Sunday, 12 March 2017

Carn a Chlamain

I'd fully intended to drive home today just bagging a couple of easy Marilyns on the way. However having woken early at the SYHA in Aviemore I thought I'd make better use of my time. So drove South to Blair Atholl and parked at the Old Bridge of Tilt. It would be a long walk up Glen Tilt to the foot of Carn a Chlamain...Infact I'd planned in my own mind that this hill would be done by mountain bike but.....

I was past Marble Lodge at this point and the Beinn a Ghlo hills where starting to become clear of cloud.

The River Tilt

There's an excellent track up the ridge which according to the map leads almost to the summit 

However the track was full of snow, so I followed a narrower path...although eventually that to was covered with snow. here at about 800m the clag was down...

...and it stayed that way all the way to the summit. No view today.

I dropped back out of the low cloud again at about 800m and unfortunately it the stated raining as well. It didn't rain all the way back thankfully but the showers were heavy. 6hrs out and back and no one seen on the hill.

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Meall a Bhuachaille

Today's hill was Meall a Bhuachaille, which I climbed from Glenmore. I walked on the old logging road past Glenmore Lodge towards Lochan Uaine....

Lochan Uaine, last time I was here it was dusk I was on the bike and I was knackered! Today there was no one about, even on a weekend.

Looking back through the Ryvoan Pass to the Cairngorm hills

Ryvoan bothy, remarkablely clean and tidy considering how many people must pass by.

The summit of Meall a Bhuachaille, it was thronged with folk. It took some judicious positioning to keep them out of the frame!
There's not much snow in the Northern Corries as you can see.

It was to early to drop straight back down to the car so continued on the ridge to Creagan Form. It's another great viewpoint... and I had it to myself. After butties in the shelter of the cairn I returned to the col and started to descend.

I met lots of people with huge packs.... Parapente guys. It was an easy walk back through the trees and down to the car.

Seana Mheallan

Seana Mheallan is a Marilyn located in the Torriden valley. Overlooked...And perhaps looked down on by mighty Liatach. But as many Marilyn's an excellent viewpoint, particularly Westwards to Upper Loch Torriden. It nicely filled a couple of hours in the afternoon.

Seana Mheallan ahead from the valley floor.

Impressive falls on the Abhainn Thrail, fortunately a little further up there was a bridge.

There were a number of low rock bands to negotiate, interspersed by boggy shelves.

The summit arrived eventually... Although this is the Western top which is a few metres lower. A great view Westwards as I said earlier.
Hopefully this post is successful as I've posted it from my tablet tethered to my mobile on 4G!

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Bink Moss From Bowlees, Teesdale

Bink Moss....sounds like things could be wet underfoot! And so it proved! A reasonably early start (for me) saw me parked up at Bowlees for 10am. The drive over great as always...although this would be the last time for a while...I'll be back on the motorbike mind.
The forecast promised heavy rain for early/mid afternoon, and with little shelter up on Bink Moss I hoped to be back at the car for 3ish....

First a visit to Low Force, impressive today with the volume of water in the River Tees

Across Wynch Bridge and another view of Low Force

As I left the river the view Westwards to Upper Teesdale opened up.

Typical upper Teesdale scenery...what the photo can't convey is the bird calls, Curlew, Lapwing and Snipe. High above me the Skylarks were out....Spring must be nearly here!

In the distance are Cross Fell, Great and Little Dun Fells and  over to the left on this picture Mickle Fell. Just behind me is the summit of Bink Moss, this was my last Pennine Nuttall...I shall be driving a good deal further to climb new hills for a while.

Varying my route back I benefited from these duckboards for a while as I followed the fence.

Eventually I had to cut across the heather, bog and moss to visit this cairn on Millstone How Hill. 

I found a good shelter for my lunch on the way back down

The forecast was wrong thankfully so I extended my walk to pick up the Pennine Way. descending to the trail via Bleabeck Force.

Bleabeck Force was just the aperitif for the main course of High Force. Very impressive today.
From here it was just a case of following he Pennine Way back beside the River Tees to Wynch Bridge, Bowlees and the car.
I'll be a bit sad not to be walking the wide open expanses of the Northern Pennines for a while as I head to pastures new....

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!

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'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.