This bloody blog

I’ve been trying to get rid of the awful blue highlight behind the text on this website, without success. Spent weeks looking at utube but can’t get rid, it’s really frustrating. I’ll send my apologies now to anybody following this blog over the next few months just in case I fail in my attempts to delete it. Went shopping today and bought the last of my kit so now got everything I think I need.

It’s now less then 2 months away until I set off from Alnwick. Trying to focus on work but struggling. My sponsor form is about 2/3 complete and my justgiving page is also toting up. Sent e-mail off to local reporter for Northumberland gazette to try and generate a bit of interest but still waiting for a reply. I’m not an egotist so not necessarily wanting to appear in local rag but if it helps to raise some funds then so be it.

Comments box

Been trying to add a comments box to blog page following a few people asking for me to add one. Being a complete plonker with computers and IT. Being messing about with my website/blog for the last 3 hours much to the annoyance of Gemma who has a list of jobs she wants me to get on with. Think I’ve managed to solve problem, just before I need to get ready for work. Looks like those jobs will have to wait.

Here’s hoping.

Scotland weekend.

   Distance walked: 9.0kms (5.4mls)

   Time taken: 3hours 12mins

After much chopping and changing I finally settled for a weekend in the Loch Lomond area of Scotland in company with Karen. The logistics of travelling up to Scotland to first pick up crampons and an ice axe then heading further North to Ardgartan with enough time to get in a decent walk was proving to be a bit of a headache. I met Karen, who had travelled up from near Glasgow in the car park at Ardgartan and we travelled together to the start which was on the Cowal Way. The weather forecast promised to be cloudy with the chance of rain.

We set off along the Cowal Way and the track was immediately unpleasant as it had been severely churned up by the logging vehicles which frequent the area. The first 2 kms was up Coilessan Glen which is heavily wooded before we reached the edge of the woods. After going thought a wooden gate we made for the bealach which separated the two corbetts Cnoc Coinnich and The Brack. We had talked about reaching both today, weather permitting of course. Karen decided we should head for Cnoc Coinnich first and as I didn’t mind either way of nodded my agreement as I was already on my way. The ground was already sodden and was like walking across thousands of wet sponges. Despite the fact it was only a further kilometre to the cairn I was feeling a bit weary, possibly the result of too few hours of sleep after a night shift. It had been drizzling all day and as we reached the top of Cnoc Coinnich the rain started properly. We didn’t linger as the wind had also picked up and the views were none existent. After heading back towards the bealach I checked with Karen to see if she still fancied bagging The Brack considering the terrible weather. She had already bagged that top several years ago and I didn’t want to climb up in the rain so we decided not to bother. We descended back along the muddy track and were quickly changed into dry clothes and on our way. No photos today didn’t want to get anything wet.

 

     Day 2:

     Distance walked: 7.9kms (4.9mls)

     Time taken: 5 hours.

Had an early night due to a rotten headache and woke early. We set off for Butterbridge with the intention of again walking to the top of two Corbetts, Binnein an Fhidhleir and Beinn Luibhean. We parked up near Butterbridge around 9am and set off towards Creag Bhrosgan. I jumped over a wire fence to avoid the worst of the bog lower down but Karen thinking it didn’t look particularly bad walked through it and her right leg quickly disappeared into the water/grass. There was no point in attempting to keep our feet dry today, the ground from start to finish today was sodden. The cloud was down to about 300mts and we couldn’t make out much of the way ahead. We got to about 150mts and Karen mentioned that we needed to look for the gully which would give us the easiest access to the higher crags to Creag Bhrosgan. As usual the gully appeared frightening in the cloud but as we got closer and started to climb it wasn’t particularly difficult, that would come a bit later.

We then continued to pick our way through the the crags in the relentlessly steep climb. After finally reaching the pile  of stones at the height of 817mts we headed off in a Westerly direction towards Creag Bhrosgan

 

 

 

 

 

We were walking in cloud for the next hour unable to see where it was we needed to be, Walking onto several false summits until we finally reached the trig point at Creag Bhrosgan. Once again we didn’t stick around too long, it wasn’t particularly cold or wet it was just that with the low cloud it wasn’t worth hanging around, We retraced our route and managed to make good time to the stones.

Low cloud.

Almost immediately the steep descent started and it became clear that going down was going to be even more difficult then the coming up. About half way down I didn’t place me foot properly and slipped down the hill for about 10metres. The only injury was to my pride. I slipped several more times heading down and we eventually reached the car at 2pm, 5 hours after setting off.

 

 

Karen at Creag Bhrosgan trig.

Once again we decided we didn’t have enough time, in the low cloud to make the second top and headed back to Karen’s house.

 

 

 

Despite the pants weather had a good weekend. Thank you to Karen for putting me up for the night and for the headache tablets.

CHEVIOT, not quite

Saturday 11th Feb 2017. LANGLEEFORD CIRCULAR.

I knew that it was forecast to be pretty unpleasant in the Pennines over the weekend, with snow and/or rain. Whilst at work on the Friday I could see Cheviot and the temptation to go and see what it offered with snow was to much to resist. I woke early on Saturday and it was already raining, but only lightly at this time. I drove down Harthope Valley and parked up about 3 miles short of Langleeford Farm near the track towards
Broadstruther. I then set off with the aim of reaching the top of Cheviot from its Northern slope. Just short of Broadstruther I stuck to the track, now covered with a few inches of snow and made towards Broadhope Hill. I was now about 500mts above sea level and the level of snow on the clearly defined track meant going was good and straightforward. From slopes of Broad Hill I continued to walk West now aiming for Goldcleugh. I came across what I think was a loggers metal hut which unfortunately for me was locked securely and no way to gain any legal access. I was now starting to get a little concerned about the heavier snow which had started to fall, but continued on.
Just before the buildings at Goldcleugh I could first hear and then see a dog and two human companions further down the valley. These were the only other walkers I would see today. Up until now the walking had been fairly easy on flatish terrain but as I started to climb the snow became increasingly deeper and more difficult to walk in. The nice track/path that I had been following all day now disappeared under the snow. A further 100mts of ascent and I was at 550mts, still some way short of Cheviots trig point at 815mts. The next 2 hours was probably and scariest I’ve experienced when walking. Every few metres I would sink up to my waist in the drifting snow and have to spend several minutes and precious energy having to climb out of the hole which I had created. The visibility or lack of, was now also adding to my fears. I calculate that I maybe went a further half mile in that two hours before I decided to see some sense and turned to head down.
I honestly didn’t have any idea where I was going but just desperately wanted to lose some height and get out of the energy sapping deep snow. I checked the map and although I couldn’t see enough to check my bearings, I wanted to go East towards Scald Hill. After a further kilometre I found the public footpath which I decided to follow. I’d like to say it was experience and skill which led me down towards Langleeford Farm, it was pure luck and I accepted it. The snow was now heavy rain and on any other day I would have grumbled my way along the deeply puddled road, but not today I was happily singing to myself for the 3 miles back to the car.
The next day I saw in the local press that a group of 10 had to be rescued from Windy Gyle in the Cheviots. Just to add I was prepared for the worst case with my sleeping bag, extra food/water and emergency shelter in my pack. Pleased that where they stayed all day.