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

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Some Weardale Pics (as demanded by kitenski wink) from:

4.12.20






... and 5.12.20 (illustrating the 'grass roots' aspect of the sport, as referenced earlier Laughing)

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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@mountainaddict, great thank you!! Brings a smile to my face whilst in isolation!!
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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?
Cheers kitenski Very Happy

Day 1: Slow, sticky, porridge in the rain & wind.
Day 2: Refrozen death ruts, breakable crust & grass.

Pennines skiing at its finest! But a bad day on the hill is better than a good day in self-isolation/lockdown! Laughing

It was just fantastic to be back on skis - Mrs MA and I have both said, we will never again take another day on snow for granted - no matter how poor the snow or weather wink
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Great pictures! Snow washed away now in the Peaks!
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Well played
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I was up on foot near Killhope top (N Pennines, north of Weardale but same road/valley) yesterday. Some very decent, crunchy, creaky and very deep stuff on the top (in altitude terms lower or equal to Yad, I think). Had obviously been several Nordic (that the right word? Thin skis, anyway) tourers across from the Yad valley's side.

@mountainaddict, kudos. Jealous; and not...
Was that the main road or the little one from Daddry/St. Johns up to the tows?
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@moutainaddict - Weardale cheekily steals the first lift served turns of the season.

Now it's eyes down to see if we can make it to Saturday and get more snow! Got to be some positives to offset not being able to go North of the Border just now.
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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:
Was that the main road or the little one from Daddry/St. Johns up to the tows?
It's the single track road from Westgate/Daddry Shield to the ski hill. We made it to just before the final climb to the car park on just the snow tyres, then put the chains on to make sure.

If you enlarge the photo, you can just make out the F1 ski run, in the fog, at the top right corner.
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Now it's eyes down to see if we can make it to Saturday and get more snow!
Looks like it's warming up by the weekend OAP - so no more snow...for now... Confused
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I was feeling more optimistic having seen the MWIS but it all went very modern winter with a few hours.
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A few photos from Saturday and Sunday at Yad Moss


Main run



Ticket Office


Top pylon


Top bank getting scraped towards the end of the day


Pre run faff gaggle


Across the plateau to GDF


Contrast with Sunday


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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.
Brilliant, must get up there at some point.
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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
@oldagedpredator, "modern winter" and "faff gaggle". Love it! Laughing
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Great pics OAP. Catches it all perfectly. Looks even better with the SH flakes falling Cool
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Superb snowHead
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@Peter S, from the photograph the main looks deceptively enticing. I think it took about another hour before it was elevated to type one fun.

@Grizzler, Faff Gaggle just seems a good description of the general carry on when you're not resting or socialising. Just a collection of people doing an assortment of sorting.
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@Peter S, I imagine Yad and elsewhere have seen a similar rise membership enquiries..
https://planetski.eu/2020/12/08/demand-grows-to-ski-in-england/
Allenheads have very generously renewed last year's passes for free this year given there were only a handful of days skiing there last season.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@Hotdogger,
Memberships are up a bit and no doubt better than they would have been after last season when we had a rather modest 8 days.

On Saturday we had about 100 folk I think half of whom were season ticket holders. On Sunday we only had about 30 so no waiting at all. Most had had enough by 2pm. Pennine skiing is rarely relaxing. You have to concentrate on every turn Laughing
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@Peter S,
I'm glad you had a good couple of days !
A hundred sounds like quite a high turn out although that said I've only ever been over there on weekdays.
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@oldagedpredator, that looks pretty decent for early Dec, I should have come!!
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Ta for the great pics OAP - cover a lot more extensive than Weardale last weekend...
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Markhandford wrote:
Brilliant, must get up there at some point.


Give me a shout. I'd love to make the pilgrimage Smile
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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!
@Hotdogger,
We did have a day in 2010 with over 300, but that was too many! OAP will remember it. He was there marshalling the queue.

150 is a comfortable maximum before the queue gets too long. Saturday was probably the busiest day for a few years but the wait was only ever a couple of minutes.

