The Sherpa Van Project Baggage Moving Service Accommodation booking service Sherpa Van Home Choose which trail you want to follow Sherpa Van Home Sherpa Van Shop Sherpa Van Message Board Contact us About the Sherpa Van Project
Advertising

Coast to Coast and other paths booking now!

Daily Dales Way Passenger Service

Baggage and Accommodation Booking Services for Walking Holidays in Britain - Now Booking!

Top Posters
Slogger 2892
Lounge Lizard 2013
slowcoach 1925
Oldun 1750
lightweightmick 1690
Find Us On Facebook
Meet other Sherpa Van Forum members on Facebook
Meet other Sherpa Van Forum members on Facebook
Forum Stats
8273 Members
17 Forums
3452 Topics
36002 Posts

Max Online: 257 @ 05/10/16 05:36 PM
Page 1 of 8 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 >
Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#63552 - 08/12/11 09:11 PM Snow
Oldun Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1750
Loc: Renens, Vaud, Switzerland
After several days of torrential rain and freezing winds the sky has cleared to show white capped mountains all around. Got the car out and drove up to around 4000ft, put on my snow shoes and managed to do around eight miles through virgin snow. Great views, but very cold and tiring. Lovely to walk through unmarked snow with nobody else around, just the noise of the wind and the creaking of the snow being compressed under the shoes. Or was it the creaking of old bones under extreme stress?

Still, first time out on shoes this winter. Didn't do too bad.

Top
#63553 - 08/12/11 09:53 PM Re: Snow [Re: Oldun]
Slogger Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/05
Posts: 2892
Loc: West Lancs.
They cancelled the skiing grand prix at Valdersaire (Spelling) due to lack of snow this week, and the event has been transferred to Canadas Lake Louise area where they have had more than usual amounts.
Dave.

Top
#63554 - 09/12/11 03:00 AM Re: Snow [Re: Slogger]
westcoasthiker Offline
Full Member

Registered: 25/10/07
Posts: 47
Loc: Vancouver, BC Canada
Unlike the year of the Olympics, 2010, our local mountains have been covered in snow since early November. Skiing started early this year so I'm not surprised Lake Louise has lots of snow. It's just nice it's on the mountains and not messing up the roads in the city.
_________________________
www.westcoasthikers.wordpress.com

Top
#63555 - 09/12/11 04:06 PM Re: Snow [Re: westcoasthiker]
slowcoach Offline
Full Member

Registered: 30/07/09
Posts: 1925
Loc: Yorkshire
When I was up Gable in mid October there was lying snow from the summit of Green Gable onwards. This is the second year that I have had the first snow at this time in the Lakes. Yesterday the winds made being outside unsafe and there was flooding in lower Swaledale and Wensleydale.

I have two days walking in the Dales booked next week (Hoove, Cleasy Hill and Water Crag amongst others planned) so I have my fingers crossed it will have dried out a little.

Top
#63571 - 13/12/11 07:58 PM Re: Snow [Re: slowcoach]
slowcoach Offline
Full Member

Registered: 30/07/09
Posts: 1925
Loc: Yorkshire
I have just watched tomorrows weather forecast from inside the Scotch Corner Travelodge. Looks like my two days in the Pennines may have to be put on the back burner! 10 cm of snow, 1 degree and 60MPH gales.
Even this will still be better than Christmas shopping though!

Top
#63572 - 13/12/11 08:36 PM Re: Snow [Re: slowcoach]
westcoasthiker Offline
Full Member

Registered: 25/10/07
Posts: 47
Loc: Vancouver, BC Canada
If the winds were not in the forecast you would probably have a nice walk. I do agree with you about Christmas shopping especially the slow walkers leaving their shopping carts all over the place!!
_________________________
www.westcoasthikers.wordpress.com

Top
#63576 - 14/12/11 09:30 AM Re: Snow [Re: westcoasthiker]
Oldun Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1750
Loc: Renens, Vaud, Switzerland
Just watched BBC News at 10hrs this morning. They were showing the work of the Lake District rescue services. There is a guy (sorry, can't remember his name), who walks every day up to the top of Helvelen (3000ft) in all weathers to check on that days weather conditions. It showed him strolling up yesterday in snow with -12C at the top. My God, that guy must be fit to do that walk everyday. I take my hat off to him.

There was a lovely border collie kissing up to the BBC interviewer. Wish I had one of them as a mate.

Top
#63580 - 14/12/11 05:23 PM Re: Snow [Re: Oldun]
slowcoach Offline
Full Member

Registered: 30/07/09
Posts: 1925
Loc: Yorkshire
I set off along the A66 with Brownber Head as my intended destination. However, the snow got heavier and heavier and the road narrower and narrower so I abandoned the idea to try Water Crag. However, the Kirby S to Swaledale road was blocked by snow.

I finished up going back to Reeth (in case the A66 was closed) and walking up Peat Moor Hill in driving sleet, gale force winds and a deep covering of snow. Only 4 miles but in a strange way it was really enjoyable, especially on the top when I had the whole world to myself. And the alternative (Christmas shopping) was just too depressing to think about.

Better luck tomorrow ?

