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The Northern Powderhouse: Allenheads, Raise, Weardale and Yad Moss. 2020 - 2021

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Outdoor skiing is permitted in Tier 4 areas. The guidance is here;
https://www.snowsportengland.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/JD-TIER-TABLE-V10-tier4.pdf
That would seem to fit with other outdoor recreation such as golf which also remains open across the country.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Which seems a tad daft given the small question of the "Stay At Home" heading of Tier 4, and the do not travel in or out of area bits of Tier 3 and upwards - though the latter might be guidance rather than legality? Also the "local area" travel (?) guidance, never mind how many different Tiers and/or Counties you might or might not have to cross into & back out if to get to all the Pennine resorts.
Never mind, come the snow it'll probably all have changed again Evil or Very Mad
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
still white on Yad Moss, what chance of an Xmas eve slide??
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I think the idea is that they can open for locals much like the Scottish resorts at the moment.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Think I could get away with 140 miles as "local"?

My Dad always referred to "going home" when we went back to Durham. Could try that argument if challenged. Only 40 miles then.

Now, I would only need somewhere to stay............

Damn!!!
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Quote:
Still white on Yad Moss, what chance of an Xmas eve slide??
Mrs MA and I were up at Weardale Ski touring today Very Happy

- 1C/rain at car park.
- Snowline exactly at car park level - so access road clear.
- Very boggy on the walk across - shouldered the skis as too wet to skin.
- Snowing quite heavily at day lodge level.
- Thin cover (2-5cm) and quite slow and sticky near the bottom. We've skied better snow - but have definitely skied worse Laughing
- Wind wild - didn't venture above F1 tow.
- Rather damp by we finished - but great to be out for a festive ski.
- More snow needed, plus a freeze for base forming, before the tow can run. ...


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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
You are certifiable. Mountain addicts indeed. Chapeau!
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Quote:
You are certifiable
Naah! Just a bit keen Laughing
And beats a day in a non-socially distanced shopping centre.

I'm sure Einstein stated wink:
Any snow + any slope + any weather = sliding fun Very Happy
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Just a bit too wet at Yad Moss to run the tow tomorrow although we may get a bit more after tonight and it will be below freezing on Thursday. The outlook next week is looking more encouraging. snowHead
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looks like this mild blip has stripped the snow at Yad, rain and getting colder here in Leeds so hopefully some decent white stuff will fall at Yad!
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Yes it’s frustrating. 30 years ago it would probably have been half a degree or more colder, enough to give us great cover. Now all too often we are the wrong side of the knife edge. Still, nailed on cold the next 10 days and the ground will readily freeze up after its recent cool down. Will we get enough though?
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Radar is giving rain / snow mix at the moment. Hopefully it'll settle down to snow by midnight.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@oldagedpredator, Do you have a link to a radar? I'm hoping for a bit on the North Antrim Hills/ Sperrins in NI, but +5C here on the N Coast and heavy rain right now.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
A lovely day skinning up at closed Weardale today - despite skins balling up with snow on ascents and skis gathering snow and sticking a bit on some descents.

Thick fog cleared to leave us skiing above the clouds, with some nice powdery turns to be had Very Happy Grassy and tricky in parts.

Three other cars at the car park so a, few others up there too - spotted 2 snowboarders hiking up high on the distant fell.











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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Yes MA a fantastic day. Walked up Mickle Fell again but could have toured today but it would have been an effort. Fantastic in the sun all day.
Just need another couple of inches at YM and Raise.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Walked up Yad and beyond - some beautiful powder in places, very icy in others, just not quite enough on the tow track, sadly: wish that I'd taken the board up to play. Would have skied it, too. Saw one fearless soul board it top to car.
Heavy cloud lower down the valleys turned out to be an inversion, bluebird above; minus temps the whole drive home.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
chance of some more hefty showers tonight coming in?????
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@mountainaddict,

And a ski down the road back to the car to finish Very Happy Very Happy
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Quote:
Chance of some more hefty showers tonight coming in?????
- The good news: Correct! BBC North East Weather just said up to 10cm on the Pennines tonight Very Happy

- The bad news: Back at work tomorrow rolling eyes - so can't get back up there before New Year's Day Sad
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
The main band passed to the south of the North Pennines. Weardale and Yad Moss remain closed today. Yad Moss will reassess this afternoon about the possibility of running tomorrow, but it would be very thin.
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Peter S wrote:
The main band passed to the south of the North Pennines. Weardale and Yad Moss remain closed today. Yad Moss will reassess this afternoon about the possibility of running tomorrow, but it would be very thin.


