: High Cup Nick: The Gurt La'al Canyon
7th May 2008
things to report before getting down to the main business.
on 26th April, Jamie and his pals completed the Yorkshire
Three Peaks in a very respectable one minute under ten
hours, all 24 miles and 5,200 feet or thereabouts. The
weather was much better than MWIS predicted, casting
doubts on its validity in that area. Unwittingly,
they had arranged to do it on race day so there were
plenty of folk about but as they started after 9:30
a.m. they were not allowed to get their cards stamped.
following the references in BB0812
to Sleddale Hall and its use as Monty’s cottage in the
country in Withnail
and I, I thought I should watch the film. Encouraged
by reports of it being the funniest film ever made,
I “1-clicked” Amazon and the DVD arrived the next day.
So while Jamie and his pals celebrated their achievement
with a night out in Kendal, Margaret and I settled down
to watch one of the cult films of the 1980s.
in 1969, it features Paul McGann (I) and
Richard E Grant (Withnail) as two out of
work, dissolute and depressed actors who
persuade the latter’s Uncle Monty to lend
them his cottage for a country break. Hence
Sleddale Hall, which appears to have been
removed to Haweswater! With the weather
and reception by the locals not as idyllic
as they expected, peaceful it was not and
then Monty arrives, a raging queen thinking
that I is of the same persuasion.
are funny moments; Richard Griffiths is
superb as Monty and Richard E Grant looks
broodingly magnificent throughout but Paul
McGann, perhaps due to the effort of losing
his scouse accent, mumbles his way through
some of the dialogue. Margaret thought
he was good so perhaps that is what the
yes, with epic one-liners and a few 60s
classics on the soundtrack but the funniest
film ever made?
for me by a long chalk. I think I will give that
accolade to Shakespeare in Love.
following week was mostly spent “en famille” in Munich
and Bavaria. Munich is a wonderful wonderful city
and Bavaria has stunning stunning scenery, smart smart
towns, and pretty pretty villages. Too perfect
perfect for some tastes but I was worried on returning
to a spectacular evening storm on the M6 that I was
going to find England small, grubby and dull in comparison.
Today’s outing dispelled that fear.
had a late start as Bryan needed to be online at 10
a.m. to try and get tickets to see Leeds United in the
play offs. As it happens (a good Leeds phrase,
jewellry jewellry), he was unsuccessful but
it meant that we were unable to get away before 10:30.
drove to Appleby on a lovely warm early summer day-
a bit of haze, a bit of wind but otherwise perfect
with plenty of blossom out. Even Tebay looked
alright! Orton was pretty. Appleby was looking
splendid with the gypsies not yet arrived. From
there we headed on to Dufton, another pretty village,
where we parked for free.
Primitive Methodist Church 1905
objective was High Cup Nick. However we were not
tackling it head on but taking it (or it taking us)
by surprise from behind.
Stan and I started off up the bridle path near Little
Rundle Beck then followed the mine track alongside Brownber
Hill up to join
Great Rundle Beck on Threlkeld Side, passing what we
presumed to be a huge lime kiln on the way.
me that the mines were lead and barite. There
were certainly a lot of unusual coloured rocks lying
around. The track was not outrageously steep but
it was an unrelenting pull up onto the moor to emerge
by a convenient shooters’ hut. Here we had to
decide whether to dine inside or out. We chose
out and took lunch sheltered against the hut wall.
the Shooters' Hut
Picture at the Hut
hut is very close to Great Rundle Tarn
(which surprisingly does not discharge into Great Rundle
Beck but flows in the opposite direction)
the outflow stream (which at some stage becomes Maize
Beck) across very wild moorland where the only
signs of man were many shooting stands (there is probably
a correct word for them but it escapes me- butt perhaps?) There
were mini waterfalls and reflection pools aplenty. And
grouse leaping up squawking "Here I am, shoot me,
I won't fly very fast!"