Top
#63581 - 14/12/11 05:26 PM Re: Snow [Re: slowcoach]
slowcoach Offline
Full Member

Registered: 30/07/09
Posts: 1925
Loc: Yorkshire
"I do agree with you about Christmas shopping especially the slow walkers leaving their shopping carts all over the place!!"

I once went into Morrisons with a trolley. It was so crowded I fled the place, but not before pushing my unused trolley into another shoppers empty one and recovering my £1 coin. Wonder what she thought!

Top
#63586 - 16/12/11 02:17 PM Re: Snow [Re: slowcoach]
Oldun Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1750
Loc: Renens, Vaud, Switzerland
Sitting indoors listening to hurricane Joachim raging outside. It is raining horizontally and the News reports gusting between 90 to 120 mph. It is unseasonably warm at the moment but 14 inches of snow are forecast for the weekend across our region.

Meanwhile, my fish pond has flooded onto the lawn and the birds are doing trapeze acts in the trees. The noise of the wind and rain hitting the roof makes listening to someone talking a little difficult.

Top
#63587 - 16/12/11 04:27 PM Re: Snow [Re: Oldun]
Gregg Offline
Full Member

Registered: 18/01/05
Posts: 369
Loc: Cotati, CA, USA
Hurricanes in Switzerland? Who would have thought it?

Top
#63590 - 16/12/11 10:42 PM Re: Snow [Re: Gregg]
Oldun Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1750
Loc: Renens, Vaud, Switzerland
We get very strong winds quite regularly, but not often hurricanes. The last strong one was about 10 years ago (Lotha) which flattened large areas of forest. As most of Switzerland is above cloud level the winds come in from the Atlantic and the Sahara with nothing to stop them. The weather changes are sudden and quite violent. There are hail storms with ice bits the size of golf balls suddenly wapping down out of a summer sky. When there is a thunder storm the lighting is whipping around at street level, which is quite worrying. The present high winds are nothing compared to Lotha. That one sounded like a Jumbo jet strapped down at roof top level for 4 days. The weird things here are water spouts rising out of the lakes, caused by the high winds twisting around the mountains. We also have regular earth tremors, sometimes several a week. These are caused by the plates of the Alps that are in a constant state of slippage, deep down under Lac Leman (Lake Geneva). The tremors are not violent and do not make the headlines, but are annoying just the same, sometimes ornaments fall out of wall cabinets when they are bouncing against the walls. Being up high we get the worst of the weather and also the best of the weather. When Europe is stuck under a blanket of rain clouds, we are up sunbathing and improving our tans.

Top
#63592 - 17/12/11 02:57 PM Re: Snow [Re: Oldun]
slowcoach Offline
Full Member

Registered: 30/07/09
Posts: 1925
Loc: Yorkshire
"The weather changes are sudden and quite violent. There are hail storms with ice bits the size of golf balls suddenly wapping down out of a summer sky. When there is a thunder storm the lighting is whipping around at street level, which is quite worrying"


So .... you've been to Wensleydale in August?

Top
#63595 - 17/12/11 09:01 PM Re: Snow [Re: slowcoach]
Slogger Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/05
Posts: 2892
Loc: West Lancs.
A few years ago while we were in italy in the Lake Garda area and walking through a village we noticed a car that looked like it had been vandalised by a ball pane hammer. The indentations covered most of its bodywork.
The we noticed another and another before it dawned on us that it must have beeen due to a very heavy hailstorm. Getting caught out in those conditions in the open, one can only imagine the consequences.
Dave.

Top
#63598 - 18/12/11 10:08 AM Re: Snow [Re: Slogger]
Oldun Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1750
Loc: Renens, Vaud, Switzerland
Earlier this year a band of weather with hail the size of large marbles caused a great amount of damage across our Canton Vaud region. It flattened crops in the field, smashed fields of glass houses, broke roof skylights and pockmarked 1000's of cars. A special bureau was set up to deal with 1000's insurance claims. My walking mates car was considered a write-off and he received sufficient money to buy a new one. This band of hail was about 3 miles wide and cut across the country like a motorway.

Top
#63599 - 18/12/11 10:18 AM Re: Snow [Re: Oldun]
Oldun Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1750
Loc: Renens, Vaud, Switzerland
While I am watching the snow falling I am reading about a new type of DNA that is only transferred down the female line of a family and is used to trace dynasties and migrations.

Were you aware that in Yorkshire, people with unusual names normally have African DNA, thought to have been brought in by the Roman slaves used to build Hadrians Wall. In Wales strong Balkan DNA traces have been found and that the vast majority of people in Britain have DNA that can be traced back to the Middle East of about 7300 BC. There are certainly the Swedish, Dutch and Germanic traces. But these races also came from the Middle East at the same period of time.

I shall read on...............

Top
#63601 - 18/12/11 07:11 PM Re: Snow [Re: Oldun]
slowcoach Offline
Full Member

Registered: 30/07/09
Posts: 1925
Loc: Yorkshire
"Were you aware that in Yorkshire, people with unusual names normally have African DNA, thought to have been brought in by the Roman slaves used to build Hadrians Wall."

So is that how Auld Featherstonehaugh came to be here?

