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Thursday, 2 July 2009

Some More Ash Gill Duckings
















As it was a hot day today, I scuttled off to Nenthead and me and Brian had another fun-packed descent of Ash Gill, starting just below the big waterfall, in shorts and tee-shorts and by a series of short scrambles, swims, slides, swims, jumps, swims and walks, we arrived at the junction with the River Tyne. The water levels in Ash Gill were extra high and peaty-brown as a result of a thunderstorm yesterday afternoon. But the water was tolerably warm if a bit fierce on some of the slides.
At the Tyne, we turned left – that’s upstream. Not a vast amount of water in the river here, and it soon became obvious that something or someone had died in it in a kind of, stinky carcase-rotting timescale. So we abandoned the dark but warm and silky water for a short bit of lead mine level. Unfortunately, lack of headlights limited exploration to about a hundred metres or so. Inside there was plenty of lovely mud, and some knee-deep and very icy water. I noticed the when I came out into the wall of heat at the entrance, that I steamed for a while.
A 200 foot climb back up the lush July hillside brought us back to the car to get changed and to repair to the Miners Arms in Nenthead for a brief episode of light boozing.
This is great fun by the way and, providing you can swim twenty feet or so, is not really very risky at all. It would be interesting in winter, and it would be interesting to treat the place like an open cave and, maybe do a few little abseils into one or two of the deep pools. A flash flood, however, would be a right bugger, so a trip in conditions like yesterday afternoon’s thunderstorm, which knocked out some local phones by the way, would perhaps be pushing it a bit.
Not many pics as the cameras were inside a waterproof box most of the time.
Upper South Tynedale is looking gaspingly beautiful just now by the way – lush and green and flowery.

2 comments:

Phreerunner said...

Looks great Mike. No midges? And a bald duckling? You could be in the South of France!

mike knipe said...

No midges. We did get a bit of a thrashing from various clouds of horseflies, though. The duckling's name is "wiggy". Reminiscent of Chairman Mao, I think.