Tuesday, 19 February 2019

A Little Desultory Bagging in North Wales

Thinks "what's he doing now?"
 My daughter sent me a little phrase book at Christmas - "Teach Your Dog Welsh". I've managed to reach him to respond to several useful phrases such as "Stedd" (sit) "Shwmae" (Hello), "Paid" (Stop doing that yer lickle bugger) and "Amswer cinio" (scofftime). In truth, he would respond to any language providing you do the correct gestures.

Mwdwl Eithin summit stuff

Mwdwl Eithin Bogs and Tussocks
And so, in order to test out some of these commands/requests In The Field as it were, me and Dawn went to Glan-yr-Afon (also known as Glanrafon) which is just a bit off the A5 on the road to Bala - near the traffic lights, in fact.
This was ideally located for the bagging of some spare Marilyns, and "new" Nutall/Hewitt and various other smaller Tumps in case of bad weather or for longer doggywalks.  It was also quite a good place for Lucky The Dog to practise his Welsh.

We stayed for 5 nights before moving on to more English things.

So, we managed to bag two Marilyns, thus leaving just 19 to go before entering the Marilyn Hall of Fame, for which a total of 600 Marilyns need to be bagged. These bits of moorland were Mynydd Rhy Ddu , a windfarm;  and Mwdwl Eithin, a lovely piece of squishy and heathery moorland with a very Pennine character - adding a couple of nearby Tumps to make up the totals a bit.

Tryfan in the distance
The lurking Nuttall was Foel Cedig  at 666 metres - easily bagged from a handy track leading from a high Bwlch or Bealach (Pass) and to which we added a couple of other Nuttalls which I'd already visited in 2010 but which Lucky demanded that we visit "for the tick"

Mwdwl Eithin
All of these were performed in excellent spring-like, if windy weather. We struggled to find enough snow to eat (for the dog to eat, you understand. I ceased eating snow in 1963. There was far too much snow in 1963.
On the one day of duff , and in driving deizzle of the kind that gets you really really wet, we managed three Tumps - one of which was a very nice hill-fort.

LTD wonders where we are

Everything in the porch/conservatory thingy dripped for a day or two, Lucky's jacket leaving suspiciously brown puddles. I must wash Lucky's jacket.

A Lurve Tree

Topsy and Tim Foggy Day

The only snow in the village

LTD on Stac Rhos (not a stac and not very Rhos)
And then, we retreated to the fleshpots of the Travelodge in Glossop where JJ was due to play with some of his musical pals in the Labour Club. In between we visited Geoff and Chrissie and had a fablious walk with three dogs in warm spring-like sunshine, followed by teasted toecakes and refreshments at Geoff and Chrissie's. Geoff is currently in hospital, having given up an important organ to help a friend who's own kidney's are failing. It seems a heroic thing to do, and not something I personally might volunteer for.  Bless 'im and his spare kidney. As for me, I am very fond of most of my organs. I hope he's OK.

And then, after briefly visiting Mouselaw Castle we complete our  tour by visiting The Lad in Nottingham for the occasion of a Ceilidh intended for the raising of cash for the local scout group's participation in a World Jamboree.


Geoff, Chrissie, Islay and Pebbles
And JJ was playing again. JJ doesn't half get around.

Enthusiastic readers may have noticed a bit of a hiatus in blogposts recently - this has been due almost entirely by some prune giving me a cough/cold/bad back which somewhat removed my mojo. I think the mojo is now back and tonight I ma going to test my lumbar muscles with an hour's yoga at Frosterley Village Hall. This may well be an error of judgement.

somewhere in Nottingham
And , in other news, I also got elected as secretary for Crook and Weardale Ramblers, so readers should expect a lot more Rambling from me and the dog.


