Monday, 6 October 2008

Extremes and Ex-Streams

Ribblehead Viaduct

Even when we started out the sky was pretty low...

A year or so ago I was taken to a Mogwai gig by a good friend of mine. Not being completely naive about the indie music scene I had a fair idea that this was going to be a bit of a racket as my nan would say. (Just for clarity, she hasn't been to a Mogwai gig to my knowledge). However, my first gig ever was The Who and I've been to a Dizzee Rascal gig where my trousers were moving (no smutty comments please) due to the bass being so loud, so what further damage could an Indie band do to my hearing?

It was a fantastic nightmare and an experience not to be missed, I wouldn't go as far as to recommend it but when your ears are close to bleeding, your body is getting hit by soundwaves you can feel and then they hit you with ultra strobe hardcore lights its not something you'll forget easily. I'm never going again but I'm glad I experienced it. Just in case you wish to approximate this in your home try this

I've attached the best song of their new album below (great tune), so hit shift and click on the link to play in the background.

Turn all speakers and computer sound up to full blast, then put you head 6" away from the computer screen and blink your eyes every 0.223 seconds.  You really need to have a surround sound system to do this, but if you put the two rear speaker near your ankles you can even get the base on the trousers effect...........or maybe I'm losing the plot. Hell buy a ticket for the tour and take earplugs like most of the audience do......thanks for not telling me Rich.

Oh there was a reason for the whole Mogwai thing, as well as the song and album being rather good, it seemed a good analogy for this weeks walk. It turned out to be Extreme but fun.

The whole walk up Kilimanjaro thing seems to have moved up a notch this week, someone who has recently walked The Great Wall of China has offered to sort it, for NEXT September. That's only a year earlier than expected but it was enough of a shock to Craig to actually get him out on a walk for the first time since he got us lost on Roseberry Topping.

And while I remember, I've been having a few complaints (one in writing, see the comments) about me misquoting and misrepresenting the truth on here. Well I find a good mixture of fact and fiction in all aspects of life is a great way to ensure maximum fun and enjoyment so get over it. 

Well that would have been my opinion until last week when I was outrageously misquoted and badly paraphrased in the press. Not only that, but I have a no publicity policy and always have had, who the heck wants to be famous even in toilet rolls.

At the point I was explaining this to Craig we were mid mountain in a bit of a storm and he slightly misheard me...(remember I didnt say this)

Well that's what Craig heard anyway and for about half a mile I'm sure he was quite impressed and a bit surprised, it wasn't intuition that lead me to this conclusion but the fact that when he caught up with me he said 'how the F**k did you get into Heat Magazine?'

Now we're all back in training (Shad that's you too), we decided to climb up Whernside which is just outside of Ingleton near the Ribblehead viaduct. Having already walked up Pen Y Ghent and Ingleborough this summer it was the last leg of The Yorkshire Three Peaks walk. Ok 3 and a half months probably isn't the quickest it's ever been done but at least I'll know the route when we go for the 12 hour run around in April.

We'd opted for walking on the Saturday even though the forecast for the afternoon was looking a bit iffy late on; it was Glastonbury ticket Sunday so I had no option. We met a Ribblehead and after a bit of a parking issue, it was a bit full in the middle of nowhere, we set off on a 10 mile slow walk around. The weather at this point was dry-ish and a bit boisterous, however with the wind at our backs and loads of stuff to catch up on we plodded up the gentle slopes next to the railway line for a couple of miles crossing a few minor streams. Chatting, we passed few small waterfalls and one pretty high fall with a smidgeon of water flowing over it. But defo no stream on the left!

As we reached the climbing point and changed direction slightly the weather started to close in, after another 20 minutes or so we were climbing in a gale with seriously heavy rain blasting our faces. Free facial scrubs in the Yorkshire Dales. Even though the clouds were pretty low I was confident that we wouldn't end up completely lost this time, well I have bought the latest GPS system and its brilliant. We made it to the top and the GPS tracked us perfectly. Even though it was a bit chilly and wet, we were saved from the cold as Craig had brought spicy parsnip soup FOR TWO (Shad), with TWO cups. He had a third spare one incase anyone else turned up. Time to head back and even though the weather was by now really stupid, I was pretty keen to go off track and test out my toy.

I've always loved toys and if 'the one who dies with the most toys wins' were true; I'd have a fair chance of getting through the pearlies. As it stands, I'd need to be a Godfather on the day of my death to sneak in, you get to renounce all your sins in the christening ceremony, its great.

'Godparents do you renounce all your sins?'  '''Hell Yeah''' or something not quite so offensive was said with great enthusiasm. I think I did the Churchill dog impression.

Off track we went and headed for the tarns in the middle of the moors, we found them by following a small track and GPS, (mainly the track though). Now the next bit was trickier as we had to go across a non tracked moorland for about half a mile, in a cloud. As usual I was overconfident and having Craig about just adds to overconfidence 'it'll be fine' was originally one of his. We marched into the unknown and it was then that I really wished that I'd maybe even once read some of the instruction manual. It's got 7 buttons on it, surely if you hit enough of them it'll point you in the right direction, well the good news is that the GPS bit does alert you to the fact that you are going the wrong way, but you need a different function to point you in the right direction oh bugger!!

We yomped around the moor in deteriorating weather for about another hour and somehow managed to get back to the tiny track we had followed down. It's a good job we found it as I think Craig was flagging and I had disappeared up to my knees at least 3 times in bogs, the top of the moor was rapidly turning into a big swamp with crocodiles (See fact and fiction works a treat). As we started to head down, streams were forming all around us and the path pretty much turned into a stream, the hillside was just full of them and it looked extraordinary. 

The waterfall we passed on the way up had turned into a torrent that would put High Force to shame and as the wind and rain had eased somewhat, all was well with the world.

Except we hadn't considered the effect that incessant heavy rain could have on the small streams we'd crossed. Its no bloody wonder potholers get into bother, I'd send them all to chokey for being so stupid.

The last time I was near here I said 'there would be more chance of us being cut off by the tide' while skitting Andy. Little did I know....

The streams were now rivers and we were in a billy goats gruff scenario, the first stream had a bridge to the side so with a bit of a leap we made it to the green fields, the second stream only had a railway sleeper style improvised crossing, but with a bit of leaping we made it to the green fields. The third and final river as they say down the Boro had nowt, we chose not break stride and just ploughed through it. I'm sure the other bloke who was marching uphill looking for a crossing point thought we were mad.

Craig doing his local newspaper when things go wrong face

Its great when you're that wet though,  you can jump in puddles like a 6 year old without being worried that your dad might clip you round the ear for it. I did consider starting a water kicking fight with Craig to complete this childish relapse, but he looked a bit worse for wear at this stage. Probably due to my lack of GPS reading skills.

Still I had a great day out, I just hope it hasn't put Craig off for another 3 months.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think you should employ that Eat Magazine bloke as your personal spokesman. He makes you sound quite grown up and business-like.