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Sunday, 8 March 2009

Arkengarthdale with the Backpackers Club
















The man from the garage said that there was a hairline crack in the thingy, and that this made the other thingy think that it was driving on ice and therefore, applying the abs thingy whenever I put my foot on the brake and if I was to give him £65 he would stop it doing it for me. So I did.

And there was then nothing stopping me…er actually, I should rephrase that – I was free to join the backpackers club jamboree and group shivering event at Arkengarthdale, so off I went wiv me new brakes.

It was dark when I got there, so putting up the akto was its usual putting up a tent in the dark challenge, and I seem to have been introduced to one or two very dark-looking people with lights on their heads. So I went to the Red Lion and, it would seem, most of them followed me. The takings of the Red Lion soared. I met various people who’s names I will resolutely fail to remember, cos I’m useless at that sort of thing, and I seem to have already been acquainted with one or two others. There were TGO Challengers in the pub, so we could talk about Glen Feshie and stuff like that.

After, apparently, sleeping in my tent for about 9 hours, I got up and went for a walk.

I think you’re supposed to team up with other people, but I didn’t. I think I may have been mildly berated about this later on. I’m not sure, though. It was very mild for a beration. (Is beration a real word?)

Anyway, I climbed Calver Hill, which has a cairn and some grass, much like many other hills I’m sure you will find. It also has a fairly good view of Swaledale. It was perishing cold and windy, though, so I didnlt hang about. Instead of hanging about, I went off towards Gunnerside Gill and met another Backpacking Club chappie with his little dog, and, later, three other backpacking club chappies without dogs who were heading for the upper reaches of Gunnerside Gill, and who did the mild berating and invited me along. But, I’d decided where I was going to camp and I sort of thought it might be fairly sheltered out of the increasingly lively wind coming from the general direction of dahn sarf. It did occur to me that as Gunnerside Gill runs North-South, it might actually funnel this wind through my scanties during the night, but I gave the thought notice, informed it of it’s right of appeal within three weeks of receiving my letter and dismissed it forthwith, sending a colleague along to supervise the clearing of it’s desk.

This was a mistake.

I put the tent up within the walls of an old (an ex-) peat-drying store and settled in for a bit of a snooze. I was awakened very shortly by the flapping. This flapping got more and more flappy over the next couple of hours and, eventually became, what can only be described as “frantic”. This continued all night. I weighted the tent pegs with big rocks and cooked my tea and drank my whisky and dozed fitfully. Every now and then the frantic flapping increased its franticness to levels which would have it locked up under the Mental Health Act. Psychotic. Unreasonable. Windy.

Sometime around dawn, it all stopped. Quite suddenly. I formed the opinion that it had either tired itself out and was now sleeping peaceful-like in it’s cot with a dummy in, or that the wind had changed. The very next interesting thing was a sort of zipping/swishing noise. This happened several times. I looked out to investigate and found that it must have been the snow sliding off the slick fabric of the akto.

Sunday was a day of short but fierce little blizzards of snow and hail. Luckily I had my back to it. I walked through the desolate area of mine spoil on the moor to the west. This gives a fast and direct route to the final heathery slopes of Great Pinseat and this back down to Arkengarthdale via an interesting and rocky hush.**

Reeth for soup and tea, then home.

But what of the Backpackers Club? Well, they’re very friendly and welcoming and may have been a bit miffed that I went off on my own. I’m not sure. Anyway, maybe next time I’ll join a small gaggle. The ones I met were walking at roughly my own pace. I might follow them next time.

Possibly more walkies tomorrow. I have a sandwhich and a Plan A and a Plan B.

**Do we all know what a hush is? Shall I explain? Or not? Hmmmmm?

4 comments:

beatingthebounds said...

Your post had me chuckling as ever. I assume a hush is something to do with mining?

Admin Fairy said...

'Is beration a real word?'

Apparently not according to thefreedictionary.com but we understood.

I need to borrow a tent by the way! :)

Tykelad said...

The only "hush" I know of is a deathly one usually straight after I've just finished telling a joke...

mike knipe said...

Yes yyou can borrow the usual tent Becky. Its by the radiator. I'll be in Derbyshire in a bit of a state.
You might as well keep it for a bit. Don;t tell your brother.
A hush, deathly or otherwise, is a damn great gully caused by t'owd man (the leadminers) damming up water and leetting it rush down a hillside, thus stripping off topsoil and stuff and making it easier to get to the minerals.
There's one or two real big 'uns around. No, I mean really, really big.
A joke hush is normally accompanied by the sound of wind in the wires and a tumblewed rolling past.