Roseberry Round!

There are many areas around the North East where you can travel relatively few miles to find somewhere to have a nice, scenic walk.  One of these is the Cleveland/North Yorkshire Moors.  The area around Great Ayton, Stokesley and surrounding villages is one part of the NE where you can find a variety of surroundings in which to walk.


There is a well-known place, Roseberry Topping is visited by school parties, families and just about everyone who wants the feeling of climbing a fairly big hill and taking in the views at the top.  To be fair, it is a bit like Catbells in the Lake District, as in gets a bit crowded and if you like a nice quiet walk out it probably isn’t my first choice, but we thought we’d have a look out but use the surrounding area to ‘beef’ up the walk a bit.

20190603_115246 (1)

I plotted a route which starts on a small lane called Dikes Lane, which you can get onto by going to Great Ayton and following the sign to Great Ayton Train Station then staying on that small road up into the hills and a carpark that conveniently has a picnic site.

20190603_113847 (1)

We arrived about 11am and there were a few cars already parked up.  This is a well-used car park as it is also an ideal starting point to visit Captain Cook’s monument.  It was just me, the missus and Alfie the Springer Spaniel walking today and apart from a very strong (annoying) breeze, the sun was making an appearance every now and again and no rain was forecast, which was good.


I had planned this route so we could get our hill fitness back as we had been neglecting mountainous areas of late and the old leg muscles were getting a bit unworked, apart from the allotment that is.  I saw by the map, the route I’d marked out would have 3 short but steep climbs to work our hearts and legs, and one of these was at the very start.  The path is clear, it sets off north up the steep steps up onto Great Ayton Moor, hugging the wall/fence to the left.  This takes you up onto the top, the views in all directions are stunning, as long as you can block out Middlesbrough (just kidding, it’s a lovely place).  For about 2 km keep to the right hand side of the wall until you reach the junction in the wall which goes of in a number of directions.  We decided, even though we’ve summited it a few times, to go up Roseberry Topping.  It is quite obvious which path to take now, it drops down the hill into a dip with Roseberry straight in front of you.  At the bottom of the dip we turned left through a gate and stayed on the path until we saw the gate at the SE of the hill.  Through the gate and up a zig zagged path to the top and loads of people!

20190603_115945 (1)

The council have tried their hardest to sand blast the etched in graffiti which pretty much dominates the summit, to be fair they’ve done a good job as it doesn’t look half as bad as I used to.

Whilst on the top, we noticed a bit of a drama taking place.  We heard a lot of shouting coming from the start of the easterly decent down.  On further inspection, a bloke was shouting at a youth, about 15 years old, who was on his hands and knees gripping tightly to the rock surface.  Listening in, the young lad was scared the wind was going to blow him off the top, I mean it was a bit breezy but it wouldn’t have blown the dog off, near mind this lad.  Anyway, the lad clawed his way to shelter near some rocks and he eventually stood up.  It reminded me of one of our trips up Helvellyn and a young lass crawling the whole way across Striding Edge because she thought she might be blown off, it was about 25c and no wind (for once).  I didn’t know whether to piss myself laughing or feel sorry for the poor lass…I generally don’t feel sorry for people!

20190603_130713 (1)

Now, this is one of the things I try not to bang on about but it is one of my pet hates, OK, Roseberry Topping is very popular tourist spot.  It’s a hill or mountain which ever you want to call it or which ever way you define it.  For the purpose of this rant, I’m going to call it a big hill.  This hill is clearly pathed, nice stone steps in places but still places where you can fall and snap bones.  It stands 320 m above sea level, but even the 200m ascent from the car park in Newton Under Roseberry it still needs to be climbed.  Even looking at the map, the contour lines are canny close so you should expect a steep climb.  There are still people wandering up and down in shoes and trainers, unsuitable footwear!  A fall, even at this relatively small hill will need the emergency services to come to you, unless you have a day sack with a good first aid kit.  A good pair of walking boots will give you the extra support and stability you may need during a slip.

Screenshot_20190603-164133_OS Maps


While I’m at it, if you see me in the hills, you’ll know who I am, tall dark Yorkshire man with a North East twang.  I have what would appear to the average person a large day sack on my back.  I’ve been out with people who say, “You carry too much for a day out”, but I carry a good set of emergency equipment.  The reason I carry this is because unlike others, I realise that mountain rescue organisations are funded by charity, nothing else.  And I would be mortified if I had to call them if one of my party sustained an injury.  As a Leader I would expect to give first aid and evacuate a casualty, unless in extreme circumstances.  You see people up on hills with inadequate equipment who expect if anything goes wrong, mountain rescue have a right to retrieve them! It’s wrong, wrong, wrong!!

