Sunday, 6 February 2011

Cauldron Snout & Cow Green Reservoir

Once again I decided to abandon my self imposed Winter walking exile with a trip out to Upper Teesdale. I had only been to the area once before when Claire took me up to High Force. Reading Pennine Way guides and seeing photos meant this was an area well worth exploring and having seen pictures on the excellent MyWainwrights website  I decided to make a quick Winter expedition. Teesdale really has some gorgeous scenery and once I hit Middleton-in-Teesdale I was in my element. I parked up on the minor road leading to Cow Green reservoir and headed out on the farm track towards the Tees and the Pennine Way.

Cronkley Scar loomed ahead of me and soon I reached the water and followed the Tees as it meandered its way upwards. The two and a half miles up to Cauldron Snout were stunning, with snowy fells in the distance and the river flowing beside me.

It was a scene of complete tranquility as there was absolutely no one else around and it was only the footprints in the ice that gave any indication that other people had recently followed the same path.
The bend in the path means that you have no advance warning, and then all of a sudden you are confronted with Cauldron Snout waterfall.

Somehow all of a sudden my solitary walk was over, as there were a dozen or so people at the waterfall.
It was in full flow with the water crashing down the rocks. The rocks close to the water were covered in ice and although it was tempting to get closer to the edge I didn't particularly fancy a swim today. There were some spectacular ice crystals decorating the hardy flora.

It was too cold to hang around for too long, so I headed upwards to the ugly Cow Green reservoir dam. Once I reached the reservoir though it was a great sight, the water was covered with ice and the snow covered fells gave the scene real atmosphere.

The sky was colourful and it was hard to keep walking instead of stopping every two minutes to gaze out over the water. The visibility was quite hazy so I couldn't quite make out the high Pennine fells up to Cross Fell that lay somewhere across the reservoir.

I followed the reservoir road for a couple of miles before reaching the road that led back to my parking place. The sun was slowly setting and the combination of sunshine and cloud was creating a million photo opportunities.

Unfortunately my batteries were more or less dead so I had to point and hope, but I think the pictures have come out very well. A walk I'm looking forward to repeating.

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