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Friday, 22 January 2016

Three Marilyns and a silly one

Wednesday 20th January

I'm twixt Marilyns and W's Lakeland Outlying Fells.

With the former I want to complete the English Marilyns. There are 175. After this post, combining two trips I will have 31 remaining.

Of those, two are problematic, that is beyond a reasonable one day car journey, one being near Wendover and the other near Folkestone. Other isolated summits are  possible with day car trips: Mickle Fell and Kinder Scout. There are then a group of four south of Manchester accessible by day car trips and the rest are grouped south of Shrewsbury and north of Hereford which could be mopped up with a centrally placed caravan trip taking a week or so.

On my visit to Northumberland in July 2014 I left three easy Marilyns, and on Wednesday I set off from home at 6.19 am and arrived back at 6.19 pm having summited all three.

Shillhope Law -  NT 893 097

A hairy 10km drive down the undulating twisty single-track road following the River Croquet from Alwinton took me to a car park below this summit. Alighting from the car the surface was covered with frozen ice and snow. I started putting on my Khatoola spikes and then found a chain link had parted during the Dunnerdale Fells outing a few days ago. I tried with pliers to open the metal hook to fix it back on but it broke off - I managed to sort of fix it, but confidence and opinion was waning.

A steep pathless ascent through what turned out to be soft snow covered heather took me to the summit in an hour. Twenty minutes from the top I noticed one of my Khatoolas had vanished from my boot. On the return I  easily  followed my deep footprints in the snow and recovered the missing item -  confidence in the Ks now waned to zero. If used again I plan to secure the spikes to my boot lace with one of those mini carabiners to prevent potential loss.

Ros Castle - NU 081 253

A long drive took me to near the summit. The last few hundred yards were covered in snow and ice, but I was able to park where the footpath set off for a quick twenty minute ascent. Back at the car I did a gingerly executed three-point turn and although the Yeti has permanent four-wheel-drive it also has a special off-road facility. I pressed the button and set off down the steep hill in first gear on the icy covered road, and thankfully all went well.

Housedon Hill NT 904 331

More country lane driving to get to this one. Driving in Northumberland is pure pleasure - I hardly ever saw any other traffic and the roads undulate and sweep through exciting bends with open views ahead, all enhanced with magnificent scenery. My ascent was by the south west slopes from a cul-de-sac road ending at  Reedsford, up steep snow covered grass and heather.

Down at the bottom I hit the button for Home on the satnav. It took me back via the A7, a road I have not travelled before which was almost traffic free and passing through wonderful border country.

An accident had occurred just beyond the slip road for Penrith Jct. 41 on the M6. I exited the motorway and tried to go down the A6 to Shap but that was closed, so I came back and was able to get back onto the M6, so the accident, although unfortunate for those involved had happened at the most convenient location possible, just between the two slip roads. I called into the Shap Service farm shop and bought a couple of delicious pork pies and a fairly expensive bottle of red for a welcome chill-out and meal after a reviving hot bath. Not a bad day.

Looking back to the car from the starting slopes of Shillhope Law

Same from higher up

The icy road and Ros Castle

Plaque on summit trig point

Ros Castle summit

Looking up  on the ascent of Housedon Hill...

...and down from the same point

From Housedon Hill summit

Zoom from same point to mysterious looking distant uplands
Thursday 21st January

Bishop Wilton Wold SE 822 570

Some would say that Marilynitis has tipped me over the edge. A few posts back Mick and Gayle posted about visiting this Marilyn on their way to the Yorkshire east coast. I had a look at my list and saw it ticked off, but I had no recollection of the visit. It seems I must have ticked it by mistake.

I know there are even more futile Ms than this, but even so it is located only 100 yards from a lay-bye on the  A166 between York and Bridlington across a ploughed field, and nowhere near any other Marilyn.

Yesterday I drove with Pete over 200 miles for the round trip. Pete sat in the car while I splodged across the field, took a quick photo and returned.

Whilst researching about this formidable summit I found that David Hockney had painted a picture of Garrowby Hill which is the steep road climb that leads up onto this plateau. David was a contemporary of mine at Bradford Grammar School, and although he was in a different form and I didn't know him personally I was well aware of his presence, so with this double connection I bought a print, and putting it up will be my next task after finishing this post.

Bishop Wilton Wold


Gayle said...

Oh dear! You must have the worst sort of case of Marilynitis to have made a special journey for Bishop Wilton Wold. At least diesel is relatively cheap at the moment!

Anonymous said...

Wasn't sure who is the 'silly one'? But I do like the Hockney, very Woldish.
Bravo to the Yeti.

Sir Hugh said...

Gayle - I didn't realise there were different kinds of Marilynitis cases and am worried to think I may have the worst.


BC - It is ambiguous.

afootinthehills said...

If Marilynitis this severe produces more excellent posts like this one, then long may you suffer Conrad. We are very impressed with our Yeti and the off-road facility proved very effective in the recent snowy conditions.

Roderick Robinson said...

I had my doubts, the first time I saw Khatoola spelt out. It seemed to me the marketing department was straining at the leash in an attempt to fuse "exotic" with "authentic" and had failed. Please, please, don't embark on a dull research project to find out what the roots of the word are; what's far more interesting is what the word evokes. A country? An anagram? A tribe? Not that it matters. Whoever came up with Khatoola has a tin ear, not recognising that the word appears to be cognate with "pootling" which doesn't encourage confidence. At best it can only be a gadget, at worst... well, you now know what it is at worst. Time for one of your Disgusted-of-Tunbridge-Wells letters, stressing the dangers this gadget exposed you to. I'm sure you'll be in receipt of a voucher equivalent in value to one-third the price of another Khatoola.

Sir Hugh said...

Afoot - Hi Gibson. I think the M affliction is incurable.My biggest problem at the moment is the English one: Cheriton Hill near Folkestone. I cannot justify the expense of travelling thereby one means or another with the need for at least one overnight thrown in, all for such an insignificant conquest. Perhaps I must await a more serious onset of the malady?


RR - I guess there was the intention of some Himalayan connotation, but such an item would only add to the very high risk of mortality in that part of the world (note a rare use of "very").

The item is still of use in moderate conditions and a more effective repair combined with a security device to obviate loosing one again presents challenges to my ingenuity, so no letter of complaint (yet) - that may come from the executors of my will if the insurance company carrying a policy I have for accidental death refuse to pay out.