DISTANCE 9.05 MILES
WEATHER WET TO START WITH THEN BRIGHT
START / FINISH FREE CAR PARK AT WESTGATE
Weardale wander with Odrus
Once again I was feeling a bit on the apprehensive about this meet up , I had been out with this great group twice before , the last time my Arty leg was more or less on its last leg (poor joke ) and to be honest I was really surprised and happy when the leg didn’t die on me . However since then I had been back to my limb centre and had a load of repairs done, new seal in liner, a new shiny hydraulic cylinder and a new foot ………Happy days………. BUT like most things it had a down side I had got use to walking with a broken foot and cylinder so walking with new gear was like walking with a new setup , I know that I would get used to it after a while but I didnt really have that much time so once again I wasn’t really feeling my normal self but the good news is this set up (touch wood) should now get me through the rest of the year before it started to break down , this means I can really start to plane some serious walks and once my fitness back and hopefully get across to the lakes. Anyway that’s enough crap about me, let’s get back to the days walking.
Despite what the forecast stated I thought that it would be prudent to make sure that I had wet weather gear with me ( as a rule its always in the rucksack ) but I had just spent my gift vouchers at go outdoors and treated myself to a new rucksack so I had to double check . You know how it is ….your old rucksack had a place for everything and you knew where it was straight away; with my new rucksack I am still playing with what goes where and what works best... I expect that I will get it sorted after a couple of trips.
On waking up in the morning and pressing my nose to the bedroom window I was greeted with a clear blue sky and a strange yellow thing throwing out a serious amount of light, I think this must be the first time I have seen the sun shine for weeks ………..Great a good start, coffee was throw down my neck, the pups walked (they wouldn’t be coming with me today) then gear thrown into the car and off I went.
Driving away from the coast the first thing I noticed was the clouds coming in followed by a dull grey wet misty rain ……………Great back to normal weather, I had set off a bit earlier than I needed this was a precaution because of the road over “Stanhope common” might have been covered in snow, as it was the road was clear and there was very little snow laying around and so I duly arrived at the small car park at Westgate in plenty of time.
Gear was sorted and I treated myself to a cup of coffee made using the jet boil , naturally the weather decided to close in and for a while it was raining quite hard , but with the wind blowing and breaks in the cloud it didn’t look like it was in for the day but there is nothing I could do about that so why worry , Getting closer to the meet up time the rest of the ODRUS walking group turned up , gear was sorted , comments about the weather was made and off we went , see map above for route , like all good walks we didn’t stick to the route that was planned this was due to the Middlehope burn being full of water and flowing quite fast and the crossing point that we should have been able to paddle across was far to deep so that called for detour of about a mile or so then later on one of the footpaths had been closed and so that added a bit more distance on .the ground was soaking wet and we spent ages hopping from one tuffty bit of grass to another , the walk up along slit wood was brilliant the water gushing down the burn really made for impressive waterfalls , the path had been all but washed away in one place , I being brave decided to let all the group cross the dodgy bit first thinking if it takes all them it wont crumble when I am on it , I am pleased to say that we all crossed over no problem , them a bit further along there was sign of a recent mud slid , once again we all managed to splodge over the mud without incident but I will report the state of the paths to Durham footpath people , not really sure what they can do till the weather dry’s up a bit or if they are even interested ..
Other stuff the area is full of old ruined mine workings and the old spoil heaps that add a sort of something to the surrounding hills ………..don’t ask what they add because I don’t know but they still leave there mark on the hills and in there own way add to the whole feel of this walk, then of course there was the last section of the walk where we wandered along the river wear on the Weardale way with its numerous small waterfalls and deep pools.
ALL in all we did about 9.05 miles with about 945 ft. of the ups and downs, most of it was on very wet ground but this was still a gem of a walk made even better by the company.
As per normal a few photos from this walk enjoy.
Taken near the start of the walk, waterfall in slit wood.
My walking companions for today, what a great crowd you are!
Same waterfall (don’t even know if it has a name)
Another small waterfall, this section of the Middlehope burn is full of small waterfalls
Water running down the steep sides
The path, in good condition considering all the rain we have had (that was to change later on)
Looking up the burn
Andy taking a photo of small water fall dropping down to link up with the burn
I had the camera ready just in case they slipped over
First sighting of some old mine ruins
Its wet still, even my camera lens is wet.
A few photos showing some of the ruins
Looking back down the path
Coming to the end of the wooded section
Looking down at some more ruins
A bit closer
Looking back down the valley
Looking ahead to open country and blue clear sky
Andy inspecting a “hobbit hole”
Looking back at? Well if the truth is know I don’t really know what I am looking at
Same again on the other bank
Our path ahead
Again looking back, you can just about make out a light snow covering on the higher hills
A barred off tunnel
Looking back down the valley we have just walked up, what you can’t see is how wet the ground is.
As the river crossing point is too deep we decide to head upstream till we link up with a small track with a bridge
Looking towards Middlehope Lodge where there is a bridge
The views from the track
Round about this time we found that the path was scattered with what I think is purple fluorspar and at every opportunity someone would stop and gap a bit.
A very wet and muddy track
Looking across to the spoil heaps by the quarry
Taken at max zoom
Small unnamed beck running downhill
Snowdrops ………………….is spring here already?
Now on the river wear looking at where there is a crossing /ford
Looking at the bridge
Another crossing point, there are stepping stones at this point, you can just make them out
Small house in someone’s back garden
ABOUT ME WALKS 2014 PENNINES
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