Thursday, 12 April 2012

Whatever Next?

Well, as you will probably all know, last week it snowed up here in the lovely north of England... which was just typical as I was spending a week in Essex at the time. However, I did manage to make it up whilst there was still some snow remaining on the hilltops of the North York Moors and Dales... so we rushed out as soon as we could to make the most of it. 

The bulk of the snow had fallen on Tuesday night, and I arrived on Thursday afternoon - so it was quickly decided that it would be a good idea to travel up the dale around sunset to make the most of the nice light and leftover cold stuff. 

 We set off from Richmond and carried on up Swaledale past Reeth, before stopping right before the road drops down into Langthwaite in Arkengarthdale. The following few pictures are what we found a few yards from the car.

This first one looks over towards Slei Gill and Arkengarthdale. Myself and my sister (Meg) then bravely ventured out walking along the top of the frozen snow... it was only when the crust then broke and she fell straight through the foot deep snow and ended up ankle deep in mud that we realised we had been walking across a bog the entire time... and we still had to find a way back! From here on in I was much more careful, but couldn't resist going further to have a look at some very nicely shaped drifts...

We then headed up over the top, back towards Swaledale but had to make another stop when we saw this drift. It was as deep as me (~2m) and yet we could stand right on top of it without it collapsing - just one more daring feat achieved by me that day! I think if Meg had fallen through then we'd never have seen her again... Considering that this was 2 (relatively warm) days after the snowfall - after a lot of snow melt - this was quite a spectacular snow drift.

So... after parking on the top, we continued by foot over towards Swaledale, before heading west along the top of the valley as the sun set over the hill - bathing the bottom of the valley in warm sunlight while making it somewhat chilly for us.

Finally, after the others had got sick of waiting in the cold, we headed off back to the car - but not before I could fall through a snow drift up to my waist - not the easiest pulling yourself out of that with an expensive camera, tripod, backpack full of stuff and only more collapsing snow as far as you can reach! Still, at least I'll remember the walk for it!

This much snow in April... whatever next?

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