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Monday, 8 September 2014

Lucky Climbs Hopegill Head in his new Ruffwear Harness


Objectives for today were – get a doggy climbing harness for Lucky for the lifting over fences and steep rocks and climb some fences and steep rocks.

The first bit was easy – go to Keswick and chuck some money at the problem. £130 (A HUNDRED AND THIRTY QUID!!!???   HOW MUCH!!!) would have resolved the issue easily  and provided some panniers for the carrying of dentastix and assorted biccies. In the end, with a bit of backpackers Club discount, £55 was more the mark in Cotswolds.

And so, we went off in search of rocks.

lucky follows matt closely

This was also resolved easily and relatively cheaply by first frightening an old chap on a venerable motorbike who wasn’t paying enough attention to my brake lights and wobbled off towards the hedge as opposed to smacking into my bumper (must get the dog navigating these difficult narrow roads) and parking prettily on some grass, we (me, Pup and Matt) climbed steeply up to Swinside, an unbagged Birkett just above Lorton. This included crossing a gate and a fence. The harness worked well and there was only just a little bit of wriggling.

on the way to hopegill head

trail hound hurtling by

We progressed to the sound of the tannoy at some kind of agricultural/country show going on below. Several lean and stupidly fit hounds hurtled down the hill past us, ignoring us completely. Lucky wanted to join in but was prevented by his new harness (did I mention he has a new harness which only cost me fifty five quid (FIFTY FIVE QUID>>>!?) (Gasp)

hopegill head scrambly bit

Soon, we were at the top of Ladyside Pike – not very rocky so far, but ahead, the crags of Hopegill Head loomed menacingly and fairly rockily. In the end, they were climbed easily, but the rock scenery of Hobcarton Crag was impressive. The harness wasn’t used, really.

matts 3

matts 4

We lunched on Hopegill Head as two Lancaster bombers passed below us in the gap between Grisedale Pike and Skiddaw and then down the long trench of Thirlmere. Apparently, it’s unusual to see two Lancasters flying together. Impressive stuff.

me and the pooch at the top

matt, gasgale crags and crummock water

After lunch we traversed the narrow(ish) ridge to Whiteside and down the heathery ridge to Dodd – an easy descent, but probably horrible to climb.

matts 6 

It was here, on some steep grass that Lucky discovered a new method of descent. This involves lying flat out, all legs akimbo and sliding slowly down the grass. If it’s not quite steep enough, a little wriggle produces some downward momentum. I’ve never seen this done before. But every dog has his own little gimmicks, innit?

hopegill head from hope gill

We couldn’t help noticing the camping spots in Hope Gill……  with a nice, clean beck for the paddling and soaking of tootsies… and brewing up….  and snoozing.

A short walk of just about five miles, 2300 feet of upness and about a quarter pound of blackberries….  There’s a map. This is an ideal walk if you’ve not got much time or, you’re not in much of a rush. If its foggy on the tops, I wouldn’t bother, frankly.

I like the harness by the way, and so does Lucky, who sees it’s fitting as a prelude to fun. Which it is.

And now, I’m off to Eskdale for several days – mainly campsite camping but, hopefully with just the one wild night (that’s camping by the way, I’m much too old for anything else….)

hopegill head



Dawn said...

Wow, how much for a harness?????? Mind, it does look the business on lucky

John J said...

Nice pics Mike - I particularly like the orange boots piccy and the (volcanic?) rock formation ones.
That 15% Backpackers Club discount at Cotswold is well worth having, innit?

AlanR said...

I’ve only just got the connection. “Lucky”. That was a Kylie track Innit!

Mike Knipe said...

Its a cracker, Dawn - by the way, I got a duplicate of your comment and deleted one of them, so if you get a message about "comment rejected", its just cos there were two. Probably caused by JJ who commented at exactly the same time.
JJ - BP club discount has paid for itself many times over. The boots are Matt's hobnailed clodhoppers - pretty good on this kind of country, in fact.
Alan - I should be so Lucky, Lucky Lucky Lucky....

Reifyn said...

The thumbnail I saw on my feeder made Lucky look like a small horse, with his white hoofs (I mean paws), and so I was confused at first because it looked like a saddle on his back. I'm glad to see that he is enjoying his walks with you. You seem chuffed about it too, even though saddles and other tack are expensive.

Quinn said...

Love the snap of you and lucky on top of the world! and the harness does look just the thing, but my that is a costly outfit. Hope you'll spend years wearing it out!

Andrew said...

How much !?!?

That said Lucky does look very good innit !