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Monday, 17 March 2014

Pimp Mah Boots – Mick’s Climb Up Cauldron Snout

It was this comment  from Mick on a previous post which lead directly to this adventure up the far end of Teesdale

“Hi Mike, Nice report as normal I like your something for something with regards to raising pennies for Mind so how about you selling your body!!!for the day sorta pimping yourself out if you like , what I propose is you escort me from say Bowlees right along the Pennine way to cow green reservoir there we can jump in a motor and drive back to Bowlees . Conditions are! You fill my head in with what ever local knowledge that you can think of on route (doesn’t have to be true) and for this marvellous service I will bung £25.00 of my hard earned pounds into your mind fund ….something for something eh! Of course you could always try for extra brownie points for a “care in the community “type of thing. One last thing …I like coffee & if I fall in going up Cauldron spout and die a horrible death I wish you good luck getting the dosh off my better half ( she’s very mean with money) What do you think”
widdybank mick

And so, we met on Sunday morning in a howling gale at Cow Green reservoir, left Mick’s car there and went in mine to the road-end at Widdybank, all the better to getting to the nitty-gritty purpose of this walk on the craggy bits of Cauldron Snout.
pennine way
seems to be enjoying himself..
Many readers will likely be familiar with the part of the Pennine Way between Widdybank Farm and Cow Green reservoir. It’s a very rough path with two or three sections of scree, arranged into big lumps on a steep hillside and which can only be crossed at significant danger to the walker’s composure, dignity and knees. These tricky bits are interspersed with duckboards and sloppy, wet bits.
crinkley sprout crumbly scout
Finally a bend in the river is rounded, at the part where Maize Beck and the River Tees meet and the grazed and exhausted walker comes face-to-face with the impressively roaring cataract of Crumbly Scout (or Cronkley Spout as I sometimes call it… in error…don’t ever do this..)
mick starts the climb
The Pennine Way then climbs up some ninety feet or so of up and 600 feet of across (so, its at a reasonable angle  most of the way) on polished rocks suspended ever-so-scarily above the roaring maelstrom below. Its not a hard climb, although there’s a couple of places where a slip could well, like the bomb in the alphabetti spaghetti, spell “disaster”. It’s a cracking climb for those of us blessed with a complete set of functioning limbs. For those who are one limb short of the usual collection, (I’m speaking of Mick, here, folks)  it could well prove tricky and a bit of a test to say the least.
I am happy to report, therefore, that neither of us fell off and, in fact, the whole thing was, in fact, quite good fun.
Mick at the top of top of wrinkly scrote
Following the Wrinkley Sprout climb, there’s a fairly dull walk of a mile and a half or so over the moor back to Mick’s car, which was still where we ‘d left it. It’s less dull if you have the  free leaflet from the tourist info box at the car park and you do it when the larks and curlew are calling and the spring gentians are in flower and not when there’s a huge wind blowing off the reservoir trying to re-arrange your hat etc.
A short post-walk celebration was held in the Chatterbox cafe in St John’s Chapel (recommend the huge pot of hot, steaming tea and the teasted toecake with jam)
this pic's out of order, dammit..
And thanks to Mick for the idea and the company and, not least for the  generous amount of hard-earned dosh he’s installed into the virgin money-giving page that I use for raising and storing spondoolies and general loot for Mind.  (And thanks to Dawn too, for the extra spontaneous donation and for the fleece which was auctioned on walkersforum recently) All good stuff – and the fund is doing fairly well just now.
If anybody else feels like contributing in return for a wild walk somewhere, all idea would be considered within reason. And by using the virgin page , HM revenue and customs can be prevailed upon to add even more filthy lucre to your donation.
Spontaneous contributions (some people seem to like to do this) can be made here (click on “donate” and have your debit card handy)
I expect that at some point, Mick will also write about this on his blog, “One Foot in Northumberland, an amputee’s struggle to get into those distant hills” and whenever he does, it will be here  I expect.
For those more interested in hot tea and teasted toecakes and a warm welcome after a windy walk in Weardale, I recommend the chatterbox cafe in St John's Chapel
cauldron snout



Dawn said...

Marvelous stuff Mike and well done to Mick. One day I am going to visit that cafe. From your recommendations it is worth planning a trip with the Chatterbox cafe as the focal point.

AlanR said...

Great idea and well done both of you.

mick said...

I feel right famous now
Thanks again Mike

FellBound said...

Well done those men.

chrissiedixie said...

Excellent stuff :)

Alan Sloman said...

Quite splendid.
It's a shame they can't shift the Pennines a couple of hundred miles further south.

Quinn said...

Excellent idea, and well done, gentlemen!

Mike Knipe said...

Thanks everybody - Mick's now posted his version of events on his blog. This has a more detailed explanation about why he wanted to do this walk. Much deeper stuff than you'd ever find on the pieblog!