Top
#63603 - 19/12/11 08:52 AM Re: Snow [Re: slowcoach]
Oldun Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1750
Loc: Renens, Vaud, Switzerland
Well it's been snowing since Saturday, I am now living in a different countryside and my bird tables in the garden are doing a roaring trade. Trying to decide whether snow shoes will be a necessity or pleasure....or whether to sit indoors and be a lazy b...!.

Top
#63607 - 20/12/11 08:03 AM Re: Snow [Re: Oldun]
Oldun Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1750
Loc: Renens, Vaud, Switzerland
Tuesday morning and still snowing. Looking out the window I was thinking of that film "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" when they got snowed in for the winter.

Will have to put my money where my mouth is today and get out to do something. Not the day to be off alone trekking though..............

Top
#63608 - 20/12/11 09:26 AM Re: Snow [Re: Oldun]
tim smith Offline
Full Member

Registered: 28/10/06
Posts: 1054
Loc: england
Hi Oldun,
if you go out just take care,
and all the best for Christmas and New Year
That goes to everyone else who post on here,
cheers
_________________________
ern

Top
#63609 - 20/12/11 05:24 PM Re: Snow [Re: tim smith]
Oldun Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1750
Loc: Renens, Vaud, Switzerland
Ditto ern.

It is so nice to have English speaking people to converse with (that includes Americans and Colonial people as well)....although "English speaking" is stretching it bit..........LOL

Best wishes to everyone for this festive season what ever your faith or political leaning.

How's that for political correctness?

Top
#63614 - 21/12/11 09:45 PM Re: Snow [Re: Oldun]
slowcoach Offline
Full Member

Registered: 30/07/09
Posts: 1925
Loc: Yorkshire
"festive season"

Now you have upset all Jehovah's Witnesses!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Top
#63615 - 21/12/11 11:11 PM Re: Snow [Re: slowcoach]
MarkF Offline
Full Member

Registered: 31/01/06
Posts: 234
Loc: Canberra, ACT, Australia
As an atheist I am quite happy to celebrate anybody's holiday as we don't have one of our own - let the party begin!

I don't see why anybody should have to apologise for their beliefs - even if they involve obscene levels of consumption.
_________________________
Mark
___________________
Walking my own walk

Top
#63618 - 22/12/11 07:47 AM Re: Snow [Re: MarkF]
Oldun Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1750
Loc: Renens, Vaud, Switzerland
Ok. Let's get down to facts!

When does obscene become obscene?

Top
#63626 - 23/12/11 02:29 PM Re: Snow [Re: Oldun]
slowcoach Offline
Full Member

Registered: 30/07/09
Posts: 1925
Loc: Yorkshire
......... or significantly reduce an other person's quality of life

Top
#63630 - 23/12/11 09:56 PM Re: Snow [Re: slowcoach]
Oldun Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1750
Loc: Renens, Vaud, Switzerland
I must admit that during my working life I have had to consume large amounts of raw alcohol in order to get a transaction completed. Many places around the world will not consider talking business until they believe that they have succeeded in fuddling ones brain. It has been necessary to resort to tricks like eating a block of butter and drinking a litre of Kefir to put a lining on the stomach before embarking on an evenings business discussions.

Why is it that a male even in the most backward jungle areas has to prove that he is a "man" by showing that he can drink other males under the table.

I am wondering now how much these previous excesses have shortened my life.

Top
#63664 - 28/12/11 09:32 AM Re: Snow [Re: Oldun]
Oldun Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1750
Loc: Renens, Vaud, Switzerland
Had a wonderful day yesterday snow-shoeing through the forests up in the hills. As only animals had been through there before me I could follow animal tracks which showed a complete history of what had happened. There were deer, fox, hare and I believe Lynx tracks. Followed a set of fox tracks that were following a hare, which subsequently met up with its cousins. There seemed to have been a group pow wow which had been broken up suddenly by the arrival out of nowhere of a Lynx. The snow was really churned up, peppered with urine and blood. Above the trees the sun was blistering down and sweat was pouring off me, but the wind was at minus 1C so I could not strip off. Today down on the plain there is a blanket of freezing fog with thick frost, so I will have a day indoors painting the bathroom ceiling.

Don't know if anyone reads this rubbish I write down, but it is good to run through thoughts and memories while my brain is waking up.

It was funny in one place yesterday where I was not quite sure whether to go up slope or down. Then I saw where all animals tracks including deer joined together into a solid line. So I followed the flow and came across an ancient stone wall. All the animal tracks went through a gap in the wall then split up to go their own ways. Must have been an animal signpost somewhere giving them directions that I failed to see.

Top
#63674 - 28/12/11 10:26 PM Re: Snow [Re: Oldun]
tim smith Offline
Full Member

Registered: 28/10/06
Posts: 1054
Loc: england
Hi Oldun,
The rubish you are writing paints a picture, keep on writing.
My walks are all on the flat, it is a case of walking to the wood and round and round to get the milage in.
the walk round the wood is just a mile.
it is a mile from home, yesterday I went twice round to-day I went three times. day dreaming all the time.
Some times i see a grey squirel a few birds, crows, pheasents and wood pidgeon.
I think the dog walkers frighten most things off.
strong westerly wind to-day
All the best for the New Year and keep walking and posting
cheers
_________________________
ern

Top
#63676 - 28/12/11 11:06 PM Re: Snow [Re: tim smith]
slowcoach Offline
Full Member

Registered: 30/07/09
Posts: 1925
Loc: Yorkshire
Don't run yourself down Tim. Enjoy every day as I'm sure you do.