I was siting here on the Durham coast watching all the weather radars and feared that was going to happen Sad I had all my ski gear set out, ready to throw in the car this morning. It is 6 years since I first joined Weardale and so far I have had a 100% record of not being in the North East when the tows were running. I have been in the North East almost every day since lockdown last March but the one day the tows were running this December I managed not to be here! I feel like I should just drive off somewhere so that other Weardale skiers can have a day on the slopes.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Really sorry John. Your day will come. We’ve been here many times before! Next chance may be Thursday.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Peter S wrote:
Really sorry John. Your day will come. We’ve been here many times before! Next chance may be Thursday.


Cheers Peter. I even did a run up in the car a couple of weeks ago so that my first journey wasn't on icy or snowy roads.

As you say there are a few hopeful bands of precipitation that could hit us the next week and temperatures are staying closish to the snow rather than rain level. Here's hoping.
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BBC tv weather forecast just now is showing loads of snow on Thursday - so a New Year's Day ski? snowHead
Or, Sod's Law, we'll all be in complete lockdown again by then Crying or Very sad
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Have you got decent snow tyres (ie lots of tread) and/or chains JohnMo?

As of yesterday, the road had been gritted up to the final farmhouse before the car park - so clear to that point but snow and ice covered for the last mile or so.

We made it OK with just snow tyres but did need to fit the chains for our visit in early December. The hilly bits make it a really challenging road in snow cover and we've seen loads of cars stuck over the years...

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Or, Sod's Law, we'll all be in complete lockdown again by then
Gulp... Confused Can see it coming Grizzler Sad
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
BBC showed a northerly which is not normally great for the Pennines. It’s too sheltered by the Soithern Uplands or the Cheviots. It tends to push snow down the coasts instead. We’ll see. At some stage we will get some snow snowHead
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
mountainaddict wrote:
Have you got decent snow tyres (ie lots of tread) and/or chains JohnMo?

As of yesterday, the road had been gritted up to the final farmhouse before the car park - so clear to that point but snow and ice covered for the last mile or so.

We made it OK with just snow tyres but did need to fit the chains for our visit in early December. The hilly bits make it a really challenging road in snow cover and we've seen loads of cars stuck over the years...


Good advice. Thanks. I have an SUV with four wheel drive and I have my winter wheels and tyres on. I regularly drive (should be past tense given COVID) to the Alps and have been OK – I would not class myself as a particularly good driver. The manufacturer recommends against using snow chains. However, I do have a pair. I think if push came to shove it could be the only way out and I’d rather put them on, drive slowly and take the risk. Fortunately despite having driven on icy and snow covered roads I have never needed them although I have put them on in the garage to check they did fit (and see just how much clearance there was from anything sensitive).
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Weardale are hoping to run a tow tomorrow for a couple of hours; very thin cover, road very icy they say.
Allenheads did run a bit today, I gather.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:

Whoo-hoo! First turns in 9 months. As was warned Weardale was a little sketchy today but still great fun. Something special about skiing in your home county.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Well, at least as from tomorrow every area's now in the same Tier Sad
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Grizzler wrote:
Well, at least as from tomorrow every area's now in the same Tier Sad


True. But that will not affect the English ski areas opening (lack of snow might of course). It does mean that only local people can use the areas but I imagine most users are reasonably local in any case.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
On the "local" and "your area" aspects, it would be most helpful if each ski area cooperated and allowed folk who lived in their "area" to ski/board there irrespective of which one they're actually members of - WD is Co Durham, YM Cumbria (just), Raise Cumbria, Allenheads N'umbland. Technically, you could be a member of one and not allowed to travel to it because you live in another "area", yet not be able to ski at the one within your "area" because you're not a member there (particularly at weekends, say).
Most people are quite "local", but the technical rules are still written according to County areas, no matter how close to the border you or the ski area are or aren't.
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@Grizzler, Fair point. I was thinking of “local” in its everyday language sense. But you are right. - it has to be your council area. I am fortunate as I live in County Durham but I appreciate that many Weardale users will be from neighbouring council areas.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
JohnMo wrote:
@Grizzler, Fair point. I was thinking of “local” in its everyday language sense. But you are right. - it has to be your council area. I am fortunate as I live in County Durham but I appreciate that many Weardale users will be from neighbouring council areas.