Saturday, 26 January 2019

Fruitless Forest Foray From Hadrian's Wall

LTD on the wall
 Me and LTD walked all the way from Housteads roman fort and up the Pennine Way to bag Bell Crag – a diminutive Tump in the trees. When we got there, it was surrounded by a large and spiky security fence sporting a warning notice concerning non-ionising radiation, whatever that is… so we couldn’t reach the top which, according to my GPS thingy was just 60 metres away from the gate.
On the upside , it was a really nice frosty winter’s day with just a smidge of snow here and there, otherwise I would have been in a right old sulk.
We won’t be going back for another go, though.
It was 10 miles there and back and included a flying visit to Haughton Green bothy, which was quite lovely even though it contained some abandoned socks and some doggybix in a plastic box. LTD enjoyed a few doggybix.

And another thing! I had to use "blogger" to write this since Open Live Writer refuses to connect to the blog for publishing the post. Not sure what's going on there....

Haughton green bothy
sparkly tree
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Monday, 14 January 2019

Long Walks–Durham’s Deweys

durham deweys 001

Attentive walkers may remember that I’m trying to do a 20+ mile walk each month in the ru8n-up to this year’s TGO challenge (I might well continue afterwards as it happens)  This also suits various other peeps who seem to enjoy joining in.

Sooooo   January’s 20-miler was a traverse of the four hills in County Durham categorised as “Deweys”. These are hills between 500 and 610 metres with 30 metres of re-ascent on all sides. And they’re fairly close together, ranged, as they are, on the Northern side of Weardale’s watershed. The list is as follows: Dry Rigg (an ironic, or, possibly sarcastic name) – just above Rookhope; Bolt’s Law, Horseshoe Hill and Collier Law.

Linking these together from a start at the Dales Centre in Stanhope involves a walk of around 22 of the Queen’s miles.

durham deweys 004

So, five of us turned up at 08:00 in the dark at Stanhope – plus doggies Bailey and Lucky The Dog – and we stumbled off into a lively headwind up by the River Wear to Eastgate and then , by Bolt’s Burn to Rookhope for lunch#1 in the bus shelter there.

durham deweys 007durham deweys 008durham deweys 010

The crux. or at least, the first crux of the walk is the ascent to the wathershed ridge by following the line of the lead-smelter’s flue (aka “chimney” which runs for a mile and a half up the hillside above Lintzgarth. The summit is a short splosh away over bogs and tussocks.

The traverse to Bolt’s Law is fairly straightforward by following paths beside the fence or from the road to the summit where the wind was specially fierce for some reason. We found a sheltered and sunny spot beside a shelter a little way down the hill for lunch#2. It was here that Bailey and LTD decided to have a fight. I suspect it was Lucky’s idea cos he’s Just That Sort of Dog.

durham deweys 011durham deweys 013

The old railway line which rinhs to Parkhead will be familiar to Coast-to-Coast cyclists and this gave us an easy but long (and a bit dull) trundle to Parkhead and then down the hill a bit towards Stanhope, with an intervening short but brutal up-and-down climb for the bagging of Horseshoe Hill where the weather seemed to be brightening but cooling quite a bit.

durham deweys 014

Finally, quarry tracks took us to the top of Collier Law and, in fading light, we descended to Stanhope on steep grouse-shooters tracks.

The next Long Walk is on 3 February, probably from Wolsingham Station. It has become traditional (quite quickly) to do these long walks on the second Sunday in the month, but me and Dawn are in Wales on the 10th; there’s a ceilidh in Nottingham on the 16th, which precludes a walk in the North-East on the 17th and I’m leading a Wolsingham Wayfarers walk on the 24th (fab walk by the way – Coldberry Gutter from Bowlees – be there or be square, innit…   and it’s free…)

I must say that I’m quite enjoying these long walks, apart from the stupidly early getting-up. I’m not finding them too taxing although LTD was limping quite a bit on Sunday night. He seems to be OK now and he’s had a very lazy day today. I’ll keep an eye on him. Maybe 20 miles is his limit, but there was a fair amount of hard tracks on Sunday. We’ll see…….

Friday, 11 January 2019

Old Photos #1 2009

There’s a small hiatus, so I thought that intimes of hiatuses  (or whatever the word is) I would show some old pictures. Nostalgia is not just a pain in the nose, y’know. These are from 2009.  No comments are available. I may do 2010 the next time there’s a gap. Big walk due in a few days…. (click on the small pics for a bigger pic)|

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