..Bit of catching up to do here – But I did three Christmas walks in such quick succession that there was no time, or sufficient sobriety to do the blog thing:
First up is the Advent Adventure. Originally, this was a walk wot I used to lead for Durham County Council. But, as DCC have got the sack, I did it for the Wednesday Walkers Walking on Saturdays (and Wednesdays) group. It snowed big-time on the reccy in quite a blizzardy sort of way but it was a bit mild and muddy for the 23 peeps wot turned up. Apart from LTD attacking some horses and the blizzard on the reccy, nothing much happened, really; it all went fairly swimmingly. It’s also quite good for St Catherine’s Community Centre’s cafe takings because we have coffee and cakes there afterwards. This is probably why I keep doing it. 8 miles or so…
And then me and LTD went to Kendal and, deterred from the superb Plan A wot we had, which involved Kirkstone Pass, in favour of the much lower risk of skidding off the road into a huge gaping rocky gorge full of dead cars (a bit like Snake Pass, in fact), we went to Ambleside Rugby Club where it’s much more level and parking is by honesty box donation. For the Lake District, this is brilliant and, probably something I’ll do in the future.
So, we headed for Skellghyll Wood and the Hundreds Road which leads up onto the fell, and thence on up to the summit of Wansfell Pike. The ridge on the top was being blasted by one of the coldest winds I’ve ever met – 35 to 40 mph at –2C, giving a wind-chill of –12C . I thohgt it dfelt colder than that anyway.
So, we walked along the ridge, sheltered, at first by the wall and then not sheltered at all, and descended from Baystones to climb a wall giving access to a minor top Dodd Hill and then, conouring round, and fending off the aggressive intentions of a black stallion fell pony wot didn’t like LTD at all (and with good reason, cos LTD would have eaten the horse if it had been mixed with Hero Complete Doggybix), contouring round the hill to descend to the bridleway leading back to Ambleside. 9 Miles.
And then, we caught the bus to Wolsingham to join the 16 peeps from Wolsingham Wayfarers for their Christmas foray up the Elephant Trees, down to the Black Bull at Frosterley where LTD managed to spill most of my Oat Stout over mine and others’ rucksacks (I had to buy another one) – and back to Wolsingham with some waving at the Christmas Special (Train to Christmas Town) trains that are running up and down the Weardale line at the moment. And a chap on this walk had driven over Kirkstone Pass the day before, when we’d been up Wansfell and confirmed that in fact, it was, a sheet of ice…
As I’d just missed the bus, I was forced to seek shelter in the Black Lion where diplomatic protocol insisted that I sampled at least three pints of the various ales on offer. LTD accepted a packet of pork scratchings from a friendly customer. Then, having been delayed for 90 minutes, we caught the bus home and told our Mum everything that had happened.
10 and a half miles and four and a quarter pints.