Thursday 3 February 2022

What Happened in January

Angle Tarn
Sometimes it's nice to look back, especially when pulling out into lane 4 on the M1 to overtake a lane-hogging Audi. And at other times too. Sometimes I like to look back and I mean really, really back. My "Outdoor Stuff" logs go back as far as Easter 1964 when I was the child victim of a school trip to Helwith Bridge where I was not only subjected to a spectacularly spectacular haunting, but I also slit my thumb on a tin of corned beef, covering the lad in the bunk below me in blood. And then there was the walk up Penyghent where my rucksack fell off and spilled it's contents across the mountain, breaking some of my precious things, including my supply of fresh milk in a bottle,  causing me to almost starve to death and giving me a lifelong hate of cold tinned spaghetti in tomato sauce. (This was quite exotic for a mill-town lad in 1964). I got into bother for chucking the tin over the wall in disgust, decorating the horns of a passing Swaledale ewe. "Who did that?" demanded Mr Harris, the teacher. "It was Knipe, Sir" came the reply, pointing in accusation. "Tidy it up, Knipe" said Mr Harris, "Squash the tin and stick it in the wall"  It's probably still there.  Then there was the wet caving trip in Calf Holes Pot and my final escape to the Naked Man cafe in Settle - a wonderful place, even then. I spent all my bus fare on a fine breakfast, followed, in short order by a fine lunch. But will January 2022 match up to this fantastic   outrageously badly organised expedition? The tip I gave the motherly waitress concerned never trying to transport fresh milk up Penyghent. 
One of Li Yang's Long Walks

On the top of Loadpot Hill
Not as such...  But what happened, I hear you ask, impatiently, tapping your digits on the table and looking at your watch (clever trick that, as it happens...)

Well, according to my 2022 log of Outdoor Stuff Wot I Done, me and LTD did 15 walks and 2 nights camping. I also untangled the wind-chime in the back garden 3 times, following Atlantic storms, removed and burned bits of ash tree from around my car, washed the car a couple of times and went shopping. This is all Outdoor Stuff Wot I Done.

Red Pike Mardale

The Moors Above Rookhope
I should add that I completely realise that I can only do 15 walks in a month PLUS some shopping because I am an Old Age Pensioner. OAP's, it would appear, at first glance, have loads of time on their hands, when , in reality, they have little time left, so the idea is to get on with stuff before it all becomes too late. Very few ancestral Knipes or Earby-based Turners made it much past my current age and, if they did, they were in no fit state to walk to the co-op, never mind setting off at dawn with a lass who has too much energy than is sensible and a dog who would have preferred a bit longer snoozing by the radiator.
Elephant Trees Weardale

Slanty path up Skiddaw
So, the bottom line is, there is a limit to the time available and I don't know what it is. In fact, even on 1964, I didn't know what it was, but making it to fifty or sixty seemed a reasonable ambition and a six week summer holiday was most of a lifetime and could be frittered away tucking into Lucky Bags under Mick Burrow's verandah on Wentcliffe Drive.
Heading for Bakestall

Straw Man by the Wear near Durham
So, I did 15 walks and 143 miles (about 150 according to various GPS devices, but they're always wrong). Four of these  walks were with Crook and Weardale Ramblers. Two were with Li Yang and LTD and totaled 41 miles total and 9 were just me and the dog. We (me and the dog) bagged 7 new hills, although Lucky's bag was 22 since I'd done the other 15 previously. That's quite good for a dog, I think. And we climbed about 23000 feet of uphill contours. Plus, of course, two nights camping at Angle Tarn. As it wasn't on a campsite, some would define this as "wild" camping, although, to be fair, it wasn't really very wild and nothing much happened at all, although it was very nice. I sort of counted it as a pre-TGO challenge event.  

And, speaking of which, I have received my TGO challenge vetter's comments from Dr Emma, who was very gentle with me and my ideas for a route, and has pointed out the locations of various shelters and tea-rooms (never pass a tea-room) and has done some additional investigation on the likelihood of me being washed away whilst crossing a certain burn (Scotch talk for "beck") This matters not very much since JJ will be with me at that point and I'll be sending him ahead to test the strength of the flow. There's a lochan just below this beck and, I expect that JJ is able to swim reasonably well should he unexpectedly arrive in this particular pond, as opposed to the Eastern bank of the burn.

It DID snow in January

 Me and LTD are now looking forward to February.... we have camping plans and , maybe a short backpack, providing I can decide where to go and whether or not it's cold and sunny or wet and windy. We don't really want wet and windy.