#104 –A short jog over the Pennine Moors! – ‘Spine Race’ training weekend in the Yorkshire/Lancashire Pennines

Day 1 on the first ‘Spine Race’, January 2012 (JB)

By any stretch of the imagination, completing the Pennine Way on foot is going to be a challenge.  It’s 268 miles (431 kms) of rough, boggy terrain along the backbone of England, exposed to the worst weather that an English summer can throw at you, walking for about 2 ½  weeks.  Some people add to the fun by backpacking, carrying their shelter and food with them.  If that sounds too easy there’s always the ‘Spine Race’ – carry all your gear, do it in 7 days and do it in winter!

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Posted in 4. Northern England, General Interest | Tagged , , , , , | 16 Comments

#103 – Ski mountaineering in Snowdonia – in November?!!

The Snowdon Horseshoe looking rather wintery, seen from Plas y Brenin

It’s not often you can have a skiing day in Snowdonia in November – it’s probably such a rare event that it just doesn’t happen.  It didn’t happen last weekend either, but the next best thing did – a ski-mountaineering promotion day at Plas y Brenin, organised by the British Section of the Austrian Alpine Club and free to members.  Well, what’s not to like about that then?

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Posted in 5. North Wales, 7. Everywhere Else!, General Interest, Mountain Safety | Tagged , , , , , , | 9 Comments

#102 – Arenig Fach – Another Welsh mountain gem (or should that be a rough diamond?)

Arenig Fach seen from the east

It seemed like a good idea.  Six weeks earlier Chris and I had walked Rhinog Fawr (post #95) and after being seduced by a forecast of fine weather, I had gone out two days later and walked a much longer route based on Rhinog Fach (post #96).  Then, six weeks later we had another good day on Arenig Fawr (post #101) and again a favourable weather forecast tempted me to ‘go for it’ and to return the day after for Arenig Fach.

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Posted in 5. North Wales | Tagged , , , | 15 Comments

#101 – Arenig Fawr – A Welsh mountain gem

Arenig Fawr on the right, with the ridge of Craig y Hyrddod on the left

I’ve spent most of my mountaineering life not knowing a thing about the Arenig hills of North Wales.  That’s probably not unusual for those who only visit the Welsh hills a couple of times a year, and are then seduced by bigger, better known and more accessible hills.  Then the Discovery Walking Guides project came along and nudged me towards these less familiar hills – we now live about forty miles from them.

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Posted in 5. North Wales | Tagged , , , | 19 Comments

#100 – What we did on our holidays

On our holidays last year – The camper parked up in North Wales

Typical isn’t it – you wait a year for a trip away in the camper, then two arrive at once! (For non-UK readers, that is an example of British humour at its best!)  We’ve hardly used the camper this year due to a combination of moving house and also having the worst weather this summer since, err… last summer?!

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Posted in 2. Lake District, 5. North Wales, Border Collies, Mountain Safety | Tagged , , , , , , | 16 Comments

#99 – The ancient forts of the Clwydian Hills

Moel Arthur hillfort, seen from the south – © Bryan Pready

After dawdling round Dorset and swanning around Swanage it was time to return to the hills in my own backyard.  Although we have explored our own local hills of Moel Hirraddug ( post #73) and Craig Fawr (post #82) at the northern end of the Clwydian Hills, and had also walked out over Moel Famau at the southern end of the range (post #79), there was still a lot to look at in between.  My sights were on the Iron Age hillforts of Moel Arthur and Penycloddiau.

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Posted in 5. North Wales, General Interest | Tagged , , | 14 Comments

#98 – Walking the Jurassic Coast

Golden Cap above the Anchor Inn at Seatown, Dorset

I should make something quite clear.  I prefer to walk mountains, moors and high places.  Ok, so I sometimes I walk the dog on one of our local beaches, but I’m not a beach walker – I want ups and downs, and views that change with almost every step, things that you don’t get walking a beach.  Mind you, anyone familiar with the coastline of the UK will tell you that you are often in for a surprise if you go expecting a flat, easy beach walk.

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Posted in 7. Everywhere Else!, General Interest | Tagged , , | 18 Comments