DATE                                      02.02.17

DISTANCE                             9.99 MILES

WEATHER                             WINDY AND WET AT TIMES




Well once again I was back in the position of heading out someplace for the day to try out a new loner knee, I had somehow managed to bugger my brand new sensor knee up (not really sure how) and yet again Karen at the limb centre had somehow managed to get me a loner knee whilst mine was away being repaired so I could carry on with my never ending quest to get fit (not making much progress on this front).

I had done the sensible thing and given myself a couple of day to get use to the knee …………well actually I was at work but I figured if I could get used to it there and found no problems I should be good for a day out in the hills someplace so that was that sorted .

I naturally discussed where and when with Bob dog who informed me that he didn’t care were we went for the day as long as I got his roast beef and packed extra treats , next I sent a pm my new found (and only ) walking buddy ..Who bombed me out for what I can only describe as personal reasons...well I never I mean bombing me out whatever next!

So that was that, I was back to being billy no mates again, a quick check on my I pad for the weather and it seemed ok ish.(how wrong was i?)

I had decided on a mooch around an area that I haven’t been to for years ,  I didn’t really give much though as to A) how I would get there and more importantly B)  how I would get back , but that’s me all over nowadays just playing things by ear and making it up as I go along .

Anyway gear was thrown into the Car and off we went, the weather was grey and overcast with the odd shower as we drove up to the starting point that I had decided on.  Which happened to be Wooler Common.

Pulling into the car park the first thing I noticed was how windy it was, now anyone who knows me will tell you that I really struggle when its windy, I have little control of my arty leg to start with but throw in a few gusty puffs and I’m all over the place, plus we had that wet clag being blown almost horizontal at us, Bob dog had to go into his coat (something he really doesn’t like) but with the wetness and the strong wind I really didn’t want him getting cold and wet so it’s for his own good .

Being a bit brain dead I have to say that I didn’t once consider changing my route, rather relying on the weather changing at the right moments but it seemed that the weather gods were going to have some fun with me today and more or less at every turn the weather seemed to dominate the day .

Any way my route: - starting at the free car park at Wooler common, I would link up with the

 St Cuthbert’s Way taking us over side of Coldberry Hill (278 meters) onto Gains Law (319m) along the side of black law (317m) down Scald hill and a section of bog trotting which proved to be great fun  then up near Tom Taillons Crags then we left St Cuthbert’s way and headed off along a small hill fort trail which took us to the base of Yeavering Bell (361meters) what I should point out at this point we had lost most of our height and the climb up to the summit of the Bell had spots dancing in front of my eyes , it was at this point that the wind really picked up , fortunately it was blowing me up the rather steep and long climb up so all was well , until I reached the summit of this old hill fort , my plan was to have a mooch around but with the strong wind I could hardly function then the rain came and it was almost horizontal , to make matters worse were I had been sweating the rain run down into my eyes causing them to sting and water , and try as hard as I could I couldn’t stop the rain from getting into my eyes ,then  as quickly as the rain came it passed over , but looking towards the horizon it was plane to see that there was lots more heading my way , time to get out of the wind and back down , my next section took us towards down then across and up to White Law (302meters) again not that bigger climb but I had lost all the height and so had to start again , but as I started up the wind once again practically blew me to the top , climbing over the stile at the top proved to be great fun and it was at this point I thought enough is enough trying to function in this wind , naturally the rain came again but by hunkering down with our backs against the stone wall we managed to miss the full force of this passing shower , both me and Bob took this opertunerty  to scoff some food and treats down our necks from there it was my plan to head up onto Akeld hill and have a mooch around however when passing Gleas’ Cleugh the rain started again , along with the wind I decided to call it a day and head back down and make my way back to the car , and so feeling a bit miffed we made  our way down  passing the house at Gleadscleugh  then down across the Akeld burn once in the valley bottom the wind naturally stopped and within minutes the rain stopped making me wonder did I wimp out for no reason , our path took us along the side of Harehope hill then to the base of Humbleton from there I did think about popping up over the top but once round the corner we got hit by the full force of the wind again and I decided that we would simply walk back around the base , this proved to be a correct thing to do as the heavens opened up again and combined with the strong wind proved to be a bit of a struggle so it would have been ten time worse up the top where I would be exposed .

It would seem that the weather god’s really had it in for me today but there was nothing that I could do, by this time I was on the track heading back to the car park and the sides of this track and the bushes provided some relief from the wind , but I have to be honest and say I was totally knackered and struggled to just keep going , if it wasn’t so wet and windy I think that I would have simply stopped and had a sit down for a while but that was more or less impossible and so it was a very wet and knackered mick that finally made the car …………and boy was I glad to see it . Bob of course was still running around sniffing things and having a great time.

We walked 9.99 miles with 2024ft of the ups and downs

As normal a few rather dull photos:

Setting off into the woods at Wooler Common


Bob dog in his coat, with Humbleton Hill in the background


Not sure where I am looking at the moment, but the weather isn’t looking to good


Now on the St Cuthbert’s way looking back towards Humbleton


Bob dog leading the way towards Gains law


Looking towards a distant Yeavering Bell


Time to leave the well-used track, still on St Cuthbert’s way


Starting to head down, its starts to get a bit boggy in places


Bob dog looking at something


Looking towards Common burn farm (I think)


A small section of boggy bit’s


Nearly at the end of the wet boggy bit, someone has even built a stone cairn here


For a moment I thought that the weather might be clearing up, but still can see very far


Heading up towards Tom Taillons Crags looking back


Yeavering Bell showing off its stone outa wall


But first we have more of this to cross


Starting to head down now, but at least we are back on a good path


Our path heading up the Bell (we have just got to find it now)


Dead easy when you have sign post like this


Bob dog about to get a drink


About to start the long uphill bit


Cheviot wild goats (taken at max zoom)


Part way up looking across towards the Torr’s (really I’m getting my breath back)


Bob dog bounding back down, showing how easy it is


Made it to the summit, but it’s too windy and wet to hang about


Looking along towards White Law and the wet weather


Starting on my way down, approaching the outa wall


Looking towards some pond (don’t know its name)


Part way down and the wind drops quite a bit


Now on my way towards White Law


Old sheep stell?


Looking back

Bob dog waiting for me to catch up

Starting the long climb up looking back at the Bell


Made it but once again the weather is doing its best to blow me over


Sheep waiting for us


Heading towards Akeld hill


It’s far too windy now and it looks like the weather is closing in, time to head down


Looking up at Gleas’ Cleugh


Heading down


Made it crossing over the Akeld burn


Walking on the side of Harehope hill looking back


A bit further along looking back


Looking towards Humbleton Hill at this point I still not sure to go over the top or around it


Once around the corner the wind picks up so decide to go around it


Rain again


Last look as we head off back to the car



I was tired towards the end of this walk, very tired & I was trying to think why, I have walked longer distances, done bigger hill climbs and all I could think of was the wind, I know that it’s harder for me to walk in strong winds but I didn’t realise how much it sapped my strength walking against it all day.

I would like to redo this walk or should I say certain parts of this walk, and have decided that I would start and finish at a different point so that’s something for the future.

Stump wise I was fine, no soreness or rashes, my real knee ached but then it always aches nowadays so I can’t say if it is better or worse, I did notice that when going uphill I did feel something going on in the knee joint but can’t say what and I did slow down a couple of times but other than that all was good. home , bubbly bath , Bob dog fed and brushes and an early night for me , come the following morning I really did ache all over especially my shoulders which goes to show that I was using the hiking poles a lot more than normal .