Last weekend I was trying out my new Rosignol free venture ski’s on my local hill along with many others enjoying the snow conditions on the summit of the Cheviot. Yesterday I venture back there and had a walk into the Henhole to take a look at the snow conditions. After the usual bike ride up the Collage valley the snow started at the Mounthooly hostel. With not a cloud in the ski and no wind it was turning into a blistering hot day, indeed the warming weather of friday combined with the hot sun has caused some wet avalanches on the sunny slopes.
Once I turned the corner and entered into the henhole itself the difference between the south and north facing slopes was evident with the south side showing large areas of sun-baked grass and rock, while North facing slopes were still frozen. With the sun’s energy bouncing off all sides It was becoming to hot even for the T-shirt, so having a little rest I took the opportunity to soak up some much needed rays.
After having some lunch further up in a safe area I picked my way around the avalanche debris from the cornice collapse of the other week and climbed up the ridge cutting a few steps as were necessary to Auchope cairn. The views today were spectacular, almost uninterrupted views for over 50 miles. (interestingly no mobile connection of any description, welcome to high tech Briton) Shower clouds were now starting to build and obscuring the sun, with the freezing level around 700m it was pretty chilly when the sun went in, time to put the shirt back on. Walking off down the Pennine way back to the bunkhouse didn’t take long and I was soon on my bike for the nice coast downhill back to the car, looking back I could see a few showers developing over the hill, maybe rain maybe snow! didn’t matter it had been a great day and now the pub beckoned.