DATE                                    05.06.13

DISTANCE                           10.8 MILES

WEATHER                           HOT AND SUNNY


Crossthwaite common

For once I’m not really sure what I should call this walk, it was supposed to be a redo of a walk that I failed miserably on before see:- for info. But after all the bother I think I would have been better calling this walk “the curse of Holwick scars” but it’s done and dusted now and even though it took hours longer than planned and nearly crippled me it was still a brilliant days walking and even if I do say so myself just go to show what its possible when you …………! Basically have no choice but to carry on.

The day started well enough, I threw the gear into the car and drove down to pick my walking partner Yvonne up who was as normal on time , her gear was thrown into the boot  and off we went , the weather gods where smiling on us clear blue skies with a light cooling breeze great. Our destination was the small but free car park at Bowlees, I like the word free where we would go into our normal routine of coffee, gear sorted out for the day and off we went.

The route was one supplied by a certain Mike Knipe of the world famous site: -

Who as luck would have it only walked it a short time before so I knew that there shouldn’t be any surprises waiting for us , however what he hadn’t mentioned was the massive bull that had free range across a huge section of the path above Holwick scars , naturally both me and Yvonne only noticed him once it was too late but carry on hoping that he didn’t see us , I couldn’t help but notice that Yvonne in her role as my carer made sure that my body was always positioned between the bull and herself , and when we at last sighted the fence I asked her if she would run away if the bull charged us that she declined to answer , naturally once she had climbed over the fence she assured me that she would never run off and leave me ……but I have my doubts , it was around this time that I started having problems with my seal on the socket , I had already stopped once and had to sort the leg out but it was far too soon for another “arty leg stop”, however despite trying several things it would seem that I was in for a hell of a day with literally keeping the leg on , I suppose we should have turned around and headed back down , but neither of us wanted to go past the bull again and so we pressed on , me thinking once we get to the top , it would be easier on the flat and downhill sections with regards to keeping the leg on .

This proved to be totally wrong and caused nonstop problems all the way round which I won’t go into till the end of the walk (day after thoughts) but I would say that if things went to plan we should have driven home for tea time, whereas we had just got into the pub for a well-deserved drink by about 19:30 ish, and boy did we need a drink, I can honestly say I have never been so mentally and physically exhausted since ……….well the last time.

Anyway getting back to the walk, there was several reasons why I chose this route (see map above) I wanted to get up above the scars, and I also wanted to view both Selset & Grassholm Reservoirs from up Harter fell ever since I looked up that way when I was walking around the reservoirs earlier this year, and there was yet another bit of the Pennine way that I hadn’t walked along, then finally it was a case of staying on the Pennine way which took us back down to the river Tees where we would walk back to Bowlees and yes you guessed it I have never walked this section of the river before so it was sort of ticking several boxes for me (if you know what I mean).

The route itself was a long slow uphill slog to start with, slowly being burnt alive by the super-hot sun, at one point we couldn’t see a single cloud in the sky and being up on the Moor there wasn’t a single bit of shade, but even up here the ground was still saturated and boggy, it must be really fun during the winter when it’s really wet. However being the super people we are we made it to the top and were rewarded by a breeze that slowly started to cool my boiling head down from a bright purple to an angry red.

 Lunch was had looking across the reservoirs, and once again Yvonne produced some tasty treats for me to throw down my neck, but if the truth was known I was too hot and concerned about arty leg to do them justice. But I gave it my all after all I don’t want Yvonne to think that I don’t appreciate her efforts.

After lunch we once again we faced our fears and headed across not one but two fields full of blood thirsty cattle, (they weren’t really blood thirsty, in fact they couldn’t be bothered to even give us a second glance) but we wasn’t to know that at the time, (we like to think that we are very brave explorers rather than scared wimps) however at one point along the path we were dived bombed by a rather high rate bird who did its best to …………….well get us . I can only guess that it had a nest close by, it was at this point I had to stop (out of its range) and sort out arty leg, and we watched as another person approached the nesting area, this time the birds went bonkers, the poor fell runner didn’t know what hit him, he stopped running and spent the next five minutes crouched right over staggering along trying to get away from them. Yep these birds down this way sure are mean at times.