I hope I can still match your exploits when I reach your age.

Top
#63677 - 28/12/11 11:10 PM Re: Snow [Re: slowcoach]
slowcoach Offline
Full Member

Registered: 30/07/09
Posts: 1925
Loc: Yorkshire
PS.Seriously thinking of calling it a day next year. Too many hills to walk with so little time to do them in. Can't let work interfere with it much longer.

Top
#63682 - 29/12/11 09:16 AM Re: Snow [Re: slowcoach]
tim smith Offline
Full Member

Registered: 28/10/06
Posts: 1054
Loc: england
Originally Posted By: slowcoach
Don't run yourself down Tim. Enjoy every day as I'm sure you do.

I hope I can still match your exploits when I reach your age.


Thanks Slowcoach and if you keep active ,as I am sure you will, I have no doubt at all that you will easily surpass my little
exploits
_________________________
ern

Top
#63683 - 29/12/11 09:43 AM Re: Snow [Re: slowcoach]
Oldun Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1750
Loc: Renens, Vaud, Switzerland
Slowcoach, what are you saying here.....you going to quit work or walking?

Don't rush at either of them, enjoy every moment.

Top
#63684 - 29/12/11 09:53 AM Re: Snow [Re: Oldun]
Oldun Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1750
Loc: Renens, Vaud, Switzerland
Ok. The morning bulletin from La Suisse.

I don't know if any one noticed but there was an icky bicky earth rumble in our region a couple of days ago, registering 3 point something on the Richter scale. Made local headlines but little else.

Despite 3 metre high multicolor notices written in 4 languages warning people not to go "off-piste" owing to the severe avalanche danger, idiots are still living up to their names of "Free riders". Yesterday in a totally forbidden area they managed to start off an avalanche that broke down property. Happily no one was injured. However, insurances are refusing to pay for the damages and any future medical costs.

I read somewhere that police are now patrolling the slopes looking for people that would be better off in a mental home.

Top
#63686 - 29/12/11 10:38 AM Re: Snow [Re: Oldun]
tim smith Offline
Full Member

Registered: 28/10/06
Posts: 1054
Loc: england
Oldun,
I heard there had been a slight rummle in the York area.
as for mental people, the ones who caused the avalanche should be made to pay for the damage.
just read in the local paper a new millionaire in the York area , so I am busy finding out where to send the begging letters!

Cheers
_________________________
ern

Top
#63690 - 29/12/11 03:59 PM Re: Snow [Re: Oldun]
slowcoach Offline
Full Member

Registered: 30/07/09
Posts: 1925
Loc: Yorkshire
[quote=Oldun]Slowcoach, what are you saying here.....you going to quit work or walking?

Don't rush at either of them, enjoy every moment."


I officially retired when I was 60 but stayed on in order to train youngsters. Now I am approaching 65 I am finding the physicality of it increasingly tiring.
Last Autumn my wife and I sat on top of Shining Tor and saw miles of hills that we couldn't name and that we have never visited. We got talking about this and decided that perhaps my 65th would be a watershed and we should be exploring new areas.
I feel that I have done my stint and now I should be reaping the benefits. My contract expires at the end of March so a decision will have to be made quickly!

Top
#63692 - 29/12/11 11:09 PM Re: Snow [Re: slowcoach]
Oldun Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1750
Loc: Renens, Vaud, Switzerland
Slowcoach, go for it. My life totally changed when I retired, from one day to the next. I finished work late one night with everything clean, sorted and clear. The next morning I woke up I forgot about work and never sought to go back, or find a part time job and never kept up with work colleagues.

A new life suddenly opened up..................

Now there are not enough hours in the day to get done what I have to do..........

The retirement trap is never being able to finish a job that you have just started...there is always something else pressing that must be done...you start the new job and forget to finish the job you were just doing....a bit like a butterfly flitting from flower to flower before sucking the first flower dry.

Top
#63693 - 30/12/11 07:25 AM Re: Snow [Re: Oldun]
slowcoach Offline
Full Member

Registered: 30/07/09
Posts: 1925
Loc: Yorkshire
Oldun .....Thanks for the advice .... points to ponder!

Top
#63694 - 30/12/11 09:59 AM Re: Snow [Re: slowcoach]
Harland Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 29/04/05
Posts: 1324
Loc: North Yorkshire
I agree with Oldun, "retirement" is magic! You can do what you want, when you want. I thought it would be like a long weekend but it is much better than that! Make sure that you do things whilst you are able to so that as you sit in your rocking chair in years to come you don't think "If only....." but "That was really enjoyable with lovely memories".
_________________________
Pennine Way 2005&2014; C2C 2006; SWCP 2007; WHW 2008; GGW 2008; Dales Way 2011; Clev.W 2012; Yorkshire W.W. 2012; Offa's Dyke 2013; Peddars Way & Norfolk Coast Path 2014; Pembrokeshire Coast Path 2015: LEJoG in stages 2018: Camino 5/2019.

