Sunday, 19 February 2017

Three Pikes and Viewing Hill.....Should Be Reported For Fraud!!

Teesdale today for a couple more Nuttalls. There was quite a bit of blue sky as far as Middleton-in-Teesdale, but as I headed up the dale the the cloud was sat on all the tops. I parked in a handy layby near Hill Top and its Mobile Phone Mast!

Typical Upper Teesdale scene with the cloud down on Viewing Hill which I would climb later in the day.

Once on the open fell I followed this old hush which runs parallel to the Trough Mine to the North.
It gave a bit of shelter from the moisture laden air.

Out of the hush and onto the open fell, this fine Bellpit was one of several here.

This is the cairn close to the top of Three Pikes...I couldn't find anything worthy of a photo on what was the actual "high point". There was no sign of a pike either singular or plural!!
I returned to the car the same way, out and back in under 40mins a easy top.

Then a short drive rund to the car park at Cow Green Reservoir. The sun was doing its best to make an appearance reflecting on the water.

Lots of signage....although if I had heeded it I would never have got to my intended top.

The remains of Dubbysike lead mine last worked in the late 1940's I believe. The shooting hut is in good order considering its relative proximity to the car park.

This is the point at which I left the track to find the summit of Viewing Hill. The sheepfold has made use of some old mine buildings I think.

It didn't take long to reach the cairn marking the highpoint of Viewing Hill...NO view!!
It was very wet underfoot hereabouts!

Back down to the track the same way. The wall encloses the flooded Swans Shaft of Green Hurth Mine. Cow Green Reservoir is just below the cloud in the distance.
There is more information on Green Hurth Mine here 
Looking across the dressing floors to the huge wheelpit, historic images here 


Looking back up the incline from the mine tips and dressing floors to Swans Shaft and the track which I followed back to the car at Cow Green.
So no "Pikes" and no "View" but a good day all the same. I've always liked this area :-)

Sunday, 12 February 2017

A Whitbarrow Wander

Hell of a wild morning here in the South Lakes, and with snow forecast for Eastern areas I did a few jobs before lunch. After a bit of thought I remembered I hadn't been up Whitbarrow for a while. Its fairly handy just 7 miles from home as the crow flies. So off I went, and parked opposite the Lyth Valley Hotel.

I climbed up to the byway which contours round the North end of Whitbarrow Scar. Pausing here to look North beyond Crosthwaite to the hills of the Kentmere Horseshoe.

Heading South on the broad ridge of the scar the landscape was very grey today...the only colour in the detail like these lichens on the broken limestone.

Crossing from the open scar onto the Cumbria Wildlife Trust reserve....populated at the moment by some hardy hill cattle. Although they were sheltering between the Birch trees

Over to the east the Howgills and Shap Fells were cloaked in cloud.

The summit of Whitbarrow, Lords Seat. The Kent estuary and the rest of Morecambe Bay away to the South. It was a bit nippy to linger long so I turned and descended through Township Plantation and into the hamlet of The Row.

Catkins in the plantation...Spring round the corner?

But there are still snowdrops about,...I doubt we're finished with Winter yet!
 s

Thursday, 9 February 2017

The Burnhope Horseshoe....Weardale

Yet another Nuttall bagging trip today. I questioned the wisdom of my plans as I left home, the Lakes hills were clear...even a hint of sunshine! I knew the forecast was for low cloud and sleet showers in the North Pennines, but if you wait for the weather you'll wait forever!
So over I drove to Weardale, to find it was bloody freezing...-2 and a stiff breeze at the Burnhope dam.

The reservoir built in 1936 was almost full, last time I was on the dam it was summer and the trees hadn't been felled so it looked rather different

I decided to take this track, with hindsight this was a mistake. I should have got on the ridge straight away, I think the climb to the ridge would have been easier.

Anyway after a bit of a flog over rough ground I got on the ridge and followed it to this trig on Highwatch Currick. There was a little used quad track beside the collapsed wall which helped progress for a while.

But then the wall stopped and so did the quad track....My first Nuttall is over there on the skyline.
The terrain from here to there was hard going. Dead Stones didn't seem to get any closer for ages.

This old hut is just below the summit cairn of Dead Stones, it's in really quite good nick considering where it is. It has some rotten roof timbers......other than that and the lack of a door.... it offers excellent shelter at this desolate spot.

More hard going on the next section of ridge as I headed South. At last the trig of Burnhope Head appeared from the snowy wastes.

Burnhope Head is a Nuttall as well, but I've been here before. The weather was different last time and I didn't have a view, so it was definitely worth making a return visit.

Next on the agenda was Harwood Common, and in the distance my last Nuttall for the day Great Stony Hill.

I descended through some old mine workings. It's a sobering thought when you come across an old shaft like this as you stumble about in the snow!
This one was fenced...it's the unfenced ones that you should worry about!!

I skirted round Great Stoney Hill on the old mine tracks, alot easier going than the snow covered heather and bog!

I picked up the track/byway over Coldberry End. An apt name today, I made good progess to the high point of the track before following the fence Westwards.

