Pennine Way Part 2 Greenhead to Steel Rigg
Sun 12th June 2011
Sundance definitely blew it this time. After a lot of soft shoe shuffling the sun shone temperatures rose sky high BUT it happened two days too soon.
Sunday morning grey overcast sky an easterly breeze and cold. As we approached Steel Rigg it started to spit on to rain. At Steel Rigg extra clothing was immediately put on top, plus hat and gloves. As the rest of the group arrived Mike directed everyone to the car park at Once Brewed including the bus.
By 10.00 every one was on the bus although Mike’s counting skills only just managed a head count to make sure every one was on. A quick blast along the military road to Greenhead and we were off into a head wind.
The first bit of excitement was having just crossed over the railway line a train came along. Then we had a quick look at Thirwall Castle, from a distance, and then it was off up the first hill of the day, at the top a short level section took us to Wall Town Quarry and a rush for the loos.
By now it had started to rain with a bit more enthusiasm but this only lasted for a short while before it was back to spits and spots. A quick walk round the quarry brought us back on the Wall path and surprise, surprise another uphill section that lead on to a reinstated section of the wall proper and our first open views of the surrounding country side.
These were rather disappointing as the low cloud made the distant hills somewhat grey and vague, but we could just see the hills above Alston and some of the route of the previous two walks. From here on it was down and up and down again before once more going up to go down.
Then up before a long descent to a wood which afforded some shelter from the wind and so we had lunch in the rain with midges (Mike’s first of the year). The rain eased to just spits and spots as we finished lunch and a very gradual descent brought us to the next loo stop a Cawfields Quarry.
Leaving the quarry we once more went up to come down again to the road at Shield on the Wall. A steep ascent passed mile castle 41, a little bit of levelling off before the last up hill section and we had reached the trig point at 345m the highest point on the Roman Wall. From here we make out the distant hills of the Cheviots all be it briefly before once more lost in cloud. By now even the spits and spots had ceased and with our clothing drying out (except for Mike, his boots still leak and he had wet feet) we reached Steel Rigg car park.
It was now down the road to Once Brewed and in to the cars and away, although some became waylaid by a Coffee in the pub at Twice Brewed.
Max height gained was 1,112Ft and we climbed in total 1,352Ft. For the anoraks, below is the route profile.