Thought it was about time to step up the physio for my back injury with a good test out on Cheviot. Since I’ve been laid up and seeing everyone else having a good time I’ve been wondering if there was still anything left to have fun with in the Cheviot Hen Hole. So so heaving the old bicycle into the van and some gear in the Rucksack I headed up to Heathpool above Wooler. After parking the car I cycled up the college valley to Mounthooly hostel where I left the bike and continued on foot. The back seems to have stood up well to the ride, can’t say the same for my ass and legs, its been a while since I rode! It’s only a short walk to the entrance of the Hen hole on the North side of the Cheviot and before long I was walking the familiar walk up past the waterfalls. The further in and the higher you go, the more the patches of deep snow come together to form a great continues line to the Pennine way above Auchope Cairn. The ground above 600m away from the snow is still frozen so even when you have to leave the snow to cross the normal bog of the Cheviot plato the going is easy and never in any danger of sinking in. For your information the powers that be have decided to Close a 1.2km section of the pennine way From Auchope Cairn back to near Cheviot until August in order to replace the board walking. Fine on open access land when the bog is frozen but you better bring your wellies when it warms up. Can’t understand why it would take 6 months to do a 1 month job, but I don’t work for National parks.
For those that are asking about conditions, here are the Stats for the N side of Cheviot at 12:30 today. Wind; light ESE. Freezing level 750m and rising, some hill cloud but bright elsewhere more sunshine in the west. Ground is frozen from above 650m, there are patches of deep consolidated snow in the hollows from around 500m increasing in frequency with altitude. above 700m the snow is unavoidable on steep N and NW slopes, but provides easy walking on when on the paths where it readily covers sections. If venturing of the paths above 600m an ice axe is essential for steeper ground. Warming up this afternoon with some Drizzle and light rain for tomorrow before turning cold again on Friday. If fresh snow falls to any extent, then due to the avalanche risk you might want to avoid going too deep into the Hen Hole or Bizzel crags, all paths will be safe enough. A good day out and a good test of the Old back, feel stiff as hell now though so I’m not out of the woods yet.