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Monday, 5 November 2012

Early Snows on Whernside

ingleborough from whernside

Me and the Dawg went to Dent. We set off from Pietowers in dense, freezing fog, and minus 3C,  which suddenly cleared on the A66 at the Cumbria border, and the sudden flush of sunlight revealed a pristine white high Pennine ridge and even more pristine white Lake District. The roads in Cumbria were an icy nightmare, though…

great coum from the occy road

But we arrived and set off up Flinter Gill to join the Occupation road which leads easily to White Shaw Moss and providing the opportunity to bag the sub-Dewey High Pike, a hill I’d walked past many times but never visited.

There was a certain amount of naughtiness going on, though.

naughty bikers

Naughtiness #1 was a group of three off-road motorbikers, buzzing down the lane like a bunch of manic lawnmowers and, Naughtiness #2, possibly more seriously, half a dozen camouflaged men with a dozen or some lurcher dogs, shepherds crooks and spades, climbing over the walls and clearly up to no good.

whernside from the occy

As I approached my High Pike target, I spotted a fox mooching along the wallside and I drew the conclusion that this chap had escaped the attentions of our group of those murderess dog walkers and was doubling back behind them. Its unusual to see a fox out here in broad daylight, so I guessed it had been disturbed

gt coum from whernside

Anyway, we bagged the hill which was just above the snowline, much to the delight of superdawg, who likes bouncing around in fresh snow and specially enjoys trying to eat as much of it as possible.

bruno enjoys the snow

So he was  even more chuffed to find that there was even more, deeper snow and better snow on the climb up to Whernside where there was a perishing wind and a path made icy by the amount of pedestrian traffic it had had. We didn’t stick around as it was much too chilly for the scoffing of a beef and pickle butty and instead, we slithered down the path for a bit but hopped over the stile for the much less slippy but more sloppy path to Whernside tarns and, ultimately, the Craven Way bridleway to Dentdale.

whernside tarns

Whernside Tarns were well-frozen and Bruno decided that eating as much ice as possible would be just the thing, so he scrabbled lumps off and crunched them up.  For an old dog – he is past pensionable age – he still acts like a pup in snow and had spent almost all of the route bouncing around and running about, eating snow, chasing snowballs, digging snow…  you get the picture…. He wasn’t on the lead till the final mile and a bit of slippery mud along the Dalesway back to Dent. He must have been knackered, the poor old bugger…

Wot fun – and mostly in cold, blue sunshine. I expect it’ll all melt now, though

The daft thing is, of course, that I just bought some kahtoola spikes from Outdoor Warehouse and decided that I wouldn’t need them on this trip. They would have been useful for a mile or so along the Whernside summit ridge which, in places, was quite lethal. Dhuhh….

We did 12 miles and 2400 feet of ascent.

whernside

11 comments:

Martin Rye said...

Winter is bitting hard and early. A good day you got in there.

Alan Sloman said...

I reckon I enjoyed that as much as the dog.

Smashing day, Mike
:-)

Louise said...

I think I should borrow a dog.

Dawn said...

Wonderful Mike, looks like you had a fantastic day. Impressive photos too.

Alan R said...

I think i can just feel my toes.

chrissiedixie said...

What day was that? We were on 'tmoors above Wensleydale on Saturday and could see the snow on the higher tops down that end.
And remember what happened to me last February, the day I couldn't be bothered to put my Kahtoola spikey things on...

Jules said...

Lovely stuff, Mike! One of my favourite bits of the planet looking absolutely fabulous!

We've not been up that way since August BH, and it'll probably be a while till we go again. But I hope, when we do, we get just a little bit of snow and a little bit of sunshine just like you.

Perfect!

Mike Knipe said...

Martin - Looks like it might have been a blip. It's all melted.
Alan - That's the idea of the blog, really....
Louise - get a dog. Your interactions with cattle will be so much more interesting,and you get to carry bags of poo for milees and miles...
Dawn... simper... (italic font not allowed in comments...
Aan - It wasn't that cold.. get some warm socks
Chrissie - It was Sunday, looks like it snowed more Sunday night. I do remember your accident.. ouch...
Jules - I'm beginning to think I was just lucky with the weather. Its good when it's like this, though

dibble said...

What fabulous pics, it looks so amazing up there, and I just so enjoy reading your accounts of your walks. Awesome, thanks. :)

Howellsey said...

Beautiful....I love the first snow of the year.....unfortunately mine came on a wild camp off the Watkin Path on Snowdon last week, a very chilly morning and not as much blue sky as you seemed to have here!

fell running guide said...

Beautiful. Still waiting for the first snow in the Peak District.