Top
#63698 - 30/12/11 04:28 PM Re: Snow [Re: Harland]
slowcoach Offline
Full Member

Registered: 30/07/09
Posts: 1925
Loc: Yorkshire
Originally Posted By: Harland
I agree with Oldun, "retirement" is magic! You can do what you want, when you want. I thought it would be like a long weekend but it is much better than that! Make sure that you do things whilst you are able to so that as you sit in your rocking chair in years to come you don't think "If only....." but "That was really enjoyable with lovely memories".


Duplicate post ......

My only fear about the future is that one day the Grim Reaper will approach me and say "Aye lad ... Th' times up, I've come for thee"

As I shed my mortal coil and make my way heavenwards I catch one last glance of England and glimpse a hill that I haven't walked up ..

I would never rest in peace if this happened.

Top
#63699 - 30/12/11 04:36 PM Re: Snow [Re: slowcoach]
Les + Heidi Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/01/09
Posts: 327
Loc: hertfordshire
SC,
If you really have those thoughts then there isn't that much to ponder surely ?
Enjoy your retirement, it sounds like you have it well plotted in your mind so best crack on with it !
All the best
Les

Top
#63700 - 30/12/11 05:03 PM Re: Snow [Re: slowcoach]
tonyk Offline
Full Member

Registered: 16/02/04
Posts: 1033
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: slowcoach
Originally Posted By: Harland
I agree with Oldun, "retirement" is magic! You can do what you want, when you want. I thought it would be like a long weekend but it is much better than that! Make sure that you do things whilst you are able to so that as you sit in your rocking chair in years to come you don't think "If only....." but "That was really enjoyable with lovely memories".


Duplicate post ......

My only fear about the future is that one day the Grim Reaper will approach me and say "Aye lad ... Th' times up, I've come for thee"

As I shed my mortal coil and make my way heavenwards I catch one last glance of England and glimpse a hill that I haven't walked up ..

I would never rest in peace if this happened.


The trouble is you don't know when the Grim Reaper will come for you.A Buddhist monk once told me there are only two things that are certain in life,the first being that you are going to die and the second being that you don't know when you are going to die.I often wince when people say they are going to wait until they retire before doing something.How do they know they are going to reach retirement age?

Top
#63705 - 31/12/11 05:54 PM Re: Snow [Re: tonyk]
slowcoach Offline
Full Member

Registered: 30/07/09
Posts: 1925
Loc: Yorkshire
"the second being that you don't know when you are going to die."

Google "Peter Labilliere" and "Box Hill"

Top
#63766 - 10/01/12 09:27 PM Re: Snow [Re: slowcoach]
Oldun Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1750
Loc: Renens, Vaud, Switzerland
After all the grey and miserable weather the sun has returned. Up in the hills it is just like Brighton sea front on a hot summers day. Cars, cars and more cars, with skiers in every direction. As usual when there is deep snow about and just to add to the confusion, the army arrives with lorry loads of fresh squaddies carrying over size backpacks. ...officers taking great delight in screaming their heads off at the poor buggers they have got trying to run through knee deep snow.

My mate and I went off on our own in the opposite direction through a snow laden forest, climbing up about a 5000 ft to the peaks where the snow was hard and had drifted in places to such a depth that we were actually stepping on the uppermost branches of pine trees. Weird feeling to realize that in summer we would be walking beneath the branches of these same trees, which were now just humps in the snow about a foot high.

Going up was a slow sweating slog which turned quite chilly in exposed areas when the wind hit us. Had a very slow walk down and just as sweaty, this time the sweat was produced by anxiety as we picked our way across ice fields that had been left with a thin coating of powder snow hiding the slippery surface.

Altogether a lovely day, finished off in a mountain buvette where the farmer provided slices of sausage and dried meats washed down with a local brew.

The only down side was when we finally left the warm cabin to do the final couple of miles with cold wet clothes and soggy hats and gloves.

Surprising how bright the sunlight is after a few jars!

Top
#63777 - 13/01/12 03:06 PM Re: Snow [Re: Oldun]
Oldun Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1750
Loc: Renens, Vaud, Switzerland
Yesterdays walk was again up in the (now) cross-country skiing areas of the Swiss Jura in the Mount Tendre region overlooking Lac Leman (Lake Geneva). Knowing that it was going to be busy up there, my mate and I set off early while there was a chill in the air, but the pistes were clear of people.

We covered several miles in total peace with picture postcard views, blue skies and boiling hot sunshine. Actually the air temperature was minus one centigrade, but the unshaded infra red from the sun heated us up just as if we were in a sauna.

For lunch we sat up on a rocky knoll where we could look across to a complete horizon covered by the Alps; Mont Blanc being in plain view.

While we were sitting there a large bird (of the feathered variety) came walking up to us just as if it were out for a stroll in the park. It was the same shape as a Grouse, but a lot larger: about 90 centimeters long. It wandered past, pecked at a few ground berries, then came up to an arms length from me, watching me intensely. It then settled it self down comfortably on a mound of snow and turned to look out across the snow fields exactly the same as we were. It showed absolutely no fear and seemed to be enjoying our company. After about 30 minutes we finished our lunch, packed up and wandered down from the knoll. The bird slowly walked away in the opposite direct after we had said goodbye. Subsequently I have found out that the bird was a Capercaille, a native of old pine forests and rocky areas. Quite a memorable experience.

