Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Peebles-Moffat Second Full day

camp sheepgrapes 07:00 hrs
Camp Sheepgrapes was a miserable place at 6:30 am on Monday morning. The wind was a bit windy and the drizzle was a bit drizzly. Nothing dramatic, except for the fact that there was no visibility.
We left at about 8:30, I think and we crossed the beck (burn) and slogged the enormous slog up onto Molls Cleuch Dodd. We were handrailing again, which is extremely effective and quick in this kind of clag.
handrailing again
After Molls Cleuch Dodd, the walking is incredibly easy for a long way and so we easily took in Firthybrig Head and Firthhope Rig and then down to Rotten Bottom for a bit of shelter. It was here, I’m afraid to say, that the very last of Humphrey’s pies was furtively scoffed whilst the others tended to their brews and chatted about the relative weights of various rucksack designs.
Rotten Bottom was interesting in a Pennine kind of way, but it’s reputation is exaggerated when compared with most North Pennine mosses.  Its a bit boggy for a few yards.
hart fell summit
We contoured out most of Cape Law and fought bravely to get the team up on to Hart Fell where it was even foggier.
Falcon Craig and Swatte fell were quickly swatted, disappointingly without any view at all, for this is a very fine place in the hills.
falcon craig
We descended tiredly over Blue cairn and on to Greygill  Head where there was a decision to be made. two alternatives were available – the first consisting of a very steep plunge through deep bracken to the track – a route taken by me, the other Mike and Piglet, or a crossing of a barbed wire fence for an easier descent in a sheep pasture. It was this fence that did for Alan’s hand.
piglet detects alan's screams
It was, apparently, very nasty indeed and I’m really quite pleased that I was sitting beside the track scoffing an energy bar  and playing with Piglet when it happened.
Shirley (Peewiglet) did a particularly fine job in bandaging up the gory mess and Martin, John and Tony rushed off to organise some transport, Martin jogging/running into Moffat to  bring back John’s car.
alan and his hand
And so, Alan, Shirley and Andrew were whisked off to Carlisle for urgent treatment to Alan’s poorly digits whilst the remainder finished the walk.
Ian Shiel met us in Moffat and we had a brief and ever so slightly boozy session in the Black Bull.
Tony and Christine left for a lay by in Ribblesdale and Ian took me, Mike and Martin back to Peebles in his campervan after breakfast the next morning, having postponed the Moffat-Peebles leg due to a duff weather forecast and general battle weariness.
Today was about 14 miles and another 3000 feet of up.
molls cleuch dodd
hart fell
But what of Peebles-Moffat. this is a really cracking 35 (or so) mile walk. Its not a pushover by any means, though and deserves a bit of respect. You really have to keep plugging away. But its fab, no mistake.
And what of the team?
I think we had fun (Others may confirm or deny this) but I thought it was a jolly jape. And this was a great team. At some points there was real concern for the progress and welfare of each other. Several people had low points and the team was patient and supportive. 
Alan’s unfortunate accident brought out the best in people and its heartening to know that if my stent had failed or something, that, before scoffing my precious pies, they would have all Done Their Best. (Note the capitals, Alan)
At the moment Alan is festering in the RVI in Newcastle with his poorly fingers. We all hope that there will be a full recovery and that once again, Sloman will recapture the well-deserved position of  Cambridgeshire’s nose-picking champion.
Fuller and more gory details of Alan’s specially nasty injury appear on Peewiglet’s Plog, with links on this very blog.


Phreerunner said...

A very good account, Mike. Well done.

John J said...

Gosh, that looks like we almost had fun!

Seriously though, accidents apart, it was a grand trip and I feel I can speak for the rest of the team when I express my thanks to you for arranging this cracking trip.

Apart from the bit when you ate all the pies....but I suppose we could (just) forgive you for that!


Tony Bennett said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Phil said...

Alan seems less than pleased with the outcome at the RVI

Photo here

Mike Knipe said...

You mean Alan "Cool hand" Sloman?
Stopped him scratching his bum in the mornings, though.....

Andrew W said...

Twas a great account as usual Mike, and thank you for the invite. Despite whinging about wet feet, (I've only myself to blame I could have worn wellies), this was a great trip, even without the views on Day 3. I had a great time with a really brilliant bunch of people. Even that bloke what ate all the Pies. If and when Moffat to Peebles does happen, then count me in.
Have fun in Wales, although it looks a bit wet until the second half of next week.

Mike Knipe said...

Ta everybody, I enjoyed all of it, even Alan's accident on account of the fact that it didn't happen to me....
Shudder taken more booze to Megget Stane though.
Moffat-Peebles announcement in a couple of weeks...

Anonymous said...

I'm a bit late here, but what a great write-up, Ker-nipe! Tres amusing, as always :)

Many thanks indeed for having the idea, and organising the trip. Despite Alan's mishap, it was enormous fun with a really great bunch of people: those I'd met before and the new pals made. Please put me down for the exciting next attempt (well, if Alan and I are still allowed...)

word = picalish: nice word!

Mike Knipe said...

Shirl - There'll definately be a return leg for returning Moffatteers - who could miss a lunchtime or two at Tibbie Shiels....?
Announcements will be made shortly.
The loup will be looping the loup innabit.