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Wednesday, 19 November 2008

North Pennines - Deadstones

Tuesday Morning, me bruvver turned up and me and him (him and I?) went off for a walk whilst Mike plumped for the fleshpots of Alston via the Pennine Way.

In nice, almost warm sunshine, we went back to Ash Gill – at least I went back there as John hadn’t been there before…. Er… anyway. It was roughly the same as it had been on Monday – maybe just a bit more water. But, in leaving the place this time, we took a little side path that I happened to know about and this lead us up to an overhanging crag – apparently impossible to climb without pitons and a friendly helicopter. Or a friend with a very long ladder. R Kidd expressed the view that he wouldn’t be able to climb it.
But there’s a little slot in the crag, gained by a short but slippery rock step and this slot leads fairly steeply but nevertherless quite easily up through the crag in a sort of underground fashion and pops out in a surprising sort of way at the top. Just a bit bizarre, but interesting nevertheless.
After this adventure, we walked up a bit of tarmac, noting the red squirrels trotting along the wall tops – and up onto the moorland of the Weardale ridge, topping out at the summit of Dead Stones, at about 700 and a bit metres. Dead stones has a shelter or bothy on the top. You wouldn’t want to spend a night in there, though – inside there’s just a slimy bench and a tiny fireplace and no door.
We followed the ridge Northwards for a while and chatted to various grouse beaters waiting to start their drive on the way. We were advised two or threee times which side of the hill to walk on, but, generally, the encounter was friendly.
As it started getting a bit late, we shortened the walk at this point and headed down towards the col between nenthead and garrigill and then, by field paths in gathering gloom, back to the South Tyne and Garrigill.
As we came close to Garrigill there was a rabbit tottering around blindly and, as it sensed out approach it desperately tried to find a hole in the wall. In the end it just cowered behind a patch of rushes. It couldnt see a thing. Myxamatosis (I'm not sure of the spelling)
We tutted but carried on but as we crossed the next stile, a chap in camo gear carrying a rifle appeared. We told him about the rabbit and he went off to introduce it to it's maker. A single shot a short while later probably indicated the poor thing's final end. I hope so, anyway.
We finished the walk witha short conversation with an old bloke sporting a pool cue. Apparently there's a full-sized table somewhere in Garrigill.

Brian, my pal from Nenthead provided welcome hot coffee on my way home.
Cracking few days.
Incidentally, I used the new headlight whilst camping and to find Brian's kettle as he had all the lights off


Phreerunner said...

Are any chance...
.....enjoying retirement....wot?

BTW - am enjoying your skilfully crafted Howgill essays on Doodlecat - you should put a better link from here.
How did you set up bloggerama to include the timings of the latest postings?

mike knipe said...

Hello, yes, you're right, retirment is much much better than having one of those "J" word things. Apart from the money, you have to get used to not having any..... But I seem to get what I need somehow (there's a Stones song about that I think..) I'm not sure how I did the bloggerama thing to be honest - it just seems to do it..? I can only suggest playing with the settings till it does it. (Sorry)
Just put a Howgills link in (great minds , innit....?)

mike knipe said...

Stop press: to sort the bloglist by most recent posting:

Page elements
sort by most recently updated (tick box)
save settings
have a cup of coffee

Phreerunner said...

I see, my 'blogroll' was compiled - over a long period - using Blogger's 'Link list' gadget. That has a limited sort facility (like - alphabetical - or not).
You set yours up more recently and you've used the 'Blog List - new' gadget which employs the useful sort facility that you are using. So I have really to review all my links and set them up using the new gadget, then delete the old one. This will require several pit stops for coffee. But first I have a film (rather an optimistic term for today's project) to produce!!
Thanks for the help - it's now all clear, if harder than expected.

mike knipe said...

Good luck with it. Make that coffee hot,strong and frequent....