Monday, 25 May 2009

Back in The Pennines

YC returned to The Pennines today to tick off a few more 2,000 ft hills in Weardale, namely Chapelfell Top, Fendrith Fell, and Westernhope Moor. Visibility was good today, with the Cheviots visible to the north and Cross Fell to the west. YC descended over Black Hill which took him past New Close, Westgate: the kennels of the Weardale and Tees Valley Beagles. Barry, the kennel huntsman, was at home and showed YC the new-born pups before giving him a cup of tea. On the return walk through Weardale, there were a pair of goldfinches on the lane - a beautiful sight.

On Tuesday YC visited Melmerby Fell and Fiend's Fell, near Hartside (Alston). Monday's warm sunshine had gone, and it was distinctly chilly with hail showers on the tops. Once again, there was nobody about.

Melmerby Fell - there were only curlews and golden plovers for company

Looking towards the Lakeland Peaks over the Eden Valley from Fiend's Fell

Sunday, 24 May 2009

first dip of the year

As it was a sunny Sunday, YC headed to the beach for his first dip of the year in the North Sea. The beach was busy but, perhaps not surprisingly, he was the only person swimming. It wasn't warm.

Walking in The Pennines

If you want to avoid the Bank Holiday crowds, then YC recommends venturing into the Pennines. YC ticked off some 2,000 footers on Friday and Saturday, and didn't see a soul on either walk.
The summit of Grey Nag (near Alston) - Cumbria to the left, Northumberland on the right of the wall.
Burnhope Seat - the old county top of Durham - which overlooks Weardale
Three Pikes (between Weardale and Teesdale) - an oddly named hill. There are no pikes and there is just one hill. But there are lots of peat bogs. YC suspects that only dedicated peak-baggers made the trip to this hill.

Saturday, 23 May 2009

no ipod required

YC must be one of the few people to have travelled around the world without an ipod. So on this return to the UK, he has been enjoying listening again to his record (note the quaint expression) collection. Being up to date and having his finger firmly off the pulse, one of his favourite bands is Lonnie Donegan. YC once saw him in concert. Lonnie has now augmented the number of the musical blessed. But you don't need a ticket to that great skiffle-band in the sky to see him play. He is still appearing on youtube and you can listen to him here. Go on, have a listen. It'll give you a chuckle, and you might even start tapping your feet too.

Friday, 22 May 2009

Bank Holiday Joke

Qu: what happened when a lorry carrying tortoises collided with a lorry carrying terrapins?
Ans: it was a turtle [adopt Geordie accent] disaster.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

all the photos

YC has uploaded all his photos of his year off on to the web. Even for dedicated readers of the blog (and you know who you are), there will be as yet unseen photos (such as below) - what a treat. All the photos are available here.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

sailing news

For those wishing to keep up to date with the fine craft Stella Genesta, you can read all about the May sailing here. There's news and photos including a master chef in action. YC bets you can't wait to read it.

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Old County Tops

YC returned for his sixth run at the Old County Tops yesterday. This 37 mile fell race in the Lake District ascends the highpoints of the old counties of Westmorland (Helvellyn), Cumberland (Scafell Pike), and Lancashire (Coniston Old Man). The weather varied from sunshine to pouring rain, wind and cloud. YC ran with Graham Walton and finished in 9 hours 5 mins (a PB by one minute!), 19th out of 62 competing pairs. Nick Wilde and Paul Myers also ran; they completed the course in 10 hours 24 mins.
Perhaps not suprisingly, YC is feeling a little tired today. However he will be summoning up the energy to visit a local public house this evening. He intends to slake both the raging fellrunner's thirst and the raging musician's thirst - it's a night out with Holy Saviour's Church music group.
Here are the Old County Toppers after breakfast at the Little Chef in Penrith (note the empty plates - the olympic breakfasts had been demolished in quick measure). From the left - YC, Nick, Paul, and Graham.
There is a more detailed account of the race on the Northumberland Fell Runner's website.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Bivvying in the Lake District

YIC has just returned from 3 enjoyable days walking and running in The Lake District. He bivvied out on High Seat and ticked off some new 2,000 ft hills including Ullscarf and Low Saddle. After a night at Grasmere (where he can report the Hawkshead Bitter in the Lamb Inn was tip top), he ran up Fairfield, Seat Sandal and Steel Fell under blue skies but a biting easterly wind.

The bivvy on High Seat. The Scafell range is in the background. It was a bit chilly - YC's water bottle was covered in ice in the morning.

Alone with your shadow on High Seat, Helvellyn in the distance

On top of Harrison Stickle, Langdale Pikes - nice hat, sir!

On The Norfolk Broads

A trip round the world would not be complete without a cruise on the Norfolk Broads aboard the fine craft Stella Genesta. YC spent the May Day weekend on Stella with Mr & Mrs Rev T in company with several other yachts from the Green Wyvern. He then transferred to the equally fine craft Mimosa for a few days sailing with Andy & Lois Gordon.
Stella moored at Rockland
sailing down Rockland Dyke
on The Yare at Cantley. Photo - Margaret Kilner
Mimosa at Reedham swing bridge. Photo - Margaret Kilner
Hold on tight to your drink! The Adnams is on good form.
YC with Andy & Lois in the Duke's Head, Somerleyton.

Bimberi Re-Conquered

News has reached YC of another successful ascent of Mt Bimberi, the highest mountain in Namadgi National Park, ACT, Australia. Readers might remember that YC and his cousin Peter Miller climbed it last October. Peter enjoyed it so much, that he has just climbed it again with his wife Alison. There was 10 cm of snow on top, but that didn't deter the Millers who camped out near the summit ridge.
Peter at the camp
Alison at sunset wearing shorts despite the snow - they breed them tough down under.