This was yet another – even, yet another (!) walk in the series of walks bagging the Yorkshire Dales 2000 foot tops – even though most of this one is in Westmorland – or Cumbria, if you’re into the modern post 1974 stuff….
We parked freely by Kirkby Stephen Cattle Mart, pausing only briefly to do an enormous poo by Frank’s Bridge – which I had to clean up using a bliddy sandwhich bag. Why superdawg can’t do a poo in a less sensitive place, i can’t imagine. he was in the doghouse about this for the next twenty minutes. I sulked and consulted the map, bemoaning my now naked cheese and tomato butty.
We progressed alongside a pleasant beck and then uphill through pastures to Lockthwaithe which may not be a farm any more – and ever upwards into the hard snows of Tailbridge Hill for a lunch by the beck. And then, more foggily, ever upwards again, handrailing a small snowed-in beck to the top of White Mossy Hill, which was white but not very mossy. It was bloody bleak, truth be told, so we buggerred off in a generally Northwards direction to Nine Standards which has a load of big cairns, supposedly being all very old, but actually, none dating back more than ten years (they were all rebuilt – I saw it happen…)
And then I had to navigate a bit to find the entrance off the moor to a lane, some 3 or 4 kilometres “Over There”. This didn’t go too well. I enjoyed walking on the hard snow, but drifted too far North and had to “adjust”, which was bloody hard work for half an hour over slippery tussocks. Incidentally, it did occur to me that “Slippery Tussocks” would have made a fine name for a very poor 1970’s pop group with long hair and sparkly stuff a la Slade. The drummer would now be working as a bus driver in Wolverhampton and the lead singer would be in prison in Tristan da Cunha for insulting the president.
But anyway, after a while, we got to the strategic gate with just 9 metres to spare. i thought this was close enough. Bruno demurred.
A short bit of road and lane took us to the old Tebay-Bishop Auckland railway line which is now a permissive path (what is the world coming to?) – which we followed for a bit to Hartley and thence back to Kirkby Stephen.
The A66 was quiet. The knipemobile reached a speed of 105mph on the downhill Durham, side, and, whilst still being passed at even more speed by , frankly, lunatics, I got scared and slowed down a bit.
Bruno slept innocently in the back.
We did 12 miles and 1800 feet of ascent.
It were cold but quite grand. I’d do it again.