From this point onwards the walk should have been a delight, good views, beautiful scenery, good paths and lovely sunshine, but I was really starting to struggle now with Arty leg. But at least we were on the homeward stretch , we or should I say I staggered down to the river and then it was a case of walking back upstream to Bowlees , simple easy walking , but I am ashamed to say it was a nightmare for me , I was sore , bruised and totally sick of the leg , Yvonne did what she does best and produced some very tasty sweets to keep me going , and with the Tees flowing along it helped coved the last couple of miles , but I found it hard going , you know when it’s just a case of one foot in front of the other , I so wanted to take arty leg off and just lay down and sleep , I was mentally buggered and every step was causing me a great deal of discomfort. I will go back and walk along this stretch of river, it deserves to be appreciated and I didn’t I just wanted to get back .after what seemed like 100 zillion years we got back to the car, and such was our rush, gear was thrown into the boot, air con was on full and we headed to the nearest pub for a well-earned drink, long icy cold (non-alcoholic) drink, it wasn’t till I was on my second one that I started to feel human again.

A good way to finish what should have been a brilliant days walking.

All in all about 10.8 miles with about 1450ft of yours ups and downs (it seemed a lot more than that)

As normal a few photos enjoy:-

The Hay meadows at Bowlees, still a bit early to see them at their best.

Low force waterfall.


The river tees, (rather low) taken from the suspension bridge.


One last photo before we leave the river.


Looking up towards Holwick Scars.


A couple of photos as we get closer.



Starting to head up.


Looking along the scars (really I am getting my breath back)


One of Yvonne.

Now on the moor, looking back (there was a huge bull in this area)


Our path wreathing its way around the boggy bits.


Looking over the other side of the hill towards a distant Selset reservoir.


Old ruin, where we had our lunch.


Peering over the wall looking towards Selset reservoir.


Now looking at the dam end of Grassholm reservoir.


As we start to climb up again the views start to get better.


Looking down towards the bridge, where I parked up when I did this walk: -


Same again just a bit further away.


Now on the Pennine way.


Old ruins.


Our path now starts to lead us back over to the other side of the hill, a few photos as we go.


Back on the other side and who is this good looking chap?


A few photos from this side looking along / around the Tees valley


And one of Yvonne. (Who had sun cream in her ruck sack and didn’t use it…. silly girl)


One of the small unnamed streams /becks or whatever they are called down this way.


And another one.


Bluebells along the River Tees.


And in the pastures.


I can’t remember how many hay meadows we passed along but they are stunning.


Looking up towards the old Quarry at Crossthwaite scars.


Not sure where we are now.


Looking back at the river.


A few photos of the tees as we walk along.


Some of the locals making the most of the good weather.


Looking up towards Holwick Scars.


A couple more of the river.


Not really sure what this is an old mine entrance?


A few more of the river.


Yet another belt of bluebells.


Back at low force. And the end of today’s walk.   photo stream thingy from today. 

Day after thoughts


Home and cool shower , on inspecting my stump I found that I had reopened the cut that I had only just managed to close up and it was stinging (I know I am a wuss at times) and it was very red and puffy , however after a good night’s sleep I woke up in the morning to find that the swelling had gone down and the cut had dried up , much to my amazement I didn’t ache at all , I suppose this was because of all the Arty leg breaks that I had.

 My face was sore from the sun again, I must remember to use sun cream in future. But I have got a lovely dark bruise forming along the top of my stump and under my arse cheek; I suppose this was because of the pistoling in the socket. So what went wrong?

The problem was I was losing suction ………………however as the day went on it would seem that I was losing it from 3 places.

One the valve was passing; there is no doubt about that.

Secondly air was getting inside the liner and inflating it , I know this because when I took it off it was blown up at the end , this seem to happen when I was going uphill only.

Thirdly, air was getting in between the liner and the socket, again I know this because I could not only hear it I could feel it as well.

The combination of all these really caused me trouble, both physically and mentally and no matter what I tried to combat this air leak I failed miserably. I will sort something out in the future that I know but at the moment I am just taking it easy and waiting for my stump to heal and the bruising to go. Its been one hell of a learning curve today ….thank you.


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