Pennine Way Bridge and....
two miles of moor we crossed the bridge that took us
onto the Pennine Way and towards the top of High Cup
Had we not known what to expect, it would
have been quite a surprise. Even so, it is a magnificent
could give you a technical geographical explanation
along the lines that High Cup Nick is a classic U-shaped
valley created by a glacier cutting in to the soft rock
of the Pennines.
the view down stream
The dramatic crags are part of The
Great Whin Sill
just say that it is Cumbria’s equivalent of the Grand
Canyon- not quite the same scale- more a Gurt La’al
Canyon. Still a spectacular sight. Not so
alpinicly stunning as Bavaria but nonetheless a feature
well worth a second lunch and bronzing stop to appreciate
its rather gentler magnificence
insisted on standing perilously close to
a vertical drop for the above picture! It
fair put the wind up me and I was well back!
spotted a mini Napes Needle and took the
photo of it shown on the left.
thought we might be heading down into the canyon but
that was deemed to be too long a way back so we followed
its northerly ridge.
times the path was uncomfortably close to
rather more than a right good mauling.
and press on!
back to High Cup Nick
down Peeping Hill on what is an optional
part of the Pennine Way intended for those
spending the night in Dufton- a pleasant
thought- we were now travelling at something
approaching ramming speed, overtaking everything
on the hill.
you, although we might be getting on a bit
in years, most of the folk we saw were even
the outskirts of Dufton was a red flag intended
to warn walkers to keep out of the Ministry
of Defence Warcop
Principal Training Area.
Pike from Peeping Hill
we had not strayed into it otherwise this report might
not have produced!
Flag equals Keep Out
on image for more carvings
the village was a remarkable carved head. Click
on the image also to see its friend on the right.
was a lovely drive home in the late afternoon sun, though Stan
could hardly keep his eyes open after all the exertion!
grand grand day out for the BOOTboys.
7th May 2008
Bryan has discovered almost the same walk in Andrew
Leaney's Lakeland Fells. This is an
interesting website with a multitude of walks photographically
recorded and impressively cross referenced. On
High Cup Nick walk they took a shorter route across the moor
but it was otherwise identical. Stan was delighted
to note that although their route was a mile less they
took an hour and a half longer!
you have Memory Map on your computer, you can follow
our route in detail by downloading BB0816
For the latest totals
of the mileages, heights and Lakeland Fells Books Wainwrights see: Wainwrights.
If anyone wants to claim other peaks, please let
me know and I will submit them to the adjudication committee!
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Avoiding the Graupel;
Lyth in the Old Dogs; 22 January
: That's Lyth;
: Tony's Memory Lane;
: Fell's Belles! Thank You Mells?
: The Langdale Skyline and a Fell Race!
An Outbreak of Common Sense;
Askham Fell and the Lowther Estate;
: Thanks to the MWIS
19th March 2008
: High Street and Kidsty Pike but no Fairy
: Prelude to Spring
2nd April 2008
: Spring in Lakeland
6th April 2008
Wet, Wet Sleddale to Mosedale Cottage
10th April 2008
: What's It All About, Tony?
17th April 2008
: The Hidden Mountain
22nd April 2008
: The Bowland CROW
1st May 2008
: High Cup Nick:
The Gurt La'al Canyon
7th May 2008
: Travelling Light
14th May 2008
22nd May 2008
: The Northern Tip
29th May 2008
: The Bannisdale Horseshoe
Black, White or Grey Combe?
19th June 2008
: Thunder on the 555
3rd July 2008
BskiB08 : Bootski Boys in the Sella Ronda
23rd February - 1st March
Click on the photos for an enlargement or related large
has kindly produced a log of which Wainwrights have
been done by which BOOTboy
in the "modern" era, i.e. since the advent
download the Excel file click on Wainwrights.
anyone wants to claim other peaks, please let me know
and I will submit them to the adjudication committee!
This page describes an adventure of BOOTboys, a loose group of friends of mature
years who enjoy defying the aging process by getting out into the hills as
often as possible!
As most live in South Lakeland, it is no surprise that
our focus is on the Lakeland fells and the Yorkshire Dales.
As for the name, BOOTboys, it does not primarily derive from an
item of footwear but is in memory of Big
Josie, the erstwhile landlady of
the erstwhile Burnmoor Inn at Boot in Eskdale, who enlivened Saint Patrick's Day
1973 and other odd evenings many years ago!
If you want to contact us, click on