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.


  1. I'm constantly surprised by the ability of the howff on Deadstones to remain roofed. It'd be a cold and damp spot to spend a night... brrr...

    1. I was surprised to find the "roof" still on. I would want a crash helmet on even to enter I think....Brr indeed!