Actually I think that was wrong. Our area for these purposes is "North East (County Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, North Tyneside, Northumberland, South Tyneside, Sunderland)" So any members from there could go to Weardale when it can open again. That is still bad news for people in nearby Tees Valley and Cumbria but not as bad as I was suggesting.
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Hmmm. Interesting. I hadn't considered that definition of "area". Not entirely clear, is it? But in which case the "stay local" instruction is a bit of a nonsense, isn't it?
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....in which case the "stay local" instruction is a bit of a nonsense, isn't it?
Indeed. I can't see any reference anywhere to county or district boundaries....But if that is the case, someone could theoretically drive 100 miles from Berwick to ski at Weardale but (as I live 3 miles from the County Durham border on Teesside) I couldn't drive less than 40 miles to ski there?
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Might all be academic - depends on what the clubs decide to do. If they do open I feel it's time for Yad to drop the day memberships (short term).
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mountainaddict wrote:
Quote:
....in which case the "stay local" instruction is a bit of a nonsense, isn't it?
Indeed. I can't see any reference anywhere to county or district boundaries....But if that is the case, someone could theoretically drive 100 miles from Berwick to ski at Weardale but (as I live 3 miles from the County Durham border on Teesside) I couldn't drive less than 40 miles to ski there?


OK, I really should try not to be a barrack room lawyer. This is not (and never was pre-retirement) my expertise – although I did read legislation as part of my job.

I did what I would have gone mad at a junior for doing in that I read the guidance rather than the law. The guidance does tend to switch backwards and forwards between what is our “area”. Sometimes it includes the Tees Valley; sometimes it separates north and south of the Tyne; sometimes it is only the council area (that would be Durham County Council for Weardale). In the legislation the area is Durham County Council. However the point is moot as the concept of moving between areas is not included in the legislation, only the guidance.

The legislation (as amended) is here:

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/1374/contents

The fundamental concept in Tier 4 (which everyone in the North East, including Tees Valley, and Cumbria is now) is that:

“No person who lives in the Tier 4 area may leave or be outside of the place where they are living without reasonable excuse.” (schedule 3A, paragraph 1(1)).

The two “reasonable excuses” relevant to us are:

“to take exercise outside” (schedule 3A, paragraph 2(2)(c)); and

“to visit a public outdoor place for the purposes of open air recreation” (schedule 3A, paragraph 2(2)(d)).

Weardale Ski club is a “public outdoor place for the purposes of open air recreation” because it falls in the category of:

“outdoor sportsgrounds or sports facilities” (schedule 3A, paragraph 2(4)(b)(i)).

This is not too different to what the law was back in the main lockdown in the spring. The question arises as to how much travel time this allowed you in order to take your exercise or visit an outdoor sports facility. In the first Lockdown the police issued guidance saying that travel time should be less than exercise time. This is not the law but it is probably a reasonable interpretation of the law. It is why Dominic Cummings might have “got away with it” if he said he had driven from Durham city to Barnard Castle to go for a walk rather than to “test his eyes”.

So my opinion is that:

1. As a resident of County Durham I can ski at Weardale (snow permitting) both as a matter of law and in compliance with the guidance; and

2. A resident of Tees Valley can ski at Weardale as a matter of law. However, depending on which definition of “area” one uses one might not be complying with the guidance (not that anyone can do anything to you for that).

You postulate a Weardale ski club member from Berwick (i.e. the far north of the “North East”) driving to Weardale. It is a good two hour drive from Berwick to Weardale. However, even yesterday (which was a relatively short day due to conditions) the tows ran for four hours. So our Berwick friend could argue he/she was still within the law (although it is a marginal case).
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One other thing to add:

Just becasue because you can...........does that mean you should? snowHead

Look after yourselves

From a very frustrated, out of the area Weardale wanabee
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