This was almost a proper walk….. Superdawg pointed out that we hadn’t had a proper walk up a hill for ages and ages and that even in the foulest weather since the Archangel Gabriel appeared in Noah’s garden shed with the news that he was in for a wet summer, there is often a gap, or pause. One such pause was forecast for this morning, so I saddled up the dog a drove off to just a bit North of Allenheads for the Carriers Way route up Killhope Law a quick and easy hill suitable for a short weather window.
The road over from Weardale had snow and ice patches and Killhope Law itself had a dusting of icy snow and a nithering Westerly breeze which entered any chinks or gaps in the clothing and, well, nithered in a typical Northumbrian kind of way… brrrr….
But we battered our way up the hill. It’s not steep, in fact it’s fairly gentle, but, with a belly full of wobbly Christmas beer and , indeed, cheer, it was heavy going. But eventually, after much work we stood, shivering gently in the biting wind by the currick on the top. Next to the currick is a trig point, surrounded by a moat of ice, and next to this is a big stick. Its a very big stick, in fact. It’s so big, that it has fooled the Ordnance Survey peeps into believing that it’s a radio mast, which they have duly noted on the Outdoor Leisure map of the North Pennines. It isn’t a mast. It’s a stick. I’ve no idea why its there, but , as far as I can tell, its been there a very long time. One day it will fall over… but it was there in February 1986 when I made my very first foray up Killhope Law.
We didn’t stick around. (see what I did there…) The forecast seemed to be saying that by three o’clock or so, that the next in the current apparently endless series of wafty gales* (see note 1 below) would be arriving at the edges of Northumberland and, that at height, it would probably be snow. Snow plus storm = blizzard, so it was probably a good idea to get on with the walk.
We descended northwards to the road, using a plastic track made for grouse shooters and, once at the road, we wandered off over the moor to Three Curricks, where there was shelter enough for the scoffing of an egg and tomato butty and the drinking of some Bolivian fair trade coffee.
After this, and a short snooze during which my socks were attacked by two very heavy magpies which I couldn’t shake off** (see note 2 below), we made our way back to the road and followed this back to the knipemobile which was exactly where I’d left it.
Apart from a few snowflakes and a bit of light drizzle, the Atlantic storm failed to arrive on time.
I think it was about seven miles.
It’s a start anyway….
*Note 1 As opposed to a Wafty Gail, which is a Coronation Street character who’s been scoffing mushy peas.
** Note 2 I’m not sure this really happened now I think about it a bit more….