Screenshot_20190603-164151_OS Maps (1)

Anyway, back to the route.  We decided to drop off the hill in a NE direction and take the clearly marked out path into Hutton Lowcross Woods.  This is a lovely forest area and the wildlife was teeming.  We followed the path to the open ground at the end where it joined a small minor road that goes SE into Hutton Village.  We took this route then joined a path just before the village on the right and started the climb up back onto the moorland through the woods.

As we emerged out of the wood-land we recognised the spot as part of the Cleveland Way, which we completed a few years ago.  Again, the views were incredible and with the path being wide enough to see it from the moon, I could concentrate on the view momentarily instead of reading the map.

RANT No 2 coming up!!

Roughly about 500m down this path there is what appears to be an old air defence bunker built from brick and the building itself is in good condition.  Being very interested in anything military I had a quick look inside.  It was littered with plastic and glass bottles!  Now this is what I can’t get my head around, people that would come across this building would generally be walkers or shooters, both kinds of people who look after the countryside and would not (I would hope) leave so much crap around, for god’s sake there was an old car seat in amongst the bottles!  Dirty, dirty gits!!

We carried on down the path until coming to an obvious junction with a track heading south down into Nab End Woods.  This is a steepish path downwards which is clearly been made for heavy plant machinery.  The countryside opens up on the right-hand side and a view into the farmland of Oak Tree Farm.  Halfway down this track my wife Kel, let’s out a god-awful scream as the dog picks something up in his mouth.  Both me and the dog jump out of our skin and he drops what he had put in his mouth.  The missus shouts, “it’s a giant caterpillar!”, prompting me and Alfie to look down at a Pine Cone lying between his front paws.  With my heart pounding out of my chest I painted the North York air with blue language before both Kel and me crying with laughter at her over dramatisation.

We plodded on down to the main road and turned right up towards the farm.  The last leg went up through the farm buildings and up to the car park.

Just over 7 miles of gorgeous moorland, woodland and farmland, all the boxes ticked!

I feel I need to take more advantage of this area, it’s 30 mins from my doorstep and there are some great routes waiting to be hiked!


Lowland Leader Course!

As I storm into retirement, I have slightly more spare time on my hands, well, after I’ve finished all the housework and hack away at the never-ending list of jobs given to me by the other half and my mother in law.


I decided to book myself onto a Lowland Leader Course which are conveniently ran by one of my old mates.  I had to join the Mountain Training Association first to get on the course and register onto the website and commence a Digital Log Book (DLOG).  My mate told me to get a few quality Lowland walks onto the log to put me in good stead for the course.  This wasn’t too difficult as I have numerous walks under my belt so it was just a case of filling in all the drop-down boxes on the DLOG and adding a brief description of the walk.

The course, if I’m successful, would allow me to take small groups out in Lowland areas for walks and also allows me to take out bronze award Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) candidates.


I turned up on the first day of the two-day course early Saturday morning at a local (ish) cricket club.  The instructor was there to greet me and it was great to catch up with my old friend.  There were only 3 (including me) candidates for the course, but this is better for us and it means the instructor can focus more individually.

The first half of the first day was taken up by kit, weather, walking group dynamics and checking the candidate’s navigation knowledge.  This is a very full couple of days as you could imagine so bait was eaten at the table to get everything covered,  which to be fair is fine by me as I’m not one for standing around gossiping, which I find is the norm in one hour’s meal breaks on these sort of things.


Then it was out into the area with a pretty good route to navigate.  The route was broken down into sections which we took turns in leading.  We used 1:25 for this section of the course and we had some pretty tricky routes to lead.  The afternoon went very quick and we returned back to the base in dusk, mentally knackered.  A couple of glasses of wine were needed back at home and an early night.

The next day we met at Hutton Rudby in North Yorkshire for day 2, the weather Gods were our friends today as rain had been forecast but we were met with broken cloud and sun.


Today was a full day of navigation, risk assessing, first aid scenarios, timed pacing and step counting.  We were using a 1:50 map for this day and route, I don’t like 1:50’s!  The first half of the day was using the ‘5 D’s’.  Distance, Direction, Duration, Description and Dangers.  The instructor showed us individually the section of the route he wanted us to lead.  We then had to study and give a full brief of the 5 D’s we expected to encounter.  Stopping mid walk if we wanted to change anything we had predicted.  Mentally draining, plus we had to described features, wildlife and any other points of interest as if we were out with a group, to make it more interesting.


The second half was ‘blind leading’.  This is where the instructor gives you a section of the walk in private, not telling the others in the group.  Making the rest of the candidates navigate (which they should be doing anywhere to be honest) and show the instructor at the end of the section where they believed they were.  Throw in first aid scenario’s again, ending the day in dusk and individual briefings in the pub.

A great couple of days with top lads and a good few laughs.

Next, assessment day in April!

Daysack Upgrade!

What are we calling it, Daysack, Daypack or Rucksack?!

I think mainly ex military call them Daysacks as we used to use ‘Daysacks’ for range days or carrying a small amount of kit for day exercises etc.  The serious stuff went in our Bergans when we were out for days at a time.

But for my days out in the hills I have been using my trusty North Face 30 litre Daysack.  I’ve had this for at least 8 years now and it was starting to get a bit tired.  When I say tired, I mean bloody exhausted!  It has the old fashioned stretchy mesh compartments on each side, which I used to store my Sig bottles.  But over the years the mesh has become a bit ‘saggy’ and for the last couple of years my bottles have started to fall out when crossing stiles and when taking the Daysack off for whatever reason.  Which usually resulted in me decorating whatever landscape I was in with a deep colour of blue with my language.


Also I was finding the amount of kit I have been carrying has been increasing, especially in the winter, and my old 30 litre was starting to burst at the seams.  I prefer to have a bit of spare space rather than buckle straps at their maximum.  Plus, and I’m gonna get some stick for this, my pet hate out and about, is kit strapped to the outside of a Daysack.  You see them out there, hikers who set of with way too much clothing on and decide to strip off halfway up a fell, but instead of storing it away, they strap it to the outside resulting in bits of kit flapping about in the wind.  I understand hikers who are out for days on end having kit strapped to the outside, like roll mats etc.  I’ve even seen hikers with what appears to be a nearly empty Daysack, still with kit strapped to the outside!

Anyway, rant over, I’ve gone for the Osprey Kestrel 48!  My walking pal has been using an Osprey for some time and I have seen them in action.  He’s a DofE assessor and runs a troop of Explorers and gets the most out of his kit.  I’ve been saving specifically for a new Daysack and decided to take a trip to Go Outdoors in Stockton to have a look.  I saw the one I liked the look of, green of course.  I asked one of the blokes about the one I’d spotted and what’d ya know.  He fitted it for me, measured my back and altered all the straps, showed me how to pack it, the works,  I was waiting for a rub down and a Shiatsu, but apparently the service doesn’t include this!  Bless the bloke, didn’t have the heart to tell him I’ve been packing Daysacks for over 30 years, I let him have his moment.


This choice is no reflection on North Face kit, my old Daysack hasn’t gone to the great kit heaven in the sky, nope it’s been given a part time job as my course attendance bag.  Carrying much lighter kit like books, folders and pens!

New Start…

Like some blogs I’ve noticed they seem to dry up, sometimes for a couple of months and some for years.  I know mine hasn’t been on full steam for some time and this I can only put down to a mixture of uncertain times in my career and my mental health not being as it should be.  If you have read my previous log about mental health that will give you a bit of a heads up on that matter.

Anyway, I am soon to retire from my career as a Police Officer and even though I’m still fairly still young (51) I will have a little bit extra time to concentrate on this blog.  I still have to work but I’ve decided after 30 years of military and police work, I’m going to look after myself a bit better and take my foot off the confrontation pedal.

With this in mind I am going to make the most of the countryside and get back out hiking more, with or without the missus but as always with Alfie my Spaniel who has more mental health issues than me!



Paramo Pajaro Waterproof, nice!

There’s few bits of kit that I feel are essential to spend just that little bit extra on, mainly the items that will be the difference between a good day in the hills or an absolute stinker.  One I feel is right at the top of the list when buying your fell wear, the waterproof coat!IMG_6049 IMG_6061 IMG_6062 IMG_6063 udr_greenfinches-early_1980s

I’ve had a North Face waterproof jacket up until last year which I got on with and thought I wouldn’t replace in a hurry.  But Mrs Hyde bought a Paramo water proof some time ago and I was mucho impressed.  Our walking buddie Dicko has had one for ages but he has that much kit I get confused with him and his clothing selection, his wardrobe must look like Go-Outdoors’ male section.  We used to come down from the fells on wet days and their attire always seemed to be bone dry, whilst I had the odd wet patch here and there.  So I bit the bullet and got myself the Paramo Pajaro!

One word; Awesome!  I have mentioned in previous blogs about kit, I sometimes gravitate back to old military bits and bobs, well, I just makes sense to me if somethings tried and tested.  This coat obviously wasn’t something issued to me in my army days, but if you have a good look at it, the design (pockets, zips, hood) it is a cross between the old Ulster Defence Regiment Greenfinch Waterproof and windproof smocks we got given throughout the 90’s.

As I said, I bought it last year and left it to now to blog about as I wanted to test it.  It’s now been through rain, hail, snow and wind and appears impenetrable.  As long as the temperature isn’t well into minus I’ve got by with just a base layer and the jacket on lot of the outings, mind you that’s not a true test, I forgot the layer of Yorkshire grit under my epidermis.

So, another kit ‘review’ which you may or may not take note of but if you have a bit of spare cash it’s worth a look at.  To be fair I use mine now for dog walking and general winter use, plus on the hills.

Another kit Blog, this time a thermal base layer.

I’m a creature of habit, if something works and works well, it takes something really special to change my decision when it comes to buying kit.  I’ve normally used something in the harshest environment to prove its worth, or know someone or some organisation that have used it and given it the ‘rubber stamp’.

In 1992 I went to Norway with 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines with kit I was issued, or IMG_6024what the army thought was good enough for that part of the world.  I was cold and wet for the first few weeks but watching the Marines operate in the clothing they had gave me a lesson in life.  The gear they were wearing was really good stuff, Helly Hanson and Berghaus to mention but a few.  It was clear to me,if I was to make things slightly more comfortable for myself I would have to invest in specialist clothing, and keep the issue stuff in my locker.

One bit of kit I saw the ‘Boot Necks’ (Marines) wearing was the Helly Hanson Lifa thermal tops.  This base layer was an absolute must.  I was issued a green cotton thermal number; ok it kept me warm but the sweat was collected like a sponge and in minus temperatures, this sweat got very cold and made life very uncomfortable.  I bought my first Lifa top on my first tour of Norway, I ordered it through a catalogue via the BFPO service and it was with me in weeks (no internet then).  I loved it; the feel was soft and not heavy like a cotton t-shirt.  I did my Arctic Warfare course and it was a life saver.  Days of sky marching with heavy Bergans (massive rucksacs) were a breeze as I was a fit lad back then so I could enjoy the view, instead of worrying about bad gear dragging me down.  The top wicked the sweat away like magic, days out in the field were great and without sounding like a minger, I got away with wearing it for a good 4 days without washing it before it got a bit funky.  The warmth it preserved was second to none, in minus temperatures on an active day, I could just have the top and a wind proof smock and was extremely comfortable.  As for storage, you can screw it up into the size of a tennis ball, it changed my life in the Arctic for the better.

This Christmas I asked for a replacement, yes for the one I bought in 1992, which by the way is still going strong.  I did buy another in the late 90’s, not to replace my first but to have a spare, however, that one did bite the dust in Bosnia in an ironing incident!

I still wear my first one and it is as good as new, it has been to Norway 5 times, 3 weeks in Canada and 2 tours of Bosnia.  I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve washed it in a make shift showers or sinks.  I’ve even had it in the desert for the cold nights and fresh mornings, it is really one of the most universal bits of kit I’ve had.

As I’ve said before, I’m not a kit expert or tester but if that isn’t a good ‘chuck up’ for a decent base layer, I don’t know what is!

G10 Watch, my favourite!

As promised, I would start having a look at certain bits of kit that I buy or come across in life.  I’m not endorsing the kit, I’m just saying why I have it, buy it or use it and have written about it.  If I blog about some bit of kit, I know there are other’s available which may be better, but I work (when possible) on a budget so what I write about may be of interest to my readers.


Christmas brought me something for which I’d been pining for ages, a Military Watch Company (MWC) G10 watch.  I had a good watch which had seen me well for a good 5 years and to be fair, there was nothing wrong with the Casio G-Shock, I had only one battery change in the 5 years, I guess that is average.  It sported so many features, those of which I didn’t use, I just wanted plain and reliable.

On Christmas day I unwrapped the packaging and my grin made me look like I’d slept with a coat hanger in my mouth.  I opened the slick silver metal box and there before me was a brand new G10 watch.  Immediately my mind went back to my first ever G10 watch that I was issued back in 1989 when I first started basic training for the Royal Engineers.

Now I know that the more avid military enthusiasts will immediately say, “The army didn’t get issued MWC watches, British squaddies, airmen and Seamen were issued Cabot Watch Company (CTW) pieces!”  This is true, however, for whatever reason my troop and I were issued MTC watches, and on issue the Cpl in the Quartermasters store brought our attention to this fact justifying the change saying, “They must be cutting back!?”  I was just chuffed to get a watch for nowt, well until I de-mobbed anyway.

They were all good watches but this one meant something more, it was bought by my loving wife and it brought back a few memories.  Even the strap was the same, Olive Drab webbing strap with no thrills.  A quality time piece which is used worldwide amongst military and law enforcement, anti-terrorist units plus marine companies and many more.

Click here for full details of this watch

It’s water resistant for 50m and ultra-reliable.  The strap lasts for ages and as long as you don’t want something all singing and dancing, it will with stand a nuclear blast, a bit like the AK 47 of watches for reliability but a Walther PK for coolness!

I don’t have to have a revisit to this blog for an update on this watch, as I know it will reach all expectations!


Got my new boots, RIP my Merrells!

It’s a rare day I actually get chance to update my kit, the limited funds I have normally get spent on Kel updating her walking gear, after all you can’t have enough pink and purple base layers cos you never know when you might need them!photo 1

However, if you read my previous blog, boots were on my list and after researching and researching I’d narrowed it down to Scarpa or Brasher, and it would be down to the actual ‘trying on’!

So a visit to Go Outdoors in Stockton was planned to see if I could choose.  First we had to get passed the bin of all the reduced tents near the door, grrr damn those tent bins.  We have had a bit of trouble with our base camp (sounds a bit Everesty that dunt it!?) tent after a soaking earlier this year.  But that’s all water under the bridge, and through the seams, and through the zips!  Anyway after inspecting a few of the tents in the bin, we decided again we’re having a new one, but that’s a different story, back to my boots.

The problem with Go Outdoors is they put all the base layers and fleeces on routé to the boots and trying to get Kel past all that kit is frustrating, Jesus Christ woman you own all the base layers under the sun, I want my boots!!  At last we’re at the footwear dept and we got immediate attention and before I knew it, I had Brasher Fell Masters, Scarpa Terra GTX and a pair of Berghaus the assistant suggested I try.  I’m no kit expert, I don’t pick the most expensive bit of clothing because it’s one of the top names, and I get what I like (as long as it’s green that is).  I had a look at the Berghaus and to be fair they were quite comfy, well the right foot one was, the assistant couldn’t find the left.  So Berghaus was out for that reason.  I tried the Brasher’s on and they looked the part, walked well and the leather was very soft.  I have big feet, well size 11 with a good instep and ‘piano toes’, they’re not fat feet by any stretch of the imagination.  The ends of the Brasher’s were very roomy and I could wiggle my toes a lot, which I could foresee a few problems on steep descents.  So I tried the Scarpa’s on, very nice, fitted well and the leather was very soft.  Kel swears by hers and I had to take that into consideration as she’s a fussy one.  The Scarpa’s had it!photo 2

My first ever Scarpa product was in the bag and I was happy.  In the early 90’s I’d spent many a winter with the marines in Norway for winter warfare training and those boys knew their stuff on the kit front.  The ML’s were very experienced with mountain life and to sit and listen to those guys go on about kit was very interesting.  They used to go mad for Scarpa kit and even a certain element of the group, which I cannot talk about, raved for the make, that’ll do for me!

On route to the tent section I managed to convince Kel we needed a new shelter for my daysack.  I’d been carrying my old army poncho as a shelter, which would easily do the job if called upon but it weighed more than I had wanted.  The new one is a 3 man bright orange dome with windows and draw cords to keep in the warmth, and weighed next to nothing.

The drive home was good knowing I’d get a chance to try out my new boots next weekend as we’re planning a walk in the lakes, plus the weather looked testing so straight in at the deep end for the Scarpa’s, let’s hope the shelters not 3

I have mentioned a couple of brands of kit in this blog and I have to say, sometimes it’s not the make that determines my decisions on buying kit, it’s just my taste.  I have Berghaus base layers that are excellent and have used for years, plus throughout my army career all I’ve ever used is Berghaus bergans.  I use Brasher socks that are great and continue to buy when I can.


There aren’t many bits of kit that you carry or wear that doesn’t serve a practical purpose, in fact apart from little mascots and good luck charms I can’t think of anything on my body or in my daysack that isn’t important and is possibly lifesaving.  When I can, I like to spend a bit more money when replacing gear as I am a great believer in the saying, ‘buy cheap, buy twice’ and after all the difference of £30 on a pair of waterproof trousers may save you years of soaking wet legs.

Recently I have decided that one of the most important items of walking kit I own needs replacing. They have served me well and we’ve been on many adventures together I feel almost sad to have to replace my boots! old ksb

I remember the day like yesterday when I ordered my trusty Merrell’s, 15 years ago I was sat at in my flat in Osnabruck, Germany looking at my Karrimor KSB’s thinking they looked knackered and sick of endlessly having to treat them.  To be fair they too had served me well, many a time they’ve been battered and bruised up and down Pen y Fan and Snowdon.  They had survived hiking around places like Oman, Norway, Italy and a 3 week expedition to the Rockies.  But the time had come to replace them and as I had the extra 20% off when ordering from abroad and being in the forces I thought now was the best time.  I decided to come away from my normal fabric boot and try the leather, so browsing through my latest Cotswold catalogue I studied hard.  Many friends had leather boots and swore by them, and when we’d been out together wading through the streams of south Wales and falling through frozen becks they seemed to come out with feet nice and dry, I used to say my feet were ok too but in all honesty there were sometimes my socks were less then dry and toasty.  Scarpa had, and still does, a great reputation I was swaying towards them as they had a few leather boots that looked the part.  But tucked away at the bottom of a page was a nice looking pair of Merrell’s.  I’d heard of Merrell but all the talk was ‘Scarpa’ and did I dare go off the beaten track and order these lovely looking boots.  Now you have to remember the internet wasn’t as popular as it is now so I’d have to send off the order form and wait ages for the delivery, about 3 weeks!!  So I decided to phone in the order cutting down the wait to 2 weeks, it’s a week less that’s all I was bothered about.

Less than a fortnight passed before I went to BFPO 36 to collect a boot box shaped parcel and the start of a great relationship.  I couldn’t wait so I sat in my silver Ford Puma (also tax free) and unwrapped the paper and gazed on my new boots.  “Jesus Christ how f**kin big are they?!” I seem to remember thinking as I held the massive leather structures up and stared.  The tread looked like a land rover tyre and they weighed a ton.  But, after a bit and after feeling inside I grew to love them and they were to take me through thousands of miles of walking.

They’re first outing I can remember was a steady 12 mile blast around the forests near Osnabruck, a regular low level haunt for squaddies training for P company and SAS selection, not too many hills but lots of fallen trees and mud…. lots of mud! Even though they felt heavy in the hand, they didn’t feel much different weight wise to my KSB’s, and the good thing was, my feet were dry.

Year 2000 saw me back in the UK and pounding the Yorkshire moors and miles and miles of hills and heather.  And all these boots needed were a good clean and a polish with boot polish to keep them in good working order, no need for ‘spray from 12 inches away and leave to dry for 2 hours blah blah blah’.  The uppers kept that lovely brown battered look and the tread, which initially shocked me, was still deep and going

So back to present day and the last few fells in the lakes, as well as completing the Teesdale Way and the Weardale Way, have been testing, the tread has started to disappear and the slips have become far too often and when you’re trying to scurry across edges and coming down spiky rocky crags, you can’t take chances.  So from the first walk in the lakes up Skiddaw, and completing 73 Wainwrights, the Fairfield horse shoe saw the last outing for my trusty Merrell’s who can now rest.

I’ve had a good time over the last 15 years with my old boots; they’ve seen ice, rain and sun.  They’ve had to wade through all manner of faeces and have seen peat from a couple of feet below the surface on a number of times.  They’ve out lived countless lace changes but I’ve never had to repair the body.  Let’s hope the ones I replace them with are just as trustworthy.

Now, time to do some shopping!