Charity Fell Race 30th June - raising funds for local charities
The fell race is run by local volunteers, the entry fees going to local charities, which this year are the three children play areas on Alston Moor, with a small donation to the local Penrith MRT and Greg’s Hut Association (refuge bothy on Cross Fell).
The race route using the Pennine Way and bridle path is fully marshalled and run under FRA rules with usual kit requirements; minimum age for entry is 18yo on the day of the race. Entry fee is £8 through SI Entries and £10 on the day. This includes a gradely spread of sandwiches and cakes with hot and cold drinks post-race. Prizes will be given to winners of each age category and teams of 4 runners for both men and women.
Parking will be along the roadside on the Lead Gate road leading north out of the village, please avoid blocking gates or entrances and allow room for passing traffic, being sympathetic to locals and using common sense please. Race HQ is in the village hall, which is located by the Tyne River on the road to Alston, please don’t park here but as instructed above.
The general shape of the route is a lasso, the out and return on the Pennine Way with the loop taking in the Cross Fell summit and a bridle path to the South East.
The start and finish line will be at the church gates in Garrigill village (alt 345m), heading south a few hundred metres on road to begin the climb up Black Band on the right (alt 560m); then the route is relatively flat taking you through 3 gates.
After the 3rd gate the track gets rough with broken stones, climbing up through old mine workings past the return bridle path on your left.
You now are doing the right loop of the lasso, keeping to the Pennine Way track, it skirts around the North side of Cross Fell to Greg's Hut (shelter and water).
Go left of the hut keeping on the path up the steep climb after the 4th gate to the brow, where you cut left (South) to the boggy Crossfell Well, the wishing well source is at the base of the rock outcrop (more water). Keep to the left of the 'well' and follow the cairns to gain the summit plateau; the Cross is about 500m ahead (alt 893m).
From the Cross head East South East, using the cairns through the boulder field if misty, to reach the bridle path going North East, take a left along it.
The best marker for the bridle path is the broken gate in the equally knackered fence line, so if unsure cut left after the boulders until you pick up the fence and find the 'gate'.
The bridle path is mixed up with many quad bike tracks so use a North East bearing to avoid going too low or high.
After about 1km the first object you will see on the correct line is a stunted single scruffy fir tree (4ft high) just before some old mine spoil heaps.
On the other side of these heaps the bridle path turns into a rough vehicle track, this climbs up and to the left then through a gate to re-join the Pennine Way for your return route.
On race day the plan is to mark the bridle path and have marshals at each gate. The whole route is public access so fine for a recce but be warned in poor visibility it is easy to get snarled up in the rocks around the summit so take a map and compass. Also the weather in Garrigill is often pleasant while Cross Fell top is wild so remember full body cover too.
No mobile signal in the village (phone box takes money) but fine reception all around the route out of the village. Although some may call this a trail run the track gets rough and rocky from the third gate, there is wobbly bog at the ‘well’ and peat hags on the bridle path.
Footwear: I wear Inov8 X claws and gaiters.
Looking forward to seeing you on 30th June and thanks for supporting our local charities.