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Monday, 23 January 2012

Pennine Way Weekend in Teesdale

cauldron snout

One of the projects I’m proposing to do in the summer as part of the Durham County Council guided walks programme is to complete County Durham’s bit of the Pennine Way from Tan Hill Inn to Cauldron Snout. I think this will take five walks, each of which will be circular.

So this weekend just past, and after one weather-related postponement, I’ve been exploring circular-ish routes in Teesdale to see what happens….   Bruno came too, and on Sunday, I was joined by Louise and her collie pup Rosie.

widdybank

rosie bruno eyes closed

Saturday’s ramble started from Forest in Teesdale school, wandered up the Pennine Way to Langdon Beck, Widdybank farm and , finally , scrambled up the very noisy Cauldron Snout, all in a fierce headwind combined with that ever-familiar driving drizzle that’s been a feature of this year’s winter. In fact, it was howling most of the time and, having my hood up and head down and not paying sufficient attention made me miss a turn and, so a small chunk of the Pennine Way. It’ll be all right on the day….

meldon hill and cow green

We returned damply from Cow Green reservoir over a bit of moor to Binks farm, down through Harwood in exceptional and unreasonably fierce and unbalancing hail –loaded gusts and back along the Tees. It was nice to be pushed along by the gale for a bit, though.  The fields are sloppy and wet, and, taken together, it developed into a bit of a scrap with Mother Nature. Basically, we got a bit roughed up.  It’ll be all right on the ..er…. it will be July and the hay meadows will be in full flower and the curlew will be wheeling and calling on the moor in a warm sky…

river tees

hungry sheep canoes

Anyway, Sunday, and after a night for the kit on radiators,  I met Louise and her dog in Middleton and we fought a slightly reduced headwind, but this time in bright sunshine, up the Pennine Way beside the Tees, to Low Force, High Force and up to Forest and back along old back lanes and riverside paths, where it eventually went dark and forced us into a road walk of a mile and a bit, or so. So, I missed another bit of path which I’ll likely have a short walk to see in a week or so. There’s no panic, really. The last bit of path was up a seventy metre hill through pastures, and I think we’d both had enough calorie-burning by that point in favour of a plod down the B6277 with the Petzl on strobe, which is an odd experience and makes reflectors and road signs appear to flash from a great distance. It does make sure you get noticed by traffic, though.

high force

Bruno and Rosie enjoyed themselves once again, bouncing around, choosing sticks and, generally doing doggy stuff.  There’s more sheep on the return route, though, for some reason (its probably a bit warmer on the North side of the Tees…?) and canines had to be on leads. Rosie is specially interested in seeing how fast sheep could run, given the chance and does sheep-dog poses from behind gateposts. Bruno, on the other hand, only notices sheep if they make a point of running away. He’s much too old for that sort of thing, really. Its that time of year when flocks of sheep tend to follow us across fields anyway, which is a source of some puzzlement to a canine codger like Bruno.

junipers and louise

Anyway, I’ve managed to reccy the Pennine Way from Middleton to Cow Green, so there’s just three more routes to do…

Total miles for the weekend was 12 + 14, (that’s 26, folks…)  with 2200 feet of up. (that’s not a lot of up for 26 miles…)

More of this later this week but today I might have a bit of a rest…….

 

13 comments:

Dawn said...

Fantastic photos Mike. That is a lovely walk but I found the rocks around the waterfall darned greasy. Mind I am not the most elegant when I have scrambly bits to negotiate.

Mike Knipe said...

There's a few scrambly and slippery bits around the Spout, Dawn. It wouldn;t be too difficult to blob off, actually...

Trevor said...

Nice pictures Mike...brought back memories of the last time I walked past the spout...
We are certainly getting some pretty windy weather at the moment....

-Trevor

Mike Knipe said...

..must be hard work on a bike, Trevor...

chrissiedixie said...

I can remember scrambling up past Cauldron Snout some years ago, with a large bounding boxer and a manic border collie constantly threatening to knock us off the scrambly, slippery bits.
Actually, I also remember the noise from the water (which was really in spate after a week of rain) kind of getting to me as well...

Bill Murney said...

Mike, those photographs brought back some great memories of September 2010 when we did the Garrigill to Horton-in-Ribblesdale section of the Pennine Way.

We did it north to south and just after Cauldron Snout the path besides Maize Beck was under water and it was a case of constantly clambering over rocks to reach flatter land and regain the path.

I would say the following day from Langdon to Grassholme Reservoir was the best day's walking in the week. We stayed overnight in Middleton-in -Teesdale and had some delicious fish and chips in the local chippy.

Bill

Mike Knipe said...

Cripes, Chrissie, I don't think I'd like to take a bouncy dog up that scramble, with the water going a bit mad on one side...
Bill - I think that a bit of rough scrambling is probably compulsory on the bit downstream from the Snout.. Garrigill to Horton may be the best bit of the PW - possibly Garrigill to Malham...?

4 Winds said...

Last time I was up that way was when I was in junior school with (believe it or not)our teacher Mrs. Cow. We also had a Mrs.Savage. Happy days.

Mike Knipe said...

I don't think our junior school teachers would have ever admitted to having a silly name... I expect Upper Teesdale's probably not changed much 4winds....

Jules said...

A good looking weekend, and some nice photos to boot.

TBH, it's a part of the world I'm unfamiliar with, but there appears to be plenty to commend it. When this work business doesn't get in the way anymore I may have the chance to explore further afield. The snag is, at a current best-guess that'll be another 20 years. :-(

Mike Knipe said...

Thats a pity, Jules, you'd be missing a treat. In fact a walk from Middleton to Dufton over two days in high summer would be a real gem. I might do it myself....

Louise said...

Fantastic photo of Rosie Mike. great day and night out with you and the dawgs. see you again soon when my legs have recovered from 14 miles!

Mike Knipe said...

The next one's only ten miles, Louise. Easy peasy....