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Sunday, 31 August 2014

Cronkley – Scrambles and General Poking Around

me and the pup ooop cronkley scar

This was Matt’s idea – and I discussed it with the Pup and he agreed to come along providing he could have a chew stick and a nip out of the cat when he got home.

approaching cronkley scar

in the gully

And so it was – in a bit of drizzle and a breezy….breeze that we set off from Hanging Shaw, along the riverside path for a bit and then up and over what might be a lateral moraine to the foot of Cronkley Scar – to be climbed by a  steep and shallow gully with huge lumps of dolerite scree and  a little beck in it to an airy sort of perch high above Teesdale. Quite good fun so far.

lucky teeters a bit

Lucky had just the one moment of indecision and was sent out onto the heather at the side to be retrieved from above. The gully is steep but without much difficulty but could be really interesting when the beck is frozen or under deep and hard snow. (Made a note of this!)

on cronkley scar

We crossed the wall and found a comfy spot on a heathery lump sheltered from the wind and spent some considerable time lunching and watching the view.

cronkley fell trig point and windy peeps

But all good things come to an end and eventually we set off to bag the trig point and find the path down to White Force where there’s an interesting waterfall in a fenced-off enclosure in a rocky amphitheatre – the fall is often dry and seems to disappear into a crack, or maybe a suspended pool – and , somewhere in there,there’s a lead mine.

white force

The geology seems complex with a layer of shales and dolerite capped by limestone, some of which seems to have been cooked into a blue kind of marble-like rock. There was a fair amount of water coming over the fall, so explorations were confined to the foot.

lead mine entrance

A root-about in the bracken revealed the mine entrance, right at the head of the spoil heaps (where else would it be?). The entrance is small and has a metal gate a couple of yards inside and, like most other gates of a similar design, it responds to a tug at the top and swings open on a hinge. A wet crawl underneath would give access to the mine level.

a lump of old slag

On the way out, we found some large pieces of iron slag – tipped out of a rabbit hole. There was quite a lot of it. Iron smelting went on in this area in mediaeval times and a pile of stones near the wabbit holes was likely to be the remains of the bloomery, I would have thought. The slag is in large pieces and is quite heavy. I retrieved a couple of small samples as souvenirs

lucky snaffles a dog bed

And so, we left and repaired to Weardale for coffee. Lucky took over a dog bed…..

The walk was about 5 miles altogether.

Its nice to go exploring sometimes – too many walks are overplanned, I think. (Lucky agrees with this by the way and I’ve not bribed him in any way at all to declare his support for my view…)

Many of the pics are Matt’s by the way. I don’t think Lucky took any pictures….




FellBound said...

Hi Mike

Sorry to lower the tone of your very excellent blogette but -

I couldn't be ars*ed to read the text and just looked at the photos. Why have you posted one of Lucky's 'doings' next to your Silva compass?

Dawn said...

Looks like fun Mike

Jen said...

I love the picture of Lucky wondering where his paws are going to go next. Also the dog bed - where was the owner?