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Saturday, 26 July 2014

Sighty Crag NY 601 810, 518m.

I drove the car about 1.5km up the forestry track until it became too rough. Another 1.5 km saw me exit the forest onto the hillside and another 1.5km on the summit.

That is the short story.

This is one of the toughest hills I have ever climbed. There was no path whatsoever. Knee deep heather and tussock grass mounds made for painfully slow going. The heat was intense, and hot and bothered was the order of the day.

I walked on some firm peat in a peat hag which suddenly deceived me and I was in right up to both my knees. Extrication was problematic. Another time I fell flat on my face in the heather. Not far from the summit I had to negotiate a barbed wire fence, then two more unbarbed.

Descending I decided to beeline for the forest edge at a point where it was only about 200m from the track to reduce the distance over virgin moor covered on the ascent.

That two hundred yards was through almost Inpenetrable pine forest descending very steeply to a stream and finally climbing back out up to the track. I was gasping, shredded and overheated at the track.

I'm often asked if I enjoy such outings, and my answer this time may be undecided, but the view from this very remote top and the feeling of utter isolation and tranquility on a perfect, weather-wise day compensated for the trials, and I had that little glow of knowing that I had conquered against some difficulty.

Sighty Crag - the distant one in the middle. That hillside looks benign - don't be deceived

The limits of the so called viewfinder on the TZ40 - supposed to be the scene of my knee deep struggle in the peat, but I missed the spot - ah well I tried after years of forgetting to snap mishaps and the like - at least I'm learning.

The remote summit of Sighty Crag. 200M from the summit I received a call from Pete. His wife Liz fell in the kitchen whilst visiting friends in Scotland. She knocked out her two front teeth and severely bashed her cheek. They have returned home early. Yesterday I got a call from daughter Jill to say she fell on the stairs and broke a bone in her foot which is now in plaster. She insisted I didn't need to come home this time!

Bog cotton I think.

When I arrive at the site with caravan I reckon I have everything sorted within ten minutes. Last night I watched a guy opposite take two and a half hours including erection of the awning, installing carpets and furniture and trying to set up his satellite dish so he can watch Sky. Tonight I notice he is now using a totally different aerial consisting of eight horizontal bars mounted on a tripod strong enoughd to support that thing at Jodrell Bank.

I suppose I spend a lot of nerdy time with all this tech transferring photos and the like, but I am not on show.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


gimmer said...

be careful - avoid the third - or does today count as that?
sounds just like the trials on the scottish part of your Lejog walk - with the difference of sunshine and a caravan to return to.
I am very impressed with the quality of the expeditions you are making - a much-overlooked part of the world , not ony by me.

Anonymous said...

That day sounds like one of mine, and I know you are not exaggerating. It's tough up there. My Dad, bless him, used to tramp me across featureless moors in Weardale. Now there is a place not many venture to.Heather and peat bogs in equal measure, I knew no different.
Hope Jill coping with foot.