On our walk back to where we had left the car we noticed that the pistes had become full of people. As far as the eye could see in both directions there were long lines of skiers. Trying to thread our way back was like trying to get served at the bar of Lord Stones Cafe on a sunny Sunday afternoon during the school holidays.

Top
#63783 - 14/01/12 08:23 AM Re: Snow [Re: Oldun]
tim smith Offline
Full Member

Registered: 28/10/06
Posts: 1054
Loc: england
Oldun
re Yesterdays walk ,
Well done ,
If you could see me, I am green with envy.
All the best for the new year
_________________________
ern

Top
#63784 - 14/01/12 08:29 AM Re: Snow [Re: tim smith]
tim smith Offline
Full Member

Registered: 28/10/06
Posts: 1054
Loc: england
had pheasant strolling round the garden the other day
I am hoping there will be a few hen pheasant's about as well.last year there were 5 sanding themselves under the hedge
_________________________
ern

Top
#63785 - 14/01/12 09:03 AM Re: Snow [Re: tim smith]
Oldun Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1750
Loc: Renens, Vaud, Switzerland
Hi Tim. Happy New Year.

The large bodied bird (90cm = 36inch) we saw yesterday seems to be of the Grouse family and it actually walked like the grouse in the whisky advert. It looked really funny lifting its feathered legs up high very carefully. We could not believe how close it walked up to us. I could have (with a stretch), stroked it on the head. It was just as if it was relieved to see us and have some company. The really strange feeling came when it snuggled down in the snow next to me and started admiring the scenery. Its head and beak were quite hefty and by the way it looked up at me I wondered whether it was sizing me up for a meal.

Top
#63788 - 14/01/12 02:05 PM Re: Snow [Re: Oldun]
tim smith Offline
Full Member

Registered: 28/10/06
Posts: 1054
Loc: england
Hi Oldun,
just been looking the capercaillie up in the bird book.
it states it is a very large bird and can be mistaken for a turkey. also the displaying males are very aggressive and may threaten deer, sheep or even humans.
by the look of their claws I would think they could give a nasty wound, so be careful
_________________________
ern

Top
#63792 - 14/01/12 05:12 PM Re: Snow [Re: tim smith]
slowcoach Offline
Full Member

Registered: 30/07/09
Posts: 1925
Loc: Yorkshire
Grouse are very wary birds (they know what is going to happen to them on August 12th!) Very unlikely that one would let you anywhere near it. Could it have been a ptarmigan or a dotteril? The latter can very approachable and I have had one eating out of my hand! They were driven almost to the point of extinction by people looking for something for their pot.

Top
#63796 - 14/01/12 09:16 PM Re: Snow [Re: slowcoach]
Oldun Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1750
Loc: Renens, Vaud, Switzerland
This bird was definitely a Capercaille. The photo I took of it compares exactly with a photo in a local bird book and like Tim says, it was as big as a turkey. Grouse are about a third of the size. The book says that they do not fly about much but like to creep around wild pine forests. I guess this one was just bored and lonely, or maybe it has got used to people leaving behind tidbits for it.

In our walks we have found that wild deer will approach walkers and only step aside at the last moment. When it is the authorized hunting season you do not see a deer for love or money. Maybe they are learning to read the signs.

What we are constantly on the look out for are Lynx. They have been reported in the hills close to here and we have seen unusual paw marks in the mud and snow, but as yet we have had no sighting.

Top
#63797 - 14/01/12 09:17 PM Re: Snow [Re: slowcoach]
Oldun Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1750
Loc: Renens, Vaud, Switzerland
This bird was definitely a Capercaille. The photo I took of it compares exactly with a photo in a local bird book and like Tim says, it was as big as a turkey. Grouse are about a third of the size. The book says that they do not fly about much but like to creep around wild pine forests. I guess this one was just bored and lonely, or maybe it has got used to people leaving behind tidbits for it.

In our walks we have found that wild deer will approach walkers and only step aside at the last moment. When it is the authorized hunting season you do not see a deer for love or money. Maybe they are learning to read the signs.

What we are constantly on the look out for are Lynx. They have been reported in the hills close to here and we have seen unusual paw marks in the mud and snow, but as yet we have had no sighting.

Top
#63798 - 14/01/12 09:24 PM Re: Snow [Re: Oldun]
tim smith Offline
Full Member

Registered: 28/10/06
Posts: 1054
Loc: england
we notice the Pheasents seem to know when it is the close season
_________________________
ern

Top
#63803 - 15/01/12 04:24 PM Re: Snow [Re: tim smith]
Slogger Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/05
Posts: 2892
Loc: West Lancs.
We saw a Capercaille whilst at our basecamp in the Cairgorms a few years ago, big Turkey like bird and talk about run!
Ptarmigans are about the size of a Grouse and also do not like to fly without good cause.
Dotterills are ever present on the Munro's and fly away as you approach, except when with young, when they are quite confident and will stand their ground allowing you to pass only feet away without any intention of flying away.
We are still awaitin a possitive sighting of a Golden Eagle. We think we saw one when Munroing off the A9, it was a large bird soaring some height and distance away so we could not be sure.
However since starting the Munro's I have added several species to my list that I had not seen before and I was keen Twitcher at one time.
Dave

