Thursday 3 December – Caer Caradoc Hill (SO477954)
With the end of 2015 rushing towards us at a rate of knots, and with only 4 new Marilyns having been bagged since the end of August, the notion popped into my head of nipping out to nab a few Shropshire Hills. Weather forecasts were duly consulted and the story they told was such that ordinarily I would have swiftly come up with a Plan B. But, the end of the year is almost upon us and it’s unlikely that any hills will be ticked during January or February, and thus I read things like “26mph, gusting 50” with a favourable eye and great optimism (or do I mean “with a foolhardy disposition”?).
So, here we are sitting in Colin with the rain lashing and the wind violently rocking him on his axles. However, it hasn’t been like this all day. When we arrived in Church Stretton just after 1.30 this afternoon it was grey, but dry and it was remarkably similar when we set out in the direction of our hill half an hour later.
Mud was a horribly slippery feature of the initial path across fields, but once onto the hill the going improved remarkably and if it hadn’t been for a wind so strong that it was trying to blow the glasses off my face, it would have been a good day for this nice little hill.
It was a struggle not to topple off the rocky outcrop which is the high point (where Mick took a photo of me, but as I can’t work out how to get it off his phone and onto this computer, this post will have to be photo-free) and after a brief stagger around the rest of the summit we headed back down. Dropping south off the hill made our walk into a lollipop-shaped one (our approach had been along the ridge).
An hour and a twenty minutes after setting off, and after a repeat of the slipping and sliding across the mudfest-fields, we were back at Colin with 3.6 miles walked with 1000’ of up. That was quite enough exercise for one day, particularly as darkness was poised to fall and rain was approaching.
I’ve just seen the latest forecast for tomorrow. Looks like fun…