Author Topic: TR 4 nighter in The Cheviots Sep 16 Day 3, 4 + 5  (Read 513 times)

April

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See the first 2 days here http://www.walkingforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=34674.0

Day 3 The College Valley - The Hen Hole - Auchope Hut - The Schil - Auchope Hut. 10km with 550m ascent. About 5 hours walking time, half of that was in the Hen Hole.

It was still windy when we awoke on Monday morning. We had been hit by the wind a bit but we'd slept a bit better than the night before. With pitching in the valley it meant a very long walk to include the Schil and Windy Gyle and there was also the problem of where we were going to pitch for the night later on. We decided to go up into the Hen Hole to see the waterfalls instead. This hadn't been on the agenda at the start but it was a nice substitute for Windy Gyle. We would do the Schil after the Hen Hole and we hoped to pitch there.

The first waterfall at the start of the Hen Hole


The legend is that fairies lure people in to The Hen Hole and they are never to be seen again!

Approaching the three sisters waterfall


It looks more like four sisters to me


On the way up The Hen Hole


Beware the fairies  :o It is hard work going up the gorge, a scramble route and you have to cross the burn several times from one bank to another to find the best route up. We crossed it three times on the way up.

The longest fall in the Hen Hole


It is safe to say beefy loved the Hen Hole hard work though it was


We had a food break near the waterfall and then retraced our steps back down the gorge. It was even harder work on the way down with our heavy packs trying to pull us into the burn. beefy decided to plunge his foot into the burn and soak it for some daft reason  :D

Looking back at The Hen Hole


The fairies had decided they didn't want to keep us and we made our way up to the border fence near the Auchope Hut. We passed some cows on the way but they showed no interest in us at all

The Hen Hole and the Auchope Hut


We went inside the hut for some respite from the wind and had a brew. A bloke who was doing the Pennine Way came in for a break while we were there. He was on his last leg down to Kirk Yetholm it must have been a hard day in the wind.

Windy Gyle in the distance


We left the hut after a nice long rest; we were still feeling yesterdays walk in our legs. We hoped to find shelter on the Schil to pitch our tent.The ground was wet and boggy in places, not that enjoyable to walk on. We were also carrying 3kg of water each, we'd got it from the College Burn in the Hen Hole. The water on the ridge is not very nice, sludgy boggy pools so we had to carry it from the valley.

beefy on the Schil summit


It was touch and go if I was going to be able to take this shot. The wind almost had me over a few times. There was a lot of cloud in the west so the views I'd promised beefy from the top were non existent.

The Schil summit


No shelter was found here so it was back to the refuge hut. My first ever night staying in a bothy. It was either the hut or descend to the valley again. It was an easy choice to make.

beefy in the hut


He has been wearing his sun glasses a bit too much  :D  8)
We had some food and got our sleeping bags and mats out. Nobody else came to the hut but we were ready to welcome them in, it was blowing a hoolie outside and it was getting late

The view from the hut looking north


Not much of a sunset again, too much cloud

The cows outside the hut


These were the cows from earlier and they were more scared of us than we were of them. We got into our bags and had some Spirit of Louisiana and looked forward to a more peaceful nights sleep than we would have if we were outside in the tent.

TR Day 4 and 5 of a 4 nighter in the Cheviots Sep 16

Day 4 Auchope Hut - Auchope Cairn - Cairn Hill - The Cheviot - Scald Hill - Broadhope Hill - Broadstruther - Hart Heugh. 15.8km with 616m ascent. about 5hrs 45 mins walking time.

We'd had a great nights sleep in the hut, safe and warm out of the wind. It was the first time in a bothy for me and I would certainly stay in one again if the weather was awful. Thanks to the volunteer rangers who look after it. We did our bit and swept it and left it as we found it. We also took some other rubbish away that other folk must have dropped, it had fallen under the benches so we will give them the benefit of the doubt, they may not have seen it. Our walk for the day would take us over The Cheviot and we began the ascent of Auchope Cairn, it was sunny and the wind had died down, a lovely day.

Auchope Cairn


The ground was wet and boggy on the way up and we were pleased to get onto the paving stones, much easier walking and much needed across here, bog city.

Scotsmans Cairn on Cairn Hill


We stopped to have some food here before we rejoined the paving stones up to the Cheviot. We heard a booming noise in the distance, there are Artillery Ranges to the south and the army must have been practising.

beefy on the Cheviot summit


We weren't alone on the top. There were some rangers dropping off cement and water for repairs of the trig column. They'd come up in an ex army off road vehicle with caterpillar treads. We chatted to them a while then left them to their work.

