Its Sunday, the weather forecast is good, boots are cleaned, route is downloaded, sandwiches packed, a quick cuppa and we're off, in the dark, heading North to Kirkby Stephen.
The drive up was beautiful as the more north we got the frostier it became. Hedgerows white with a thick frost and as the sun came up behind us it burst with a fiery glow into the sky. The skies ahead were tinged with pink and there werent many clouds which suggested we were indeed in for a fine day.
After a quick stop at Ingleborough for fuel and Sedburgh for the loo we parked in Kirkby Stephen and set off on the first part of our walk which would take us up past the quarries at Hartly and on towards Nine Standards Rigg. It was cold, the fresh air biting our faces and definately hats and gloves weather but the sun was out, the sky was blue providing excellent walking conditions.
The Nine Standards were now coming into view after being on the horizon for so long finally they looked like they were getting closer and the last path to the top could clearly be seen winding its way up the hillside. The towering pillars of rock stood triumphanty on the top of the hill and legend has it that they were built to trick any invading armies from the North that there was a strong army on the hilltop ready to attack. Other legends have the stones dating back over 800 years. Whichever the story they were an impressive sight and I'm glad we came here today.
After lunch the descent starts and as we made our way down the path we could see some handgliders in the distance landing then dissapearing then landing again down what could only have been a cliff on the other side. Handrailing the wall again we were on the path back to Kirkby Stephen and according to the GPS we had about 3 miles to go. The weather was changing and the sun was now gone with dark ominus clouds coming over the sky.
A good walk, another box ticked, for the best part it was sunny and worth the trek up to the Rigg but oh how I long for a scramble and a bit of height, rocks and beautiful ridges, I do believe I hear the mountains are calling........