I seem to have a mental block about
Cronkley Spout Cauldron Snout. I caught myself calling it Cautley Spout… dhuhh….. It’s the one up Teesdale, just below the Cow Green dam. In fact, despite the fact that the waterfall always has an impressive flow of roaring, foaming water, gushing at a rate of flow that would take your foot off, it' all comes out of a pipe at the foot of Cow green dam – unless the water is coming over the overflow which can also add quite a bit. In fact, the River Tees here is being used to transport water from Cow Green to the sinks and toilets of the good citizens of Darlington who also use it to eke out the essential supplies in their pubs. Its cheaper than a pipe, see, and stops a lot of damaging flooding.
This walk was the last of a series of five Durham County Council guided walks who’s aim was to complete the part of the Pennine Way which lies inside County Durham. basically, this means walking from the fence just left a bit from Tan Hill pub, to the bridge just below Cow Green dam, plus the Bowes Loop. This, we managed to complete.
I did the reccy a week last Sunday. Everything was fine. I met a rotweiller puppy, who decided that a walk was a good idea and bounced along biting molehills and running about daft. I took her back to the farm and she got locked in.
Later, I had a little row with a fisherman at Widdybank farm. I was climbing the stile and this dweeb’s back-casting nearly took my ear off. Even later, I thought that if I’d reported it as a “near miss” at Widdybank, that would have been the end of his day’s fishing. They’re well-up on Health and Safety at Widdybank, so they are… It would have been a w****y thing to do anyway. If it happens again, though, I’ll probably do it…
Then I found a tent. Somebody wild camping…? A bit naughty, but not as naughty as removing the Pieman’s right ear with a hook. It was still there a week later, so I took a peek inside, having a little sniff first, just in case somebody had expired whilst waiting for their chicken curry to rehydrate (this could happen – it takes eight minutes). There was nobody in. There was, however, a sleeping mat, some plastic sheeting (probably for the Victim), a lunchbox, a used tissue and a puddle, which appeared to be rainwater. I reported it by email to Widdybank. I suspect its just been abandoned – its a cheapo tent – and a leaky one. It’s, basically, litter.
On the day (last Sunday), there were nine of us and a small dog. Stewards were Ian, Anne and Sheila. It was a bit windy. We didn’t meet the rotty pup and nobody fell off the Cautley Force waterfall – or whatever it’s called. I thought it was a bit cold, to be honest. Brrrrrr…
There’s a map showing the route. Its a good walk. Its probably not ideal for anybody scared of dogs, slippery rocks or cows. Its about 12 miles too… The thirsty could get a pint at Langdon Beck Hotel for a small extra effort.
This is not the end of the Pieman’s 2013 affair with the Pennine Way, though – oh no… At the end of September, I’m leading a walk for the North Pennines AONB Alf (quite a pretty sheep over there..) Wainwright' celebration of his Pennine Journey with a walk from Tan Hill to Baldersdale. Luckily, we won’t be going anywhere near Crumple Sprout – that’s somebody else’s job.