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Monday, 15 November 2010


snow! it's snow!
As you can see, Bruno was delighted to find a patch of old snow on Blencathra. He ate quite a  bit of it and then started on the ice on a puddle.
Old snow in November eh? Must be that terrible global warming….
doddick fell
I met the bro at Threlkeld in spring sunshine  frosty November sunshine and we wandered off along the intake path to the foot of Doddick Fell – a way up Blencathra from the South which doesn’t involve any derring-do or the potential for falling off anything. I hadn’t been this way before, so that was good and, it has to be said, it’s quite a nice way to get up the hill. Its also quite a good way for people who don’t like to be scared by their hill. Nobody dies on Doddick Fell, unless they weren’t very well when they set off. Or they’re standing in the way of a large inheritance.
top of doddick fell
Or they get struck by lightening, briefly, very briefly regretting that blasphemous outburst at the road works on the A66….
Somewhere after passing Sharp Edge, we started to come across patches of old snow. And then, a bit higher, there was a general but thin cover of icy new snow. There were also some decent-sized patches of hard neve. There’s not enough yet, though to warrant getting the crampons out. The ground isn’t frozen either, so you’d just end up sticking to the mud.
blencathra view appearing
The top of the hill was shrouded in mist when we arrived, but cleared almost immediately whereupon it began to snow. This was not a good place to sit and eat a wensleydale cheese and tomato butty – nor a banana…. so we descended the North side a bit.
atkinson pike
We lunched at the top of Foule Crag in a not very cosy spot and in a snow shower.
dog with snowflakes
A short time later, we discovered that the cairn on the top of Mungrisdale Common is nowhere near the top of Mungrisdale Common, not that anybody is all that bothered.
Alf Wainwright’s inclusion of this bit of watery moorland is a puzzle. It has, though, resulted in a soggy path of a type more often found in my home Pennines to a small cairn in the wrong place.
skiddaw with cloud cap

We proceeded to the Cloven Stone – a distinctive rock used as a boundary marker – and then, with a bit of contouring, to a sheepfold. You can only fold a sheep eight times, apparently.
cloven stone
The track to Skiddaw house brought us back to Threlkeld.
Its cold up there folks. Take a hat and gloves. We did 8 miles and 2500 feet of mainly quite steep upness. Nice to see a bit of snow again. It’s almost time for that Slade record.
and here it is, merry christmas everybody’s having fun. look to the future now it’s only just begun –un –un…


Greg said...

The old snow was not last seasons but from a big fall we had last week.
A cold spell of weather is what it says "weather."
Whereas climate change is about climate. Despite being a bad winter last year , I believe the overall world picture was one of the warmest on record.

Mike Knipe said...

Thanks for clearing that up, Greg.

J_on_tour@jayzspaze said...

Interesting and at times ethereal shots. Next time I do Blencathra, I fancy Hallsfell up, Doddick down. It seems from what you say that there is more chance of getting killed on the A66.
Mungrisdale Common... only been there once, I thought it was a cross between a rough crown bowling green and a better place to play football than Loadpot hill.
Having said all that, it does look like my kind of walk for November though..if the opportunity arose ! respect, J

Mike Knipe said...

Doddick would indeed be a good way down, J.
Mungrisdale Common should be left well alone to those who enjoy listening to skylarks in June, or for practising micro-navigation. Otherwise, you only have to go there once if you're bagging Wainwrights, or not at all otherwise.

The Odyssee said...

Blen kin eck it looked cowd up there. Been a while since i did Doddick way up but a very good route if i remember rightly. Only done it the once. Doddick that is.

Mike Knipe said...

It were colder than a polar bear's bum, Alan.
You sound like you have a cold....
Dr Knipe prescribes something brown, peaty and 40% proof. It won't cure the cold, but you'll feel happier about having it.

The Odyssee said...

You havn’t got a spare prescription by any chance. Just so that i get the right stuff you understand.

Yes been a bit rough this last week or so. Glad when it goes.
But i will be trying a pint or two of Sir Joseph Holts cure all on Thursday.

Mike Knipe said...

Alan - The recipe is fairly easy.
take a bottle of fine malt - nothing too expensive if your taste buds are shaky - pour into a glass, sit back in a comfy chair, preferably in front of a roaring fire and sip.
Repeat as necessary.
May cause giggling,drowsiness,light headedness and a craving for mature cheese so don't operate machinery or drive.