The view south from our descent of The Cheviot. It was very hazy so beefy didn't see the view at its best


The ex army vehicle with caterpillar treads


We got to the stile over the fence and saw the rangers were driving over. Nice of them, we got some good footage and photos. They went through a gate and headed right, they were fixing fences as well not just the trig. Nice to talk to them. We were heading left down toward Scald Hill

Descending the Cheviot on the way to Scald Hill and Broadhope Hill


I remember this route down as a pleasant grassy path but it is eroded and very boggy in places. Is it poor memory or has the path deteriorated since I've been here?

Looking back at the Cheviot


On the way down Broadhope Hill, Cold Law in view ahead


Hedgehope Hill from the way down Broadhope Hill


We'd used all the water we'd got from the day before from College Burn and we'd not found any nice running water all day; only boggy black horrible stuff. We crossed a ford near Broadstruther and there was clear running water. We filtered some and gulped it down then got some more!

Broadstruther


This is a former shepherd's bothy, now used as a hunting lodge.

On the way to Hart Heugh, very easy walking along the track


Looking back at the route beside Broadstruther burn


We'd picked up some water from Broadstruther Burn and began the last climb up to Hart Heugh. We were ready to pitch the tent, we were tired

The Drift on Hart Heugh


We found a flat if slightly bumpy pitch, had some food and chilled out looking at the views.

Humbleton Hill on the right, the first hill we'd climbed on Saturday


The view west from Hart Heugh


Hart Heugh has a few rock tors and a big shelter cairn, a very nice little hill

Some lovely sunset colours


We watched this from inside the tent having some Spirit of Lou, a great end to our last night

We really loved this little top, great views and a good place to spend our last night in the Cheviots.

We awoke to rain and low cloud. We walked down to Wooler in the clag, no photos taken, there wasn't much to see. Day 5 was Hart Heugh - Wooler Common - Waud House - Wooler 4.4km with 32m ascent. We caught the bus at 10am to Alnwick and we eventually got home at 5pm, a further 2 buses later. What a tremendous few days, spoiled a little by the wind, changing our planned route and missing Windy Gyle. But we did the Hen Hole instead. Never mind we will have to come back next year, there is lots more to see over here. But don't tell anyone how lovely it is will you?
"Who would've thought...... you are light and darkness coming through" words by Tim Armstrong

beefy

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Re: TR 4 nighter in The Cheviots Sep 16 Day 3, 4 + 5
« Reply #1 on: 17:24:09, 05/06/17 »

Excellent pics and TR Ape O0
thanks for doing this it must have taken ages 8)
it was a great adventure, i think my back is still hurting from lugging the weight of those packs  :o
and that Spirit frazzles ya brain  :crazy2:


cant wait to go back and do some more wild camps
tremendous  8)
i'll post the videos
43 wild camps last year 27 this year ( ͡ᵔ ͜ʖ ͡ᵔ )

karl h

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Re: TR 4 nighter in The Cheviots Sep 16 Day 3, 4 + 5
« Reply #2 on: 17:42:33, 05/06/17 »
Lovely pics April O0
Really like the one of the Drift and your little chairs, can just imagine you sat like a couple of pensioners on the seafront moaning about summit slugs, bridge barnacles and  cairn cretins ;D
show your love for Lady Nature. And she will come back again.
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April

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Re: TR 4 nighter in The Cheviots Sep 16 Day 3, 4 + 5
« Reply #3 on: 19:49:54, 05/06/17 »
that Spirit frazzles ya brain  :crazy2:

It is a shame you can't handle the hard stuff  :D

can just imagine you sat like a couple of pensioners on the seafront moaning about summit slugs, bridge barnacles and  cairn cretins ;D

We sort of do that now, we are spending more time on our lunch stops than we used to  :D
"Who would've thought...... you are light and darkness coming through" words by Tim Armstrong

Dovegirl

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Re: TR 4 nighter in The Cheviots Sep 16 Day 3, 4 + 5
« Reply #4 on: 19:37:18, 06/06/17 »
Enjoyed the TR and photos April      :)     What a gorgeous sunset

jimbob

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Re: TR 4 nighter in The Cheviots Sep 16 Day 3, 4 + 5
« Reply #5 on: 22:27:36, 06/06/17 »
Great trip report. Your photos show Northumberland at its best. Hen hole brings back memories from well over fifty years ago when my dad took me up there. It may be misplaced memories but for some reason I recall there to have been plenty of sheep up there.
Too little, too late, too bad......

