Monday, 1 October 2012

Curricking Hell, it's the inaugural Currick Round*!

I'm sure that nobody remembers my farcical first attempt at this round during february 2012. You can read about it here.

For the last 8 months I have fancied having another crack and Sunday 30th September 2012 presented the opportunity when Nic Barber suggested a long run together to prepare for the OMM.

The round is roughly circular, I did it anticlockwise, with a couple of out and backs. It visits all** of the curricks I have found on the OL31 (East Sheet) 1:25000 map, starting on Hamsterley Common and heading west into the North Pennines. A currick is defined here as a small enclosure made from stones used as a lookout by shepherds. Having completed*** my round I would define a currick as "some rocks, which might be in a pile".

We started out from the parking spot on the B6278 just after 11am, rough going through the heather to #1 and #2 on the slopes of Long Man gives a taste of things to come. Next heading east past Pawlaw Pike onto the good track for 3km run out to #3, back along the track for a couple of km before climbing through easy heather to #4 near the trig point on Five Pikes. #5 didn't seem to exist where it was marked on the map, so we counted the cairn in the same general area before descending to the road crossing at Bollihope.

Next was the climb to #6, which is a rather uninspiring pile of rocks east of the trig point of Catterick, the going on this section wasn't too bad with short heather/rocks and a track to follow down to the road near Washpool Crags.

The next section is a monster, after following the track along Bolli Hope it is rough going through bogs and heather for the 28 km to the end with only 500m along a road for relief. After climbing to #7, Ewestone Currick, which again is an uninspiring pile of rocks we headed generally west following fence lines through the bog. There was a fierce headwind and the pace really slowed at this point, we were both happy that we didn't have a time in mind to beat as each step was difficult. It's a long way to #8 only gaining some relief from the bog past the trig of James's Hill with a small section of wooden track on the south side of the fence. #8 is an impressive structure, with a sister currick around 100m away, #9 is rather less impressive being again a lose pile of rocks a few hundred metres further on.

It is again a long slog back to #10, which is rather excitingly described as the plural "curricks" on the map. Now with the wind on our backs we picked up some decent speed and covered the 8km to the trig on Harnisha Hill in about an hour. Being very careful to set a bearing to the curricks we found various rocks, none of which had been assembled into even a loose pile. What a let down.

Down the hill and back up to Monks Moor was the plan, but we followed the wrong wall and ended up 500m too far NW, we were both tired now, had a bit of food behind the wall before spotting out mistake and heading back towards Monk's Moor to pick up #11, 12 and 13, Monk's Currick and it's neighbours.

It is only now looking back at the map I realise that we missed out the currick SW of Monk's Moor. Bugger. 

Anyhow, Monk's Currick was where it should be, but we could only find one of #12 and 13, pick any of the grouse buts hereabouts for the other one if you like. Down the hill, along the road and the final rough climb up to #14, more rough boggy ground over to #15, over Islington Hill to #16 and follow the sheep trods back to the car.

I have just spotted another one on the western slopes of Eggleston Common, double bugger.

We got back to the car in 6 hours 39 minutes after 43km of the roughest ground I have ever run on, with 1100m of ascent. One of the most exhausting days I have ever run in windy and showery conditions. Having just noticed that I missed out a couple of curricks I present The Currick Round as an unfinished project for somebody else to finish off.

List of Curricks, timings and discriptions based on the Currick Scale (0 = doesn't exist, 1 = rocks on ground, 2 = pile of rocks, 3 = impressive rock tower)

Start - 997307 - car park
1 - 995313 - 0:07 - 2
2 - 995315 - 0:09 - 2
3 - 034323 - 0:24 - 3
4 - 013329 - 0:17 - 2
5 - 010323 - 0:07 - 0 (so use the cairn further SE)
6 - 002358 - 0:27 - 1
7 - 957351 - 0:45 - 1
8 - 918330 - 1:06 - 3+ (found 2 impressive curricks here)
9 - 914333 - 0:07 - 1
10 - 968317 - 1:07 - 1
11 - 963291 - 0:51 - 2
12/13 - 968287 - 0:06 - 2 (we could only find one here that wasn't a grouse butt)
13b - 961283 - (omitted)
13c - 997274 - (omitted)
14 - 999291 - 0:40 - 3
15 - 005295 - 0:07 - 1
16 - 999299 - 0:10 - 2
End - 997307 - 0:08 - car park.
Total of 6:39

***nearly completed.

1 comment:

  1. Edit - I have now found number 5, exactly where it should be, it appears to have been rebuilt as a small wall/shelter about 2 foot long and 1 foot high.