Tuesday, 18 January 2011

The Dodd, Middle Rigg and a Bare Bum

have you had your prostate checked?
When the weather girl announces an anti-cyclone and sunny intervals, it’s always best to take advantage straight away with a nice walk, followed by an enormous tea of fine aberdeen angus steak mixed with gravy and dog biscuits followed by a long a snooze on the settee till its time for supper, according to Bruno.
bruno destroys a small glacier bruno spots a cairn
And so, we turned up on the Cumbria/Northumberland border just above West Allendale and sploshed off over the soggy moor in the general direction of The Dodd. The Dodd is a boggy Pennine just over 2000 feet high and, as the cloud base was around 1800 feet, it was a tad murky on the top. I had to navigate to find the summit cairn. This failed. So I switched on the yellow GPS thingy and put in the grid reference. This failed as well There was no cairn where it said the top was. So, instead I wandered off to the East in search of the bridleway that runs down Middle Rigg – and, found the summit cairn.  Bruno took the opportunity of each pause for navigation to eat the remaining patch of snow/ice. He and his kind may well be responsible for the retreat of arctic ice. Has anybody checked the pack for teeth marks, I wonder?
check the speed
Note the maximum speed on the screen, though. I can be quite quick when I want to be…. (maybe its been switched on in the car…dhuhh)
below the fog
And so we romped and sploshed just a bit down the lovely broad and grassy ridge till we popped out below the fog. It brightened up a bit and I found a rectangular enclosure with high walls, ideal for scoffing an egg and tomato butty in, out of the wind.
the enclosure/shelter
I was a bit puzzled by the enclosure, which I thought was an old sheepfold, except that sheepfolds are usually round, or have compartments which can be used to put the animals through some kind of process…. like shearing or washing. Its next to some old mineworkings, so I wondered if it was a temporary shelter for ponies, perhaps….
river west allen mine buildings
Anyway, we followed the ridge downhill with good views of West Allendale and, where the path meets the road, we turned back up another path which runs along the intake wall for a couple of miles. Eventually it arrives at Carrshield (where the cheeky gnome/elf can be found guarding a gateway. I believe he’s having his prostate checked…).
Carrshield has some extensive derelict mineworkings and the destruction around River West Allen is remarkable. And interesting. There’s some old mine buildings, about to be restored/converted into houses, which contain peculiar arches and what appears to be a large stone oven??  I’ve no idea to be honest.
A plod up the main road brought us back, through the hamlet of Coalcleugh (coal cluff), an interestingly cold and draughty place,  to the border and the car. We repaired to Brian’s at Nenthead for coffee and catfood. I had the coffee. I’m not sure Brian’s cat will be too happy about this…
We did 9 miles and, as we started at nearly 2000 feet , just over 1000 feet of ascent.


QDanT said...

Bl**dy Ell your killer Dawg ate Brians Cat never mind the cat not being too happy how's Brian ? maybe Al Gore will eat your Dawg to fudge the global warming figures.GPS thingy
never seen one, seem like electronic Voodoo ? bet Shackleton never had one. I did have my 3/6d x2 box top lids Mickey Mouse compass out in the low cloud today ! just to check the Met. office's NorthWesterly was actually blowing from the South all day
cheers Danny

Mike Knipe said...

Brian's cat, which only has the one serviceable eye due to a misunderstanding with another cat, was out slaughtering the local wildlife, I think - or possibly snoozing somewhere warm...
I don't often use the GPS thing, but its good as a last resort. After spending forty-odd years up the Pennines, though, I tend to know where stuff is anyway and I barely use a map nowadays.
Some of the sheep are my personal friends....

QDanT said...

"Some of the sheep are my personal friends...."

was that said tounge in cheek ?
Hi Mike
Doe's your Garmin voodoo joby give you a map ref. ? i.e. SD 72630 – 60717 for where you are ? and how much Parraffin doe’s it use ?
I tend to print a section of 25k:1 map (ye olde style with field walls marked) for the area I’m off to, then print a larger scale of target area on back, A4 and laminate. If I don’t use it as a map, it gives me a clean surface at dinner stop
cheers Danny

Mike Knipe said...

'Course its tongue in cheek, I hardly know some of them at all.. anyway that particular garmin is quite old - probably 7 years + and doesnt do maps. It does show a kind of a diagram of your current location in relation to any waypoints that have been entered.
It does give you a grid ref - in this case, I'm at NY79231 45862 - or about 120 metres NE of the 614 spot height shown on the North Pennines map.
It does other stuff too, in a navigational kind of way.
Its main useful use is to give you a grid ref in the fog if you dont know where you are. Sometimes the results can be surprising, but its helpful to believe what it's saying, I find.