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Saturday, 11 December 2010

Snow Melt Defeats Reccy – Shock Horror Probe

tonto on crawleyside edge
Some time ago, I agreed to lead a handful of guided walks for the Durham County Council summer programme and today’s plan was to take advantage of the thaw and go and reccy a route at Stanhope. This is Rangering. As I would be by myself, I would be The Lone Ranger.
The idea is that there’ll be a Durham CC guided walk which will take place on the same weekend as the Backpackers Club AGM. A good plan… maybe.
stanhope limestone quarries

So me and Tonto, me and Superdawg set off from Stanhope and climbed up through the old quarries and the dripping snowdrifts to Crawleyside Edge. So far so good, a fine start with a bit of a high-level wander along a gritstone edge.
Sloppy slushfull fields followed which were quite hard work for a while, then, after a stride over an angry beck into what appears to have been a hidden pond (Bruno chuckled), we contoured along a high path overlooking Stanhope Burn.
tonto plays
The burn looked quite unpromising for a crossing, I have to say. And on closer inspection it seems that it was roughly just over knee-deep and running very fast. We followed it upstream, past a big stream junction to a braided flood. We probed. We were rejected. Further upstream looked no better. I had coffee and a cheese butty and some of my special flapjack wot I made….  
stanhope burn
We probed a bit more. A crossing could be made, but it would be a  cold and deep paddle of about ten yards. There would be wet trousers and socks for quite a while afterwards – and there was more slushy snow ahead. We abandoned the idea and struggled up through the soft stuff to the CtoC cyclists route on the old railway track. This was underneath a large snowdrift.
ctoc route
At some point on the way back to Stanhope, I redesigned the guided walk route completely. There will be no paddling. We will enjoy Stanhope Dene in all it’s springtime glory, have a cup of tea at the Park Head cafe then float along Crawleyside Edge to Shittlehope where there will be rude schoolboy jokes involving incontinence, funny noises and smells.
Speaking of which, one of the walk stats is that Superdawg  had four craps. This was two more craps than I had crap bags for. Some craps were kicked into hidden spots. Sorry. I don’t know where he gets it all from.
The we’ll all go home for our tea and we’ll tell our mums all about what happened. Next time we might come across some smugglers or robbers or something.
I did 8 miles and 1100 feet. This was a bit less than intended.
Bruno ate 12kg of snow, thus advancing the thaw by 6 minutes by the way. Just another climate stat for you there. They might be interested in that in Mexico. As for me, I’m about to go and magically change 75 cl of vino collapso from Crook Boozerama into water….

stanhope dene 1

5 comments:

Trevor Woodford said...

Rude schoolboy jokes eh - Might join you on that walk.

Alan Sloman said...

It seems to me that the star of all these walks doesn't get much of a reward whereas the chap hanging on to the tow rope gets the vino collapso.

It's the same over on Ken's place. What does Maisie get out of all this?

What do we want? "Extra Bonios for Tonot & Maisie!" When do we want it? "Now!"

(There you go Supadawg - that will cost you...)

Mike Knipe said...

There'll be sniggering too, Trevor...

Alan - As bruno was saying only this morning "There's strength to be gained from sufferring, y'know. Revere your enemies for providing the opportunity to practise patience and forgiveness, he said"
Then he bit me.

fatdogwalks said...

Judging by the number of craps Bruno was producing "en route" I would suggest that he's not short of the odd Bonio or too.

As for The Fatdog...you've never tried to have lunch at the summit with her around Mr S! Just ask the guys at ScottishHills.com...you won't be feeling sympathetic for long.

Mike Knipe said...

Ken - The first time I took Bruno walking, he invaded my tupperware and scoffed my ginger bun before I could say "Don't eat my ginger bun" I've trained him out of it now. I distract him by belaying him several yards away.
Its true, though, you can't see his ribs. I'd be ashamed if I owned a skinny dog.