A good start
That’s it – I’m abandoning all walking activities for the rest of the year. Its much too snowy out there.
This morning, I set off twice for Cowshill for the bagging of Middlehope Moor. The first time I got as far as Crook roundabout, then came home due to slippery road conditions.
So I had a coffee and waited till it stopped snowing and then set off again – and this time I got as far as Cowshill, but the knipemobile refused to be coaxed through the deep snow into the car park – so I went down the road to St Johns Chapel and started from there.
All went well at first. It was all very pretty and wintery and then, after climbing the hill, we entered an ancient lane up onto the moor and started to hit trouble. Trouble in this case being very soft snow.
There may be trouble ahead…..
Trouble got worse a bit higher when the snow reached underwear depths – the structure being a thin crust, a foot of soft, wet snow and another foot or so of powder snow and, finally, a layer of ice.
Feet, that is to say, legs, plunged through the crust at every step and didn’t even go straight down – no, they went to the sides. This resulted in falling over every couple of steps. It was too deep even to lift the feet high enough to take the next step. At one point both me and superdawg resorted to a doggy paddle. We were quickly running out of steam.
Bruno tackles a five bar gate
Then, I walked on the top of the wall, which I noticed sticking out of the snow. This was OK till I fell off. Then Bruno got completely stuck in the snow and appeared to have given up. I hauled him out.
…running out of steam….
We made for a gate over there, which I knew would give access to the road to Rookhope. The next two hundred metres took half an hour.
We reached the road. It was there somewhere under some hard packed snow. This provided easier walking. We arrived at the place where we should turn off on a bridleway which would give us access to Middlehope Moor. It was under six feet of soft snow.
Easier going on the road to Rookhope
We gave up.
Another chap from the dale arrived with his dog and gave up too.
Superdawg detects somebody with a packet of crisps over in Norway.
We returned to the Weardale and I used the always pleasant riverside path to return to St Johns Chapel.
River Wear in Upper Weardale
It started snowing again. I read the Northern Echo till it stopped and then went home.
Snow shoes would be a really good idea.
5 Miles and 750 feet. Shudder been more. Felt like more anyway…