Monday, 5 March 2012

Waskerley and Weardale

near colier law summit

Our old dog, Incontinentia aka Tammy got me up early with her need to visit the back yard, so , it’s an ill wind, as they say in places where they always think Everything is For The Best and so, me and the dawg were in the Demesne Mill car park at Wolsingham in less than promising drizzle and with a faulty car alarm on the knipemobile which started sounding every time I got more than thirty metres away. If I stood next to the car, it was silent. If I moved, it beeped. I thought, maybe it didn’t want me to leave it and I told it that very soon, other cars would be along and it wouldn’t be on it’s own. This had no effect. So I left it unlocked.  The problem seems to have resolved itself in the meantime.

4x4 path churning

So me and superdawg hoofed it up to Baal Hill where the drizzle became light snowfall, and on to the North Moor, which, incidentally, seems to have suddenly come to the attention of those twats skilled drivers who ride around in 4x4s churning up bridleways. We pushed on to Saltersgate, South West Durham’s highest and bravest dogging spot, although it was perhaps too early and maybe a bit too bleak for any of that kind of thing today.

waskerley dog

Onwards we plodded, not stopping to swap the paramo windproof for a paramo waterproof (a bit of a mistake – put right an hour or so later just as the cold was starting to get uncomfortable) – on past the WW2 ammunition depot and over the snowy and soggy moor to Waskerley where we joined the old railway track which is now the CtoC cycle route. Here, it was specially bleak with snow not falling at all but driving sideways.

We didn’t stop at Park Head cafe because there was no way I was going to abandon the dog outside in this wet snow blizzard just so I could have some hot soup, hot tea, hot bacon butty and a sit down in the warm. Was I bothered? 

what's he thinking about I wonder?

Lets not answer that one, but march on up the track to Collier Law where hunger finally overcame the desire to push on. We sought a sheltered spot for coffee and cheese butties but failed to find one, so lunch was hurried.

river wear at frosterley

From the top of Collier Law we crossed the soggy moor down to the green fields of Frosterley and along the riverbanks back to Wolsingham. A walk which is usually pleasant enough but not today. Bruno enjoyed finding sticks, running about with sticks, placing sticks to be thrown, chasing sticks and chewing up sticks. He’s going in for his Basic Stick Skills for Dogs NVQ shortly, so the practise is important.

stick destruction NVQ Level 2 running about with sticks NVQ level 2

Advanced Stick Skills for Dogs involves working with sticks longer than the dog and your canine is assessed on Stick Balance, Narrow doorways and stiles, Navigating your stick through groups of ramblers legs, Shaking your stick, Long stick entry into the back seat of a car containing a baby in a child seat  and Effective stick destruction. None of this is available via the Open University by the way..

We did nineteen miles and two thousand feet of Up.  I got wet socks. Dawn’s supply of orange chocolate drops received quite a bit of hammer. Nineteen miles is quite good for anybody thinking of taking part in next May’s TGO Challenge, but a while back I said I wasn’t going to mention this.

It was nice to be home this time…!

15 comments:

QDanT said...

It's Grim up North,almost summer down here ! cheers Danny
p.s. your bloody prove not a robot is annoying can't you have an aproved list of commenters ?

Carl Mynott @Locomountaineer said...

That was a good read thanks. If it makes you feel any happier, I got wet feet whilst walking over the weekend too. Walked with Dave Wood who had good things to say about you. I can't actually remember what they were, but they were good.

Cheers, maybe see you on that walk in May.

Yasmine Hamid said...

Brilliant post. Love the stick competition. The walk looks interesting. Not sure I'm fit enough yet but it's something to aim for now I'm 'local'

chrissiedixie said...

That mud looked a bit muddy.
Tilly (the chocolate dollop) has already got her basic stick stills NVQ and is working on her advanced certificate. She's got the stick balancing down to a fine art, but keeps getting stuck trying to go through stiles and legs. We'll have to borrow a baby for the car test...

Alan R said...

Brrr.A wee bit fresh there. Frosty but no snow here.
The C2C path looks interestingly black i’m sure they could have used something more inline with the surroundings. Grit maybe but then again i don’t suppose it’s any worse than a railway line.
I bet they got snowed in a few times on that line.

Dawn said...

That looks a hard one Mike, wet muddy and chilly. Your photos say it all. Bruno ought to pass his stick course with flying colours;or should that be with flying sticks???????Glad the wee choccie drops came in useful.

Paul Crozier said...

Sounds like a great walk. Any chance of a route map to aid my poor navigation skills should i choose to 'dog' your steps ? ;)

Jules said...

Quite a big day for such unpromising weather. It may be good training for the May thingy, but requires admirable dedication!

BTW, we had beautiful weather down here in the south. Good in it's own way, but I'd rather have your soggy, cold hills.

Mike Knipe said...

Dan - I have to keep the robot busy or he whinges and moans (Brain the size of a planet....)
Carl- Dave's usually in tears for some reason whenever I see him. I read about your snowy exploits...
Yasmin - Give it a go - theres a cafe half way round and if you run out of steam you can get the bus back from Stanhope. Its mainly easy walking, to be honest.

Mike Knipe said...

Chrissie - I forgot the stick tug-of-war.... dhuhh... Bruno enjoys the mud, it seems...
Alan - I htink the track has been resurfaced. The track on Collier Law is a standard limestone hardcore thing but looks black on the pics. I suspect the tracks had taken up more heat during the mild spell and the snow was melting on them.

Mike Knipe said...

Dawn - Not too hard - just one section of heathery/boggy stuff, but mainly its point-and-fire stuff. Choc drops are becoming increasingly important nibbles. I had the dark chocolate ones today!
Paul- To be honest, I couldn't be arsed with a map. I have a football manager game in my cd drive at the mo... I could put a map on a later post..

Mike Knipe said...

Jules - I have a twenty miler on the TGO route, so I'll be doing a few long walks. This one was fairly easy to be fair. A good old blast on good tracks...

Alan Sloman said...

Hmmm. This TGO thing is coming up like a freight train.
Note to self: Go for a walk. Any walk. Waitrose will be fine, to start with...

Mike Knipe said...

Go for it, Alan. Buy something heavy for the weight-carrying practise. Like potatoes. Or root vegetables.

Howellsey said...

Kinder was blizzard blown on Sunday and today I had a wander round Alderley Edge, it was like the Somme.....