Sunday, 3 February 2013

Great Standrop via Hedgehope Hill - Ingram Valley - Northumberland 2 Feb 2013.

Great Standrop via Hedgehope Hill - Ingram Valley
Distance 17km Climb 660m
Saturday 2 February 2013

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What a difference in a fortnight.  I had intended to do another route but the weather changed that. Today Anthony was with me.

We had an early start and a heavy frost overnight made the roads very slippery, especially in the valley itself.  I made the decision that I would park at Busby Woods 130m and not risk driving any further.  As we were getting out the car another walker drove passed.

It was very cold when we set off and we were wrapped up as best as we could.  Walking next to the road I found the ground very hard and I had in my mind a line from a school hymn, "Earth as hard as iron", and it certainly was.  The road was like a sheet of ice and I reckoned I had made the right decision in leaving the car at Busby Wood.  Most of the ice would clear as the sun rose and the day warmed.

We walked by the road West, to where I had started my last walk.

I had decided to walk the same route to Hedgehope Hill as I had on my previous walk.  I would then decide where we would go.  The Cheviot, or down and across to Shill Moor, I would see what the walking conditions were like and then decide.

Off the road the ground, although covered in snow was good to walk on

It was just below Cunyan Crags we met the driver of the car who had passed us at Busby Woods, he had a couple of labradors.  We continued up Dunmoor Hill 569m.

Anthony at Cunyan Crags, I have a photo of Anthony standing here when he was younger
The views were stunning on this walk compared to my last walk here.

Hedgehope Hill with The Cheviot behind 

We had a short rest in the shelter of Threestoneburn Wood, at the top of Dunmoor Burn.

In part the snow was solid and frozen and sometimes when taking a step we would crack the snow crust and sink through up to our knees, anyway onward and upward.

Hedgehope Hill

Again I have a photo of Anthony sitting here, taken a few years ago, Cheviot behind

At Hedgehope Hill, the wind was very cold, we looked at the time, and so I decided that we would head back down towards Great Standrop 534m.  We turned South West following a fence line down hill then turned left and headed more South towards Great Standrop.  The snow was solid and firm underfoot as we walked down.  There were patches where it was soft and we could see loads of animal tracks.  Wished I knew what they were.

Heading towards Great Standrop.
Anthony on Great Standrop photo taken looking West
As we walked further South down hill, we moved out of the cold wind.  The sun was warm and had softened the snow.  We reached the track at the bottom and had another rest.  A number of years ago we used to walk along here, in particular at a time when the area was used to film the telly series Ivanhoe.  At that time there were tents beside the track.  Along the track they had built a false gate and wall to a castle.  There were boulders as big as my daughter and we took a photo of her lifting one.  It looked funny.  Anyway that was years ago and as expected today that had all gone, apart from the track, stream and hills.

On the track we turned left and travelled West towards Linhope.

We then just walked along the road back to Busby Wood.  In places where the sun had not reached the road was still very icy.  I was so glad that I had left the car where I had.

We had covered approx 17 km, with approx 660m climb, it was good to get out and walk.  The views could not have been better and I think Anthony had enjoyed the day.

More to follow

Boz North
Follow links to other walks in the area.
Dod Hill via Reaveley Hill and Hedden 21 April 2016
Shill Moor - Ingram Valley 15 July 2015
Cochrane Pike - Ingram Valley 30 Dec 2013
Hedgehope Hill - Ingram Valley 12 Jan 2013
Shill Moor Cairn - Ingram Valley 27 Dec 2012