Wednesday 16 December 2015

A snowy camp at Muker

 A Sowy Camp At Usha Gap Campsite

It's  been a while since I had camped in snow, so the plan was to head to Muker as the temperature  had dropped and the snow started to fall.

Me, Maxine and my Daughter was to go, the first snowy camp for my Daughter. I think we all were a little excited to get there as it had been a few weeks since we had last been out.

Mr Wardle had warned me of the road been closed near to muker and that a diversion was in place a single tracked road.....well when I got there to it, I'd exaggerate and say it was a path lol more like a track for a tractor.

The road or track went up and on my right was a quite steep drop, now if it had been summer it be fine but as muker is like 1500ft+ above sea level this Autumn was like winter ice had formed and snow was lying.  i was in my Ford transit Connect front wheel drive with tyres that I had bought as part worn, which also were part worns.  Hmmmm not a good idea to be going up a steep single track road.

Once we got safely to Usha Gap Campsite, Maxine was already in full swing of don't fancy going back that way. So I asked the farmer on which way was better to go back to Sunderland, his reply was to go back Tan Hill.

Tan Hill is the highest pub in the Uk Ive been a few times and it still never twigged that it also would be snowy and iced. I found this out or at least it twigged in my special brain once I hit the first 25% gradient. The van or should I say my skills got us up the grip on my front tyres is horrendous I need to changed them as they are a scary thing to think about. The van will spin its wheels in 3rd on a roundabout in the wet or loose control to the less experienced which when on snow or ice scared the shit out of me to be honest.

Ok enough of the road more about the camp.  We got safely to Usha Gap and paid the Farmer and got our fire pit. I had collected and took lots of fire wood (broken pallets from work) which I knew we would need as it was forecast cold weather, I also brought my tripod which has a triangle steel firepit built in, i bought some coals too as back up.

Once our two tents were up, the Hilleberg Soulo for me and the dog and the Terra Nova Superlite Voyager for my Daughter and partner, we headed out for a walk.....
The walk was going to be around the area and explore what it had to offer but we got stuck on the A1m for 40mins as a Bull got loose.  :-/

Forty mins sitting waiting pared up for a bull, spoilt our plans, both the A1 south and north was closed until it was moved add the crazy track we went on and am sure it was more like 55 mins extra.

The walk was changed to a walk to the pub am sure its like half a mile but its a pleasant stroll along the road, once in the pub, or was it heaven fire was blazing and the pint was cold and nice, expensive it sure was.

After a couple and £21 down we headed back to camp to get the fires on and food on.  We were all hungry and the food was steaks and baby potatoes with gravy.  We sat up till 12am my daughter turned in about 10:30am hot water bottle in my winter alpkit bag.  Me and Maxine sitting chilling around the fire and burnt all the wood.

I recorded temperatures of -4.6 and -8 in the wind chill it was bloody freezing but we were warm.  Was nice to see walkers walking by and even asking for directions, adding we were nuts to be camping out in this. Well maybe or maybe not, see camping out in winter conditions isn't nuts if you have the right gear. If your sitting in your jeans and fav top maybe stupid lol but we all kept warm and only I felt a chill on my back sitting in the camp chair for so long.  Noted I need  a thicker fleece.

A great time was had by all the only thing was the drive in and out which everyone didn't like, fun nevertheless but safety is always a good thin so knew tyres need to be bought before the next venture out.
The next day most of the snow was gone

Thanks for reading and hope you enjoyed my mini adventure out.  Video to follow.

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