Top
#63804 - 15/01/12 07:08 PM Re: Snow [Re: Slogger]
slowcoach Offline
Full Member

Registered: 30/07/09
Posts: 1925
Loc: Yorkshire

"Dotterills are ever present on the Munro's and fly away as you approach,"

Never trust a Scottish bird ... miserable little blighters

"Dotterel is a tame bird which will often allow very close approach. The scientific name Charadrius morinellus reflects this unworldly and unhealthy attitude towards people – morinellus means ‘little fool’.

http://www.birdwatch.co.uk/categories/articleitem.asp?cate=26&topic=132&item=494

Top
#63805 - 15/01/12 08:09 PM Re: Snow [Re: slowcoach]
Oldun Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1750
Loc: Renens, Vaud, Switzerland
Slogger. That's very interesting that you saw a Capercaille in the Cairgorms. In the bird book I read that they were hunted to extinction in Britain many years ago for food. Maybe they have started spreading back from Europe. I must say that it is the first time I have ever heard of or seen one.

Regarding Golden Eagles. A short distance from here is a town called Aigle (eagle in French) which is surrounded on three sides by steep sided mountains. When one walks up out of Aigle is is not uncommon to see mixed flights of eagles soaring around the chalets, some of these eagles are very large and have the blue band showing underwing. They seemed to strongly resemble Golden Eagles. They rarely seem to flap their wings, but glide effortlessly everywhere.

Top
#63823 - 18/01/12 06:31 PM Re: Snow [Re: Oldun]
brief encounter Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/10/11
Posts: 5
I had a sea gull near St.Bees and then a shag in Ennerdale

Top
#63824 - 18/01/12 07:45 PM Re: Snow [Re: brief encounter]
Oldun Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1750
Loc: Renens, Vaud, Switzerland
What more could one hope for...............

Top
#63825 - 19/01/12 07:21 AM Re: Snow [Re: Oldun]
slowcoach Offline
Full Member

Registered: 30/07/09
Posts: 1925
Loc: Yorkshire
........ that this isn't Mr Grimsdale under a different avatar!

Top
#63834 - 20/01/12 04:47 AM Re: Snow [Re: slowcoach]
Gregg Offline
Full Member

Registered: 18/01/05
Posts: 369
Loc: Cotati, CA, USA
On returning from a short vacation exploring Mayan ruins in Honduras, I found my flower beds torn up by marauding wild turkeys (28 in the flock), hunting for
insects I suppose. These beasts give my wife and I fits, but we love them anyway. If motivated, they will fly for 100 feet, 15 feet off the ground.

In Honduras, Macaws would land on my arm and dig their claws into my skin before flying off. But they charmed me with their colorful beauty.

Top
#63838 - 20/01/12 05:53 PM Re: Snow [Re: Oldun]
Slogger Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/05
Posts: 2892
Loc: West Lancs.
Originally Posted By: Oldun
Slogger. That's very interesting that you saw a Capercaille in the Cairgorms. In the bird book I read that they were hunted to extinction in Britain many years ago for food.


You are correct that they were driven to extinction in Britain many years ago but have been intriduced since invarious programs.
However their failure at breeding here has lead to them being in danger once more.
As you can see from the link there are near to 2,000 individual birds estimated.
http://www.rspb.org.uk/wildlife/birdguide/name/c/capercaillie/index.aspx
Dave.

Top
#63840 - 21/01/12 09:34 AM Re: Snow [Re: Slogger]
Oldun Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1750
Loc: Renens, Vaud, Switzerland
That's him. Quite an imposing size when you are sitting and he is standing next to you, showing absolutely no fear. Or maybe it is stupidity, as this may be the reason that they got snapped up so easily.

Top
#63887 - 26/01/12 08:22 PM Re: Snow [Re: Oldun]
Oldun Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1750
Loc: Renens, Vaud, Switzerland
Saw another capercaille yesterday walking along behind a group of 8 year olds like a pet dog. Very strange. These birds must have descended on our area for some reason. Cannot understand why they have absolutely no fear. They remind me of farmyard geese in their actions.

To continue...did 14 miles cross-country yesterday wearing snowshoes. Quite an exercise galumping over deep virgin snow that had covered up or altered most land marks. Really relied upon my GPS, compass and map to get dead reckoning headings. Lots of guesswork. Luckily the snow was blowing against our backs, but visibility was still impaired.

Can hardly move my legs today...the muscles are as stiff as boards. Think I will go and sit in a sauna for a couple of hours to see if they loosen off a bit.

Top
#63889 - 26/01/12 09:23 PM Re: Snow [Re: Oldun]
Slogger Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/05
Posts: 2892
Loc: West Lancs.
14 miles in snowshoes has got to equivolent to over 20 miles of normal walking.
Dave.

Top
#63947 - 02/02/12 07:31 AM Re: Snow [Re: Slogger]
Oldun Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1750
Loc: Renens, Vaud, Switzerland
I don't know how everybody else is doing but it is scary cold here, with a strong ice wind blowing. Absolutely no walking for the next week or so, just survival.

It is reported that several people have been frozen to death, but they would be the ones living rough.