April

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Re: TR 4 nighter in The Cheviots Sep 16 Day 3, 4 + 5
« Reply #6 on: 08:52:42, 07/06/17 »
Thanks Dovegirl and jimbob  O0

There were sheep dotted about in the valley jimbob but I can't remember seeing any in the Hen Hole when we were there. It is possible for sheep to wander up there so your memory might be right  :)
"Who would've thought...... you are light and darkness coming through" words by Tim Armstrong

buntonn

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Re: TR 4 nighter in The Cheviots Sep 16 Day 3, 4 + 5
« Reply #7 on: 09:01:03, 07/06/17 »
Great photos April  O0  What are those chairs I see in one of the photos near the bottom and what are they like to carry up?  Right now I am using one of those super light foam sitting matts which is ok for short intervals.
Desperately trying to escape and venture in the wild outdoors...

April

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Re: TR 4 nighter in The Cheviots Sep 16 Day 3, 4 + 5
« Reply #8 on: 22:08:20, 07/06/17 »
What are those chairs I see in one of the photos near the bottom and what are they like to carry up? 

Thanks buntonn  :)

The chairs were bought off ebay for 28, from China I think. They are copies of the more expensive ones you can buy in the shops here. Our chairs weigh 720g. We don't use the bag that come with it, that is an extra 80g. You can get lighter ones from places like Cotswold but they cost a lot more.

This one is 488g but will set you back over 100  :o
https://www.ultralightoutdoorgear.co.uk/equipment-c3/accessories-c10/camp-furniture-c126/chair-zero-p6142

We don't mind carrying the extra weight when we are out camping, we like to be comfortable. We use them inside the tent too (with the legs folded up) as a back rest.
"Who would've thought...... you are light and darkness coming through" words by Tim Armstrong

adalard

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Re: TR 4 nighter in The Cheviots Sep 16 Day 3, 4 + 5
« Reply #9 on: 09:17:34, 08/06/17 »
Fantastic write-up, April, and great pictures!  O0 


It looks like you guys had a great trip - Beefy's soaked foot and terrible eye affliction notwithstanding.  ;D   


Hen Hole looks like a great place to explore and I liked the Three (and a bit) Sisters. I'm not a trig bagger especially, although I'll pay a visit if there's one nearby, but it was nice to see the rangers fixing that one up. I guess it doesn't really fall within their duties so good for them.


Thanks for sharing.  :) :)

midweekmountain

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Re: TR 4 nighter in The Cheviots Sep 16 Day 3, 4 + 5
« Reply #10 on: 10:29:57, 08/06/17 »
Glad you enjoyed the brick tent(well wooden in this case) I have been praising them for years. When I was working with the DofE kids e always used to arrange to meet the groups at that hut.

So have been there many times BUT we always got an access pass to drive up college valley.

BTW I think by far the best routes up the Cheviot are Hen Hole and Bizzle Burn, I recall one day I was with two youngsters at the start of the footpath to Bizzle.

Told them it was an ideal place for adders.

So we moved up the path very very quietly and saw 2 in less than 100 metres.

April

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Re: TR 4 nighter in The Cheviots Sep 16 Day 3, 4 + 5
« Reply #11 on: 21:52:04, 08/06/17 »
Hen Hole looks like a great place to explore

Thanks adalard, it was a grand few days  O0 The Hen Hole is a great place, the waterfalls are superb, very dramatic scenery  O0

So have been there many times BUT we always got an access pass to drive up college valley.

I got a permit many moons ago to drive up the valley to Mounthooly as a treat on my birthday. It is fantastic that the numbers of cars are restricted going up the valley, it would be ruined otherwise. The best day out I ever had over The Cheviot was a 13 mile circular route that started from Langleeford and I visited the Hen Hole too. It was a red hot day and I remember I overtook two blokes going up to Auchope Cairn and they looked ready to keel over. I guess they didn't expect it to be so hot  :)
"Who would've thought...... you are light and darkness coming through" words by Tim Armstrong

Sarah Pitht

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Re: TR 4 nighter in The Cheviots Sep 16 Day 3, 4 + 5
« Reply #12 on: 08:57:51, 25/06/17 »
Enjoyable TRs and great photos of places I don't know at all. Some of the names I know from 'watching' the Spine Race, but most are new to me. Sounds like the wind wasn't really on your side. And carrying all you food etc put an extract strain. But how nice to be able to show Beefy an area you once walked.
Heading North in spirit; Heading South in body...