Saturday, 25 August 2012

Two North Pennine Guided Walks

pw near falcon clints

It is with a smug fizzog and ever so slightly damp undies that I write this post.

Yesterday and today I had back-to-back guided walks: Friday’s was a trundle up the Elephant Trees and around Bollihope in Weardale, stewarded by Sheila and Chris and attended by two small dogs and fifteen walkers, and today’s was the final section of the Pennine Way in Durham, from Forest in Teesdale to Cauldron Snout with stewards Doug and Neville and nine walkers. There was a certain amount of overlap in attendance (that is to say, some people came on both walks)

elephant trees

I’d reccied both walks last week, the Teesdale one in half a day’s driving drizzle and half a day’s hot sunshine , and the Weardale one on a nice,warm summer day. Today, it persisted all day, and the grass was wet and the rocks were slippery, which is why I’m a bit damp.

Unfortunately , I forgot to take the camera on the Weardale walk, but got some pics on the reccy, but there’s a few pics from the Teesdale walk.


The Weardale walk was pretty much uneventful once it had stopped raining and we visited the Efelent Trees again (some avid readers may say “yet again”) and the flowery Bollihope side-valley and the Harehope Mine and Quarry. All very familiar stuff….

river tees in spate

The Teesdale walk’s fortunes were maybe a bit more ominous. First, there was the mistake in the programme which talked of a walk to “Cronkley Spout” This is almost entirely my fault, with some small responsibility at least falling on the proprietors of the Bunnahabhain distillery who’s product I may well have been sipping whilst putting in my bid for the walk. I did fail to notice the mistake on proof reading/checking the details. There is, of course, no such place as Cronkley Spout, although there ought to be. We went, instead, to Crumply Scout Cauldron Snout

cronkley cauldron snout

Secondly, the day was wet and stayed wet, so rocks and duck-boards were slippery, and deep grass in the remaining uncut meadows were specially wetting.

scrambling the snout

I must pay homage to the grit, determination and persistence of the punters who turned up. (I was a bit surprised that anybody turned up, given the weather) There were no complaints and nobody came a cropper. The scramble up by the waterfall went as smoothly as could be expected although one or two of the walkers had a little flutter of adrenalin since the waterfall was in a bad, bad mood.

pw forest to cauldron reccy 008

So it was all OK.

Maps below:

dvcrs walk one

Weardale walk 11 miles

pw forest to cow green

Teesdale walk 11 miles as well… spooky, that…


Dawn said...

Wow,fantastic Mike. The last time I came around that way it was wet and greasy as well, giving a few 'heart in the mouth' moments. You did well not losing anyone. They are made of stern stuff up north!

Paul Crozier said...

Nice - must do them trees, me folks hailing from Wolsingham n all. So... where on the map are they? Trees, not me folks.

Mike Knipe said...

Dawn - We built up the drama a bit in the miles before we got to the waterfall - just for the extra effect. It was very atmospheric, though...
Paul - The elephant trees are at NZ038343, on the bridleway that runs along the edge of the moor above weardale. You can see the trees easilyon the skyline from the main road between Frosterly and Wolsingham