Sunday, 29 September 2013

On the BMW through the Dales to Yockenthwaite

I was having an easy day today, after 6 rides on the roadbike attacking Strava segments. The weather was superb, possibly the last warm sunny Sunday for the motorbike for this year.
Looks like I'm going to Barbon then!....and then Barbondale to Dentdale.

Now thats a proper sign, its got character, made of cast iron, not yer flimsy aluminium.
And its got the County of Westmorland at the top.
My birthplace!

The GS in Barbondale. 

Big skies over Malham Tarn, the trees are starting to change.

Wonderful Dales scenery as I drop into Littondale.

Wharfedale, near Yockenthwaite.

The River Wharfe very low as I follow it up towards Oughtershaw and over to Hawes.

Looking across Wensleydale from Gayle.

Having ridden down Garsdale, the Howgills are revealed in the late afternoon sun.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Throwing My Hat in the Ring.....

I've long wanted to enter the TGO Challange, the stars and moons have alined for me next year, and the time has been OK'd at work. So here we are the entry form completed together with a cheque for £40 winging its way to North Yorkshire. Of course I might not be successful in the draw, I'll have to wait and see. Heres Hoping....

Monday, 23 September 2013

The Cheviots

With an improvement in the weather forecast at the end of last week, I drove over to Alwinton with a loose plan to bag the Cheviot Nuttalls and a few required Marilyns. I carried enough food and fuel for two nights, but in the end only camped for one night. I find these days that I cover the miles much quicker on my own than in company....(probably cos' I only have to concentrate on breathing and can forget talking!)  I considered titling this post "Following Fences in the Cheviots", for reasons that will become obvious! Anyway without further ado here are some phots of the trip......

Having phoned the police to tell them my car would be left unattended off I went.

Basically I followed the River Alwin, rather a nice walk whilst I was out in the open.

However all to soon I entered the conifer plantation of Kidland, alot of this is being felled and I was diverted a good couple of miles off my planned route.

At a replanted area a thin thread of a path led out of the forest towards Cushat Law.

A rare image of your author...silly old fool he should know better than to venture to such places on his own!!

The large summit cairn of Cushat Law. Quite where they found all the stones for this large and apparantly old cairn is anyones guess.

Looking back to Cushat Law from the upper slopes of Bloodybush Edge, the route just follows the fence.

The trig on Bloodybush Edge. Lots of fences here!

I dropped down to the Salter's Road, which I followed down into the upper Breamish valley. I was glad to find a good pitch for the tent. It was dark by the time I'd had something to eat, I was soon asleep.

Early morning, I'd slept ok, but was aware that habitation was closer than I'd have liked. So I got the tent down and was on my way by 8.15.

Pathless slopes led to the top of Sheilcough Edge, the rocky knoll of Coldlaw Cairn was the next target. Just follow the fence really!

Coldlaw Cairn came soon enough, Hedgehope Hill looked a long way off with Comb Fell to "climb" first.

Theres lots of this en route to Comb Fell.

This large fence post is as far as I can tell the "summit" of Comb Fell, It was boggy, and I knew I'd be coming back this way!

Hedgehope Hill, follow the fence! But whats the new stile all about...has someone been practicing?

Hedgehope Hill, the Farne Islands and Lindisfarne were visible off the coast to the east. My route would be back beside my friend the fence over Comb Fell (again) and round the head of the Harthope valley to The Cheviot.

Theres not a lot of foreground interest here-a bouts other than bog and fences so here's a gate! And the view down the Harthope valley as I start to climb up towards The Cheviot.

Ahhh flags...I must be on the Pennine Way!

Yep, I'm on the Pennine Way. Cheviot here I come!

The summit of The Cheviot...did the peat ever really reach the base of the trig?

Here the Pennine Way heads Northish to The Schil and Kirk Yetholm.
Of more importance is the "Fence",  now this isn't just any old fence this is "The Border Fence". Alex Salmond is going to have to spend a bit of money on this feeble attempt to keep us English out of Scotland!

Looking back towards The Cheviot. 

The weather was starting to deteriorate as I approached Windy Gayle, the cloud base dropping all the while.

The trig on Windy Gayle, the view had disappeared just as I arrived sadly.

The long walk out back to Alwinton started with a splendid grassy path down to Trows.

The farmstead of looked almost deserted ,but not quite!
The rest of the walk was on tarmac down Upper Coquet Dale, this is no hardship really, its a very quiet road. I arrived back at the car for 6pm almost exactly what I thought as I left Windy Gayle at 2pm.
A great couple of days mopping up Marilyns and Nuttalls and a good introduction to the Cheviot hills.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Blencathra via Sharp and Hallsfell Ridges

Well and improvement in the weather this morning had me parked under Blencathra at Scales. The cloud was just on the summit as I arrived, I hoped it would lift and clear as the day progressed.
The metalled road from Scales almost arched over with trees, hopefully they'll soon be turning colour.

The path cutting across the back wall of Mousthwaite Comb.

Almost at the col, and looking back towards Clough Head across the valley.

From the col Sharp Edge comes into view. I couldn't see anyone on the path and thought I might have the ridge to myself...but this wasn't the case.

Lots of water in the stream which drains Scales Tarn.

I had a bite to eat beside the tarn, I knew there wouldn't be much shelter for a while.

As I gained the ridge the hills to the North were revealed, Carrock Fell in the distance.

The scrambling starts here, I kept as close to the crest of the ridge as possible, it didn't seem as windy as I though it might have been.

Leaving Scales Tarn behind as height is gained.

Fortunately I had passed a couple of guys, so I had  some human models!

A bit further on Sharp Edge, with the Eden valley beyond.

As I left Sharp Edge and walked across towards the summit, I took the oppertunity to catch this view of the ridge from the crags above Scales Tarn.

Looking South from the summit of Blencathra, with the sun on Thirlmere and St.Johns. To the Northwest the cloud was massing and the rain started just as I started to descend Hallsfell ridge.

Just enough time to catch Gate Gill Top and Derwentwater.

"The most direct way to the summit of a mountain in Lakeland" this is how Wainwright described Hallsfell ridge.

looking back up Hallsfell ridge from about halfway, its a great way up (or down)

At about this point the rain really came on for about 15minutes, just enough with the strong wind to give me a good soaking! Once it stopped the breeze soon dried me out again!

The foot of Gate Gill and the remains of the old lead mines. All that remained was to walk down to the old A66, which I followed to the new A66 the back to the car.
I'm not sure, but I don't think I've been up Blencathra since I completed the Wainwights for the 7th time almost 10 years's been to long. I'll try not to leave it another 10 years!