Another fun filled weekend here at Knipe Towers…..
Friday was the day for the guided walk at Rookhope – the route that nearly did for me on tilted ice (tiled over a drop into a beck) last week. twenty one people turned up, including the stewards Richard Hartley and Kathy Angel.
We all had a perishing cold walk accompanied by a persistent and nithering breeze from somewhere really cold. But all the ice had melted, so we just had a little bit of mud. The big victory was that nobody slithered off into the beck. I enjoyed it. It was , maybe a bit harder than I’d advertised it, though, so whilst I’ll try to keep it in the programme (if there is another programme…) – I’ll say that it’s a medium hard. A hard medium, by the way, is one who slaps you for not being quiet during the seance.
Anyway, I think it went reasonably well.
Saturday was for climbing Annapoorna. The diary reads thus: Saturday – Got up. Ate porridge. Did shopping. Climbed Annapoorna. Had tea. Watched TV. Usual stuff, really. Annapoorna, I should add, is the name of a house up a hill just outside Crook. I have a short guided walk passing there next weekend. This was the reccy. It was cold again, but this time, it was sunny most of the time, but then it snowed; huuuuge lumps of snow with rainbows…. Very pretty. I’m not sure why a house in County Durham should be named after an Indian goddess, but it is. Fair dooze, I suppose… beats Dun Roamin or Jackandannie
Sunday (today, as it happens) was the day for the Simonside Hills. I’d suggested this venue to Yvonne for a walk with Mick (the peeps we met in the Cheviots) and this had reminded me that I’d not been there for ages and that I should go back and have a lovely walk… So I did.
It was cold. (Bit of a theme developing here) Actually, it started at minus 2 with a fresh breeze off some maritime glacier somewhere, but accompanied by beautiful blue skies. The path up to the top from Lordenshaws has been heavily engineered sisnce I was last here and it looks like the Pennine Way now, with lots of Lancashire mill slabs, pretty much all the way to the top. But it’s a fine ridge, with sandstone outcrops, easy walking and an extensive view from the coast to the Cheviots to the Pennines. I could make out Cross fell and the Dun fells quite clearly.
After Simonside, we continued to Tosson Hill where the view is just as big and the trig sits inside a cosy sun-trap of a lunch-time shelter.
After that its a bit soggier till the forest, which is just dull, and then St Oswald’s Way back to the start. This started off badly with fallen trees and an ugly area of brash, then more forest tracks and a muddy slart for a while. Once out of the woods, though, it all becomes much better and the walk from Spylaw scout hut is a sheer delight of easy walking and big Northumbrian skies
The totals for the weekend were 26 miles (Simonside was 12) and 2300 feet of up, one egg butty and one lancashire cheese butty, two banana, one mars bar, and one of those crispy ginger flapjack things. Bruno’s lunches included one undefined partially consumed sandwich found in the heather, six lumps of ice, an attempt to catch a grouse (failed) and a piece of cheese butty whilst I was distracted by a jogger’s lovely bottom.
Quite a good weekend, really…