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Monday, 24 September 2012

Across Crossthwaite – Teesdale Fellwalking

bruno notices the gaps between the planks

I’m getting a bit behind with the blog posts.

This one is about a Durham County Council, guided walk wot I did on Saturday (this being written on Monday lunchtime)

Those readers with photographic memories may recall that on the first reccy – back in the spring, I tried to video some Lapwings, but they were having none of it unless a proper contract was written up and that I signed over the TV rights.

one at a time on wynch bridge

I did the pre-walk reccy last week and 15 people turned up on Saturday, including the two stewards, neither of whom were called Dave and were, in fact, Ann and Neville, a pairing we’d had before.

So, there’s two sets of pics . Saturday was the warm day, but only when the sun shone. When a cloud came over, it was perishing – an indicator, no doubt, that it’s not very far to winter again.

holwick scar and superdawg

The walk goes like this:

We start at Bowlees pickernick place near Newbiggin in Teesdale and we pass Low Force and wobble over Wynch Bridge (aka The Wobbly Bridge). On the guided walk, we cross, of course, one at a time as per the Elf and Safety Instructions and on the Reccy, if we are superdawg, we cross with legs slightly bent, nervously noticing the river far below through the gaps in the planks. It has to be said that Bruno is never keen on seeing a big drop below his paws.


But it’s OK. It’s perfectly safe, as are the suckler cows in the field leading to Holwick. They are busy snoozing on both walks and aren’t interested in us at all.

climbing out of holwick scar

holwick scar - the grassy side of the arete 

Next, comes Holwick Scar. We drop into a deep valley and then very steeply up onto the moor. There’s a very slight and easy scramble up the mainly grassy arete on the left. This has a bit of a drop on one side and is hardly Sharp Edge, but it’s the best little climb around, A few of our walkers take this option, and one has a slight collision with some dolerite following a slip or a trip, resulting in a couple of small holes in a forehead and a bump. I think this is the first time any blood has been spilled on a pieman guided walk although my own personal flesh has been punctured recently by barbed wire, collisions with huge lumps of millstone grit and a vicious attack by mentalist ants). Maybe we should have an annual award for the best accident…..  just something to think of, there…..

We march off over Crosthwaite Fell – a straightforward fellwalk which crosses a couple of streams and then goes steeply up to the foot of a green wold, which is uses to cross the moor. This bit has cracking views of Teesdale and parts of the North Yorks Moors.

pennine way to middleton

Lunch is by the grouse-shooters’ luncheon hut, which appears to have vandalised, or at least, fouled by some nesting swallows or swifts. So, it’s not very nice inside at the moment.

We descend soggily to the Pennine Way at Wythes Hill and follow this back to Middleton in Teesdale, passing, yet again, some may say, Kirkcarrion and then by more PW back to Wynch Bridge where we can wobble once again.

foam in a circle on river tees

Here’s a map. The walk is eleven miles.

See the blog tomorrow when we report on a walk along a bit of Mallerstang Edge. (We’re using the Royal “We” at the moment for some reason… aren’t we?  Yes we are.)

teesdale fellwalk

back on the wobbly bridge



Dawn said...

Excellent photos Mike. What a beautiful cow. Looks like a lovely walk.

Alan R said...

We like the arty photo of the river. Don't we.

Mike Knipe said...

Dawn - You're probably the only person I know who'd remark on how pretty a cow is! It is quite 'ansome, actually...
Alan - You should have seen the pic I cropped - looks like a Parlaphone record

chrissiedixie said...

This summer we walked along the longest lake pier in the world (probably). That was made of wooden planks and Dixie did the whole of that with bent, wobbly legs :D

And I think that cow's very beautiful too.

Howellsey said...

I concur on the arty river shot, it's great! and the cow is definitely a pretty bovine :-)