonderful shots! You have the whole calendar right there. Like you I like to pack light. Take care. Thanks for the post, those shots are amazing. Bob

Like

7 11 2021
mountaincoward

It’s the place that’s amazing! I carry a lot more walking in Scotland but it’s seriously remote there and far less people. For the English stuff, you don’t need to bother really. I tend to take a flask of warm coffee in winter though…

Liked by 1 person

4 11 2021
Alli Templeton

You clearly took the best route – give me a good track any day too! And as for Nick himself – what a stunner! The impact of being there and walking around such an awe-inspiring feature must indeed be stupendous – it must feel as though you’re on the edge of the Earth. Stunning photos, as always, and most certainly calendar worthy!

By the way, my daughter, Maddie, is up in Cumbria at the moment, in the Lakes on a geography field trip for her A Level, and she’s loved the landscape up there. Wish I had been able to go with her to see it for myself! 🙂

Like

5 11 2021
mountaincoward

Cumbria and the Pennines are both superb but the Pennines are much more bleak.

Liked by 1 person

6 11 2021
Alli Templeton

Sadly I don’t know the areas that well, but from what I’ve seen from Maddie’s photos, the place she went to was gorgeous. Wish I could have gone too! 🙂

Like

4 11 2021
surfnslide

Superb walk and great photos of one of the UKs most staggering features. I still can’t believe I’ve never been there! I’ve been of lots of the little fells around there but never High Cup Nick. I really need to put that right

Like

4 11 2021
mountaincoward

You really do – lovely walking – make sure you include Murton Pike.

Liked by 1 person

4 11 2021
John Bainbridge

Glad you had such a clear day. And of course…Roman Fell not far away!

Like

4 11 2021
mountaincoward

I suppose I’ll probably be doing that next year now!

Liked by 1 person

4 11 2021
Bitchy After 60

What stunning terrain. I can see why you enjoy hiking through those hills. Great pics.

Like

4 11 2021
mountaincoward

High Cup Nick is one of the finest bits of scenery in Britain. I’m even considering just doing a calendar of High Cup Nick shots this year instead of a mix of all I’ve been doing over the year.

Liked by 1 person

4 11 2021
Bitchy After 60

It would make a beautiful calendar.

Liked by 1 person

4 11 2021
bob

Really good photos of High Cup Nick Carol. Impressive stuff. I think I’ve been there years ago but it was a cold grey day, we didn’t linger long around the cliff edges due to high winds, and I didn’t think much of it, keen to get back to a warm car. Looks far more impressive in your photos though so my memory of it is a false one. Weather can definitely alter your mood and judgement of a place.

Like

4 11 2021
mountaincoward

You can come with me on one of my subsequent visits – I’ve got another 2 routes planned for it – will probably be next year now…

Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.




%d bloggers like this: