DATE                                    15.11.12

DISTANCE                           5.3 MILES

WEATHER                            GREY BUT DRY



More training at Simonside.

After my recent (pain free small walks) I decided its time to stop messing around with the “what if scenarios “ and get out there and start some serious training , I wanted to prove to myself that I can still manage some seriously rough ground , i.e. lose stones /boulders , slippery mud / a small scramble ect ect

Simonside woods could provide all these different surfaces plus if I managed to get up to the top of the crags I would be rewarded with some really good views. So that was it sorted.

I have been up to simonside already this year in fact this would be my third trip to this wood but that didn’t matter its sort of local and has every thing I wanted to practise on.

I would be on my own for today’s walk as my long suffering walking partner was still poorly and didn’t want to push her luck with a very poorly leg. we had been out the day before see  LOW NEWTON TRAINING   and I think that she didn’t want to upset her poorly leg anymore , something I totally agree with the last thing I wanted to do was put more pressure on her leg when she should have been at home resting it. So it was a case of taking my I pod for some music instead.

Up (not too early) gear sorted and off I went, the route I wanted to do was already in my head, but as always not set in stone. I could change it at any time all depending on how my stumpy leg behaved, I was almost certain as long as I stayed below a certain walking pace (slow) it would be fine likewise as long as I didn’t “push at a funny angle” it would be fine BUT that is no good for me if I am to get out into the wilds I had to prove that I could throw arty leg around getting different angles and put my stumpy leg under different positions of strain without that mind numbing pain coming back to get me .

Parked the car in the free car park and had coffee and noted that there was only one other car already there ………………..Good I might have the place to myself today and if I am really lucky I might get to see some deer. Weather wise it was grey and overcast with the rain promised for later on the afternoon not that it made any difference; I would be out whatever the weather. One last thing was if I was training I had to keep an eye on the distance, there is nothing more knackering for me than constant practising on rough ground so I wanted to keep this walk to around 5 miles but I know its very easy to forget about distance when I end up going up and down the same hill a few times trying different techniques to see what works best , in that respect it was just as well I was on my own , It could be really boring for my walking partner who would just have to stand watching whilst I went backwards and forwards over the same bit of ground.

Anyway a few photos enjoy:-

Taken from the forest track looking up towards The Beacon, where I hoped to be later on.


I think that this could be a squirrel dray.


Little church rock.

At this point I will leave the forest track and head up on this path, the stone is very lose and slippery , this is one of the reasons I chose this path up.


Even on this path there are some interesting sandstone formations.


Even a very small cave, it seems to get bigger every year where people crawl in and out again.


My path slowly gains a bit of height and leaves the forest. (It’s still very slippery)


Last little bit before I leave the forest.


However there is a very muddy path that I want to practise on first.


Now clear of the forest a quick view towards the Cheviot Hills.


Taken on max zoom.


Me doing a yay happy pose when the wind suddenly gusted.


My path up to the crags on simonside. (Another reason I picked this route I really need to practise on this sort of terrain)


Part way up …..Just checking the best way up.


The sandstone crags.


Part way up, looking back down. (Really getting my breath back)


Made it to the top and the views open up a bit more, pity the weather isn’t at its best.


The simonside stone cairn at 430 meters (the highest point on today’s walk)


Looking straight down.


One of the views from the cairn.


Taken from the cairn looking towards the cairn at croppy’s hole. It’s a well laid stone path for the next bit of this walk.


One of the views towards the Cheviots.


Looking towards / over the forest towards Tosson hill.


Looking towards a distant Rothbury.


Approaching old Stell Crag.


Again more sandstone rocks.


The Cheviot Hills. (I hope to be getting up that way soon)


Looking over the back towards spylaw.

My route heading towards Dove crag, its back to a slippery muddy rocky path for a while now, again this is why I chose this route.


Looking down towards the “old path” that’s now closed because of soil erosion.


My path a bit wet and muddy in places.


A bit further along looking over towards spylaw.


My route take’s me between the sandstone rocks.


Looking back.


Now at Dove Crag and its strange rocks, looking back along the ridge line.


For a short distance up to the stone cairn it’s a well laid stone path which makes for easy walking.


Again looking back.


My route heading to the Beacon (360 meters) where I will link up with a path back down.


Part way there looking back. The path is quite tricky at this point, lots of uneven rocks sticking out.


The path. (Again this is one of the reasons I picked this route)


Looking back along the ridge line.


The stone cairn at the Beacon.


Looking back it’s a pity the weather isn’t that clear.


Same view taken from the cairn.


My path down towards Lordenshaw (better known for it cup and ring marks on the rocks)


Looking back up.


Now on a small road walking back towards the forest (looking back up)


Now entering the forest for the last bit of this walk.


Now back at the car park and the picnic tables, time to have a cup of coffee and check my stump. Arty leg has a well deserved rest on the table while I check out my stump.


Day after thoughts.

Even though I did a fair bit of twisting and put a lot of strain on my arty leg there was only a couple of times where I felt that something wasn’t right BUT I didn’t get any real pain , so once again I will mark this up as a success . as for the walk itself I have to admit It  might not be that far distance wise but most of it is really unfriendly for an above knee amputee so it seems a lot longer plus there was the places that I went up and down a couple of times just practising so the distance really doesn’t matter .

Yep whatever happened to my stump seems to be getting better on its own.

Where to next?