This coming week we have been told to expect down to minus 17 C here, with probable minus 40 C in the hills.

I celebrated my enprisonment in the house by falling down the stairs yesterday. I am alright though, as I landed on my head. Look as though I lost a boxing match.

Top
#63951 - 02/02/12 03:43 PM Re: Snow [Re: Oldun]
slowcoach Offline
Full Member

Registered: 30/07/09
Posts: 1925
Loc: Yorkshire
At least you didn't fall down the side of a hill! Take care in the bad weather. Get a fire going and get out the maps of the long distance paths.

Top
#63954 - 02/02/12 06:56 PM Re: Snow [Re: slowcoach]
Slogger Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/05
Posts: 2892
Loc: West Lancs.
Snow expected on Saturday, looks like the Pennine Bridleway Fell Race Relays will be called off, which i was going to help out on, so may go for a walk instead.
It's icy cold here too but nowhere near as bad as mainland Europe at the moment, but is moving ever more slowly towards us.
It's expected to be on the cold side throughout this month.
Dave.

Top
#63956 - 02/02/12 09:47 PM Re: Snow [Re: Slogger]
Oldun Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1750
Loc: Renens, Vaud, Switzerland
If we are dressed correctly its not a problem to walk. What hurts is the frozen air going into your lungs. It is necessary to have a cagoul permanently over your nose and mouth, but this gets sopping wet on the inside with a build up of ice on the outside, and when you stop to rest your glasses steam up and you can't see a damn thing.

Just remembering working in Poland in the '60's when it was minus 35C. There was so much snow and ice the village was cut off for two weeks and all we had to eat were peanuts that my mum had given me and some strips of white fat covered in paprika. There was a plentiful supply of vodka, and after 500gms you don't feel anything and the days pass quickly.

Top
#63975 - 04/02/12 02:05 PM Re: Snow [Re: Oldun]
joyce taylor Offline
Full Member

Registered: 31/01/07
Posts: 317
Loc: byrness village
It was minus 10 here last night and that was bad enough for me.
_________________________
http://www.forestviewbyrness.co.uk
#1 place to stay in Byrness (tripadvisor)

Top
#63990 - 05/02/12 03:17 PM Re: Snow [Re: joyce taylor]
Slogger Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/05
Posts: 2892
Loc: West Lancs.
We escaped the snow that fell on a lot of the UK yesterday, however conditions became lethal as we got rain instead falling onto frozen ground and vehcles fencing etc. Everything coverd in Verglas (Transparent sheet ice). This morning although warmed up to above freezing level huge icicles everywhere and hanging from vehicle sills, thankfully the roads and paths are thawing quickly.
Dave.

Top
#64003 - 06/02/12 12:01 PM Re: Snow [Re: Slogger]
Les + Heidi Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/01/09
Posts: 327
Loc: hertfordshire
We had 5'' down here in hertfordshire but its well above freezing today and its slowly melting. Hopefully the temperature wont plummet down too much over night to freeze everything. One thing that is very noticeable is how still the air is, no wind at all and no noise, its very noticeable, also making it very misty in the evening and first thing.

Top
#64009 - 06/02/12 01:22 PM Re: Snow [Re: Les + Heidi]
slowcoach Offline
Full Member

Registered: 30/07/09
Posts: 1925
Loc: Yorkshire
The picture in yesterdays Sunday Times was amazing. A lone walker on the Cumbrian Pennines passing some fencing covered almost entirely in wind-blown ice and snow. Made me want to leave work and go and find out where it was taken!

Top
#64128 - 14/02/12 07:41 AM Re: Snow [Re: slowcoach]
Oldun Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1750
Loc: Renens, Vaud, Switzerland
We are told this morning that the great freeze is over and today will be a summery -2C. Be nice to see the sun again and open the shutters. A local lake ( Lac de Joux) has ice 30cm thick and over the weekend there were 7000 people skating on it. My fish pond is one solid block of ice and I can see the fish in hibernation deep down. All plants look a sorry sight, but it always amazes me how they keep returning each year after being eaten by the frost.

With the sunlight this morning I can see where I fell down the stairs the other week and where I should clean the dried blood off the wall. Head is healed up pretty good and is now itchy back to good health.

Must now think about walking again, but will leave it a little while until the hills get above minus degrees. They now tell us to make use of the sunshine this morning as it will start snowing tonight owing to the warmer weather.

Well.....you can't win them all !

Top
#64133 - 14/02/12 09:07 AM Re: Snow [Re: Oldun]
tim smith Offline
Full Member

Registered: 28/10/06
Posts: 1054
Loc: england
Oldun,
good to hear you are getting back to good health.
bit of snow we had is going now.
the great Granddaughter was busy making snow men in the garden yesterday,
they make you smile, one was a mammy one , one a daddy one, one was smaller one, their child, and then she made a large ball and stuck it on the mammy one and that was baby in the mammy's tummy
_________________________
ern

Top
Page 1 of 8 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 >


Moderator:  justin, noj 

Home  Baggage Service   Accommodation Booking  Trail Planning   Useful Links   Book Store   About Us

E-Mail: info@sherpavan.com


© Sherpa Van, 1b Osiers Road, London, SW18 1NL. Registered No: 3179698. T: 01748 826917