It didn't take long to reach the summit of Great Stony Hill...there were stones as well as you can see! Probably difficult to see but between the trig and cairn are Great & Little Dun fell and Cross Fell in the distance.

Looking broadly Southwards the huge bulk of Mickle Fell filled the horizon.

then it was back to the Coldberry track which I followed don along the "Causeway" and back across the Burnhope dam to the car.
It was a good walk, tough mind. I didn't see anyone until just before this pic was taken, the chap had been a voluntary warden, and had a similar story as @knipemike explains here
There had been snowflakes in the air most of the day, but I'd had a view all the way round.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

A Cross Pennine Raid for More Nuttalls

Back over Hartside again this morning, then North down South Tynedale to Slaggyford. I was able to park just outside the village near Langdyke Head. Then it was off into the hills along what seemed an almost endless track.

Just me and my shadow! out today, here looking North along South Tynedale

The long and straight track, it almost felt like Spring.

From the end of the track I struck up onto the broad ridge of Thornhope Fell.

It was easy going on a quad track as far as here, looking back the views were great.

This looked like a relatively new cairn, but did mark an excellent viewpoint.

The summit of Grey Nag, the trig is built on top of an ancient cairn (looks old anyway!)
No Nags of any colour were seen!!

There is also a substantial sheepfold, this would make an excellent place for a summit camp in wild weather.

This is the "summit" of Tom Smiths Stone, now I don't know who Tom Smith was...but there's no stone here...not even a pebble from what I could see.
The hill in the background is Grey Nag.
It was very wet underfoot though, it was time to retrace my steps back to the car....
Back over Grey Nag...still no Nags!
I stopped for my lunch behind the wall/cairn for shelter.

Although no Nags (Grey or otherwise) were encountered, I don't think I've ever seen so many Grouse. This means either the "guns" around here are crap shots or possibly all the predators heave been eliminated....I hope its the former rather than the latter :-(

I was back at the car for 1.30 so had plenty of time to drive to near Tyne Head South of Garrigill, with a chance to climb Round Hill.
The derelict farmstead of Dorthgill is in the foreground...a shame.

I followed the South Tyne Trail up Tyne Head before leaving the well maintained road to ascend the fellside above Calvertfold following some old lead workings including this hush/openwork.

Beyond the old mines I followed the fence up to the summit of Round Hill. There was a grand view here today, the distant sheet of water in Cow Green Reservoir.

The wall which runs over Round Hill had caught the snow from yesterday evening.
I descended by the same fence, but followed it all the way back to the Tyne Head road.

Just above the road is Calvert Lead Mine, the old mine shop is in a sad state and the adit to the right of it is in a collapsed state...won't be long before there'll be little to see here.
Having said all that have a look here this picture was taken 8 years ago! Not that different! 

Hard to believe it but this tumbling steam is the infant River Tyne or at least half of it.
Another great day, I'm really enjoying being back in the Pennines.



Sunday, 29 January 2017

Nabbing Nuttalls in the North Pennines

I almost didn't come over to the Pennines today, the reports said Hartside Pass was barely passable last night which was key for access to todays hills. I set off with a plan B, but could see as I approached Penrith on the M6 that the road wouldn't be so bad. There was a bit on the road both sides of the pass....just adds to the fun!
Over into Tynedale and Alston, then through Nenthead and over to the isolated settlement of Coalcleugh where I parked for the first hill.

The cloud was down as I parked at Coalcleugh...perhaps Coldcleugh today! The first hill would be The Dodd, this was the easiest way up todayI thought. I knew there was a fairly obvious bridleway up to the broad ridge.

Sure enough it was actually made clearer with the scattering of snow. The gate is just coming into view. Last time I was hereabouts I was on the mountain bike in summer 2015. A report of that day can be found here  looks a bit different!

I followed the wall Northwards eventually arriving on the edge of the summit plateau, and coming across this unusual ruinous structure...probably something to do with the mines?

The plateau was this kind on going....slow!

The summit of The Dodd is unmarked as far as I could tell. These coordinates are correct and there was nowt to be seen.

Of course as is the way with these things, the top cleared once I was almost back.

A short drive onto Carrsheild Moor and time to set off up Killhope Law.

This is a new track, made for access to a row of Grouse butts. A mixed blessing I suppose?
It did make the ascent very easy, and the view back down West Allendale were excellent.

However once on the ridge I was in the cloud again with an odd flake of snow. The map shows an aerial on the summit of Killhope Law. I guess the snapped post on the left is all thats left of it?

A short distance to the East is this grand cairn....visited for completeness.

Back to the car the same way, over to the West The Dodd was still clear of cloud.

I drove down into east Allendale passing through Allenheads, visiting Northumberland briefly. Leaving the car on Allendale Common I headed off East towards Middlehope Moor.

The top of Middlehope Moor has a small cairn, I was pleased that the ground was frozen hard across here it would be very wet underfoot otherwise.
A good day, not a single person seen on the hill.