coast to coast 2011

coast to coast - day 8

Old Croft House B&B, Kirkby Stephen to Keld Lodge, Keld

10.91 miles 2,164 feet.
Start: 08:30 Finish: 14:45 Elapsed time: 6:15 Cumulative time: 51:30

This was the day that all C2C’s remember; the climb to Nine Standards Rigg and the crossing of the bogs on the nearby moors before descending past Ravenseat Farm to Keld. Stuart had told me on a couple of days ago that the bogs weren’t too bad. Well I was soon to find out for myself.

I left Kirkby Stephen under cloud and gradually climb my way up into the mists. The climb up and around Hartley quarries wasn’t too bad as it was on the road. It was here that I met up again with Trevor, Tiffany & Susanne. As I had my GPS they were more than happy to cross the moors with me as by the time that we reached the Nine Standards the visibility was less than 50 yards, it was blowing a gale and pouring with rain. The pictures speak for themselves.



We took the Red (Summer) route from the Nine Standards which led us almost due south in the direction of the trig point. I later learned that other walkers that I had met earlier in the week (Marion, Eric/Sherry) had got lost for a while on the moors and hadn’t even seen the trig point.

From here we made our way as best we could through a succession of bogs and standing water, often having to make large detours to avoid the wettest parts. It was all wet!! At times the only thing was to go for it and to squelch through foot deep mud which almost came over the top of my gaiters. I was wearing my Sealskinz socks which kept my feet dry but there was no way that my boots could cope with these conditions.

Having made one serious detour to find a path through the bogs we came to a signpost at NY827057 which pointed in two directions. I was convinced that we should go one way but Tiffany suggested that we should check with the compass. Despite having the GPS, I had become completely disoriented and we did in fact want to follow the other path which headed due south. Had I stuck with my initial path selection then we would have been heading due east and completely in the wrong direction.

The rest of the path was more of the same - bog & water until we met with the path leading from the B6270 to Whitsun Dale. By now we had descended about 500ft out of the mist & cloud and it was turning out to be a reasonably nice day with bright sunshine by the time we got to Keld. Shortly after joining the Whitsun Dale path we came across a shooter's lodge which was open and had benches and tables. It had already been bagged by a couple who had taken the Green Route to avoid the worst of the bogs. We joined them for lunch and a much needed break out of the weather.

Suitably rested and refuelled we set off again to pass Ravenseat Farm made famous by numerous TV programmes but didn’t stop for tea & scones. The last mile or so into Keld was along the road so that we could get a better view of Wain Wath Force.

The accommodation offered by Keld Lodge was, along with the Langstrath Hotel, the best on the walk. Whilst it was previously a Youth Hostel, it had been renovated beyond all recognition and was more akin to a 3 star hotel. Both Tiffany and Susanne bought me a pint in appreciation of my assistance in helping them across the moors without getting lost. The food at Keld Lodge was only bettered by the home cooking at Intake Farm on the last night of the walk.

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