Category Archives: Climbing

Days Like This, No 6: Ciste Dhubh – a Highland Jewel

RAIN drumming on a flysheet. Condensation dripping on damp clothes. Another day begins in the Highlands – a day with clouds hugging the treetops and few prospects of fine mountain scenery . . . About these ads

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Posted in Camping, Climbing, Hiking, Mountains, Walking, Weather | Tagged , , , | 17 Comments

Days Like This, No 4: Before Night at Beacon Tarn

Memories of a backpacking trip from Cockermouth to Greenodd . . . Continue reading

Posted in Camping, Climbing, Environment, Hiking, Mountains, Quarrying, Slate quarries, Walking, Writing | Tagged , , , | 23 Comments

Days Like This, No 3: Sunset on Caw

ONCE in a while I stand still and look around and think: at this precise moment I am truly alive; I am as much a part of this earth as a root raising its knuckle from the turf or a … Continue reading

Posted in Climbing, Environment, Hiking, HMS Invincible, Life, Mountains, Walking | Tagged , , , | 35 Comments

Going to California . . . Via Teesdale

HISTORY has not been kind to the Pennine valley of Hudes Hope. On a sunny morning in March its lesser scars can be mistaken for natural wounds and warts on the landscape. But there is no disguising the greater disfigurements … Continue reading

Posted in Climbing, Environment, Geology, Hiking, History, Industrial archaeology, Mountains, Quarrying, Ruins, Slate quarries, Teesside, Walking | Tagged , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Days Like This, No 2: In the Tatra With Bears and Nuns

ZAKOPANE is a resort in the foothills of the Polish Tatra. Many people warned us about coming here, saying Zakopane is the unacceptable face of commercialism in an otherwise pristine mountain environment. But we like the town immensely. I suppose … Continue reading

Posted in Camping, Climbing, Environment, Hiking, Mountains, Poland, Second World War, Walking, Zakopane | Tagged , , | 29 Comments

Wild Winds and the Wain Stones

FOR many years I lived under the misguided impression that Ewan MacColl’s iconic mountain song The Manchester Rambler included a mention of the Wain Stones in the Cleveland Hills. Only recently did I discover there is another set of Wain … Continue reading

Posted in Archaeology, Bronze Age, Cleveland Way, Climbing, Cup and ring carvings, Environment, Ewan MacColl, Footpaths, Hiking, History, Legends, Mountains, Teesside, Vikings, Walking | Tagged , , , , | 35 Comments

Days Like This, No 1: The Aonach Eagach Ridge

THE Aonach Eagach is one of the most exhilarating high-level walks on the British mainland. The ridge forms the northern wall of Glencoe and stretches in a line of imposing crags from the foot of the glen to the pass … Continue reading

Posted in Beer, Camping, Climbing, Environment, Glencoe, Hiking, History, Life, Mountains, Walking | Tagged , , , , | 35 Comments

Blue Pie Thinking on Fremington Edge

THERE’S a village in the hills above Reeth that is an absolute pleasure to visit because the only people who go there are the postman, the coalman, and the villagers themselves. Forgive me for sounding sexist. I know there are … Continue reading

Posted in Climbing, Environment, Footpaths, Fray Bentos, Hiking, History, Industrial archaeology, Mountains, Ruins, Running, Vikings, Walking | Tagged , , , , , , | 30 Comments

Arkengarthdale and the Hungry Hushes

IT’S midday and a storm warning has been issued by the Met Office. I’ve just set off across the northern spur of Reeth High Moor and can expect gale-force winds and up to 40mm of rain. The valley fields are … Continue reading

Posted in Archaeology, Climbing, Environment, Geology, Hiking, History, horse gins, Industrial archaeology, Knut Hamsun, Life, Mountains, Patrick Kavanagh, Politics, Quarrying, Ranting, Ruins, Unemployment, Walking, Writing | Tagged , , , | 36 Comments

Coniston Old Man – Backwards and Forwards

WHEN I was a teenager I made a pledge to climb Coniston Old Man at least once every year because it was the first mountain I climbed and it was special. I also grew up within sight of its familiar … Continue reading

Posted in Allotments, Caving, Childhood, Climbing, Environment, Hiking, History, Industrial archaeology, Life, Mountains, Newsquest, Northern Echo, Politics, Potholing, Redundancy, The Romans, Unemployment, Walking | Tagged , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Paths, Goats – and Huenes to Pico de la Carne

THE joy of paths. There are indistinct paths that fade and confound; paths choked with nettles and brambles; malevolent paths that lead through mud and bogland; and paths that twist in the wrong direction. And there are paths that lift … Continue reading

Posted in Climbing, Footpaths, Hiking, Mountains, Teesside, Walking | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments

The Sierra Nevada: Two Peaks, Two Countries

SPAIN gets under your skin and fingernails. It dries your eyes and your mouth. You can feel it in your hair and on your brow when your boots kick the dust of its white mountain tracks. You smell its wild … Continue reading

Posted in Camping, Climbing, Environment, Footpaths, Hiking, Mountains, Politics, Ranting, Walking | Tagged , , , , , , | 35 Comments