I arranged to meet Brian somewhere up the Pennines for a quick play in the snow and our cars met on the snowy A689 just past Killhope Wheel.
We finally met at Cowshill in an area of extensive lead mining – a likely place for some steepish but safe snow on which to practise climbing up and sliding down and climbing up again.
And then sliding down.
I had hoped that the snow would be dead ‘ard, like, but this was not meant to be, in fact it was a bit soft. This meant that you had to work a bit harder at sliding down since when I lifted my legs in the air (I had me crampons on) my bum was a better brake than my ice axe.
We had a long chat at one point with a couple from a house up the hill – who had things in common with Brian in particular. Theyt pointed us to a waterfall which was pretty and had some significant lumps of ice dangling next to it which I levered off to form a nice iceberg in the beck.
And that was pretty much that.
It was another foggy day and the thaw, apparently, continues very slowly. It was snowing slightly every now and then and the road west of Killhope was starting to get “interesting”.
The message for anybody seeking hard snow is that higher up, where there seems to have been much less of a thaw (it was still minus 1.5C), the snow hasn’t stiffened up as much as at lower levels where its as hard as a hard thing strengthened by extra hard stuff.
No, unfortunately, its a bit soft.
This trip wasn’t quite long enough to count as a walk, so I haven’t. Nice to have a play in the snow, though.
Tonight we visit Bishop Auckland Town Hall with a box of matches and some candles to see Isla Sinclair (good game, good game) – yes folks, its Burns Night once again here in Co Durham. We have a different Burns night to everybody else. This is Colin Burns from Spennymoor, not yer Rabbie. Still, there’ll be Neeps and Stotties as per tradition and somebody will play the drainpipes and witter on about mice and stuff. I might have the odd sweet sherry, I’m not sure yet.