St Cuthbert's Way Challenge 2013 - guided group
Wed 14th August 2013
Well Sundance did it again the old soft shoe shuffle kept the rain away. Well nearly we had a couple of spits and spots that did not even have you thinking about putting on the waterproofs.
08.00 registration; Mike trying to finish a cup of coffee made at home before the drive to Wooler register people in and trying to be less grumpy than normal at this time in the morning.
0815 on the bus being driven to Morebattle for the start of the challenge walk. Although
Mike was one of the first off the bus by the time he was ready we were at the back. After gentle stroll to start off the day, we started on the first BIG climb of the day. After a constant steady pull (drag) upwards we were rewarded with stunning views over the Tweed valley to the north and the Cheviots to the south.
A rather steep descent brought us to a farm track and the first food stop of the day; it was Mike’s second breakfast, the one he had intended eating at Wooler before he got on the bus! By now we were at the back as all the second bus walkers had stormed passed as we were having our food. From here a stretch of road walking took us to checkpoint 1 leaving the road we walked over some fields and crossed the road bridge that joins Town Yetholm with Kirk Yetholm.
After yet another short road section, either the last bit of the Pennine Way or the start of the Pennine Way we started on the next big climb which leads to check point 2 but more importantly the border between Scotland and England. It was on this section we overtook two ladies who were doing the challenge walk (they had stopped for lunch). They did pass us again at checkpoint 2 as we had a longish lunch stop there. It was now all gently downhill to checkpoint 3 and a hot cup of coffee. We were now just over half way.
We now climbed steadily up to the base of Yeavering Bell and then the last steep climb of the day up to Tom Tallons Crags. From here the route gently undulates with the uphill sections even for tired legs are not noticable. This section of the walk gives some of the most spectacular views over the Tweed valley to the north views of the North Sea to the N. east The coastal sandstone hills to the east and south and of course the Cheviots fill in the rest of the view with The Cheviot dominating the sky line. A steep little descent brought us to check point 3 at Wooler Common and the start of the final leg this is downhill for most of the way on road through Wooler. Eventually at about 5.30pm we turned the last corner and there was the finish with a seat, hot drink and a goody bag. Of course Mike was the last one of the group to finish the walk.
Overall a good day, mainly because Mike did not witter on too much.