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Sunday, 11 January 2009

Alston Moor radging

I may have explained the concept of "radging" in a previous post. For those unfamiliar with the word, and who can;t be arsed looking back through all the posts, basically, it's aimless pratting about.
And so, today, I went to visit Brian in his chapel home at Nenthead and we did just a spot of lightweight radging around the old coal mines and moors along the North side of the Nent valley (Nentdale??) - unusual, somewhat for us because our normal places to poke around are lead mines.
There's a bit less to see with yer coal mines - the old ones seem to have been "lanscaped" over , leaving only some tell-tale orange-coloured becks, a few black shale heaps and obscure structures. The more recent ones are surrounded by their "modern" heavy machinery, slowly rusting away. And there's a lot of it - diggers, wagons, conveyors, drilling rigs......
I didnt take too many pics today, and the ones I did take turned out a bit blurred. It was due, I think, somewhat to the rather dreich sort of conditions - the apparent approach of a warm front - milky skies, a rising wind and positive temperatures in Weardale. Minus 2 C at Crook, plus 3C in Weardale (big difference forr only 6 miles) and minus 1C at Nenthead - although Brian's house is above 1600 feet, so its expected to be cold. The wind chill, with a freezing temperature and a 25-30 mph wind, was bone-chilling at times
We finished with a couple of beers in the pub in Alston, entertained by Kipper the collie who's obsession was retrieving increasingly soggy bearmats. Kipper's a bit shy when it come to flash photography and the pic included here was the best of a bunch, and the flash cause dhim to go and hide under a table for half an hour, till a bunch of keepers came into the pub and gave him hope for more beermat games.
I expect all the snow will have gone in a couple of days, so these may be the last white pics for a time. Shame. I was enjoying it.
I put my crampons on to walk down the icy tarck by the way. You may consider it overkill. I considered it quite good fun to dance about on the ice.

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