These days the numbers are limited by the weather, the poor snow and the fact that we aren’t able to plan ahead more than about 48hrs. fewer people have their own skis and are less prepared to drive to local skiing.
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I think my first few visits were in 2013 or 14. There were some pretty big (but well humoured) queues on certain days then but the conditions were outstanding and my impression of local skiing was quite skewed by those initial experiences; I remember Easter weekend skiing on powdery drifts!
I have since then earned my spurs on the more challenging but equally satisfying conditions in latter years.
Funny enough I chose my username based on how I must look trying to ski down to the road after a day spent battling the more general Pennine conditions. Toofy Grin I almost always take a couple of tumbles on the grippy reeds but it's steep enough to keep you ending up back on your feet Very Happy
Fingers crossed for this season eh.
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Ah yes the queues and how many people can you fit on Yad Moss. PeterS and I do actually talk about this quite a lot! Well that, snow fencing and UK skiing in general. For me Saturday felt about right for pandemic times. Sunday was definitely the right number of people for the conditions.

I was in two minds about even putting photographs up on the conditions just in case we get swamped. A bit of change from usual where I'm keen to share the joys of Pennine snow sports.
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I've only once been brave enough to attempt skiing down to the road at Yad - and that was highly embarrassing to say the least. Mind you, walking down in stiff ski boots isn't much fun either!

Saw someone on FB a few days ago saying how desperate they were to come up to the Lakes or other English ski areas - from Cornwall!!! Keen, I'll give 'em that Laughing
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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.
A mate of mine lives in Marazion, Cornwall and he has come up and boarded at Yad Moss.

I've left my bag in the shelter and only realised when I was down at the bottom getting in the car!
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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
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I quite enjoy the ski back to the car at Yad, but I'm also off as far left and right as I can looking for wind blown gullies etc etc
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You know it makes sense.
One from the archives - Teesdale Ski Club in 1977, think this was season two of lift served Pennine Skiing for me. The club finished in 2000. Seen off by poor winters and the modern lifts at Weardale and Yad! It was a wire cable rather than a rope and went over an idler wheel about 50m from the top - the point where I used to have to get off as I could never could attach my dogleash / wooden button seat which allowed you to let go of the rope. The hut and some bits of the tow are still scattered about the hillside. I have the ski club sign in a shed at home - it came down the river in a flood.

Strangely enough the article that went with it talks of having to restrict numbers and turn away visitors. This is back in the day when a good winter's day would see convoys of cars heading up to the Teesdale and Harwood Tows. I'm now going to have to go back through the negative albums at home to see what else there is.

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Was Teesdale Ski Club the Harwood one OAP? Given the description of the ski lift (ie steel cable) I'm assuming so...I remember skiing there in great snow conditions on the last weekend of November one year in the 90s - and hoping that conditions in the French Alps would be as good for a short trip there the weekend after.

They were - we ended up at Avoriaz.

Was just wondering the other day whether Harwood ever gets enough snow these days for a few turns....Did it have snow fences, or does the snow collect in a natural gulley? I remember that it wasn't particularly steep - more gentle than Yad Moss?

I also remember searching for a ski area up the Langdon Beck to Teesdale road in January 1989....The weather and visibility were poor and we couldn't find the ski area! Laughing Ended up trying out our new skis in the car park at High Force, such was the amount of snow!

Never did visit the mystery ski area that we couldn't find and still not sure where it was - though I think PeterS did describe it to me once....

I seem to recall there was also a Glaxo Ski Club, out of Barnard Castle. Where was that one located?
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@mountainaddict, Harwood was the one just before your reach the Durham-Cumbria boundary. Two rope tows, one of which is now at Lowther Hill. Teesdale was above Langdon Beck, take the St John's Road and park at the cattlegrid then walk towards the obvious bowl in the hill side - Tarn Hole.
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Roll back the calendar to circa 1985 and I can think of at least 15 semi permanent ski tows in the Pennines. Two at Swinhope (Weardale), one at Langdon Beck (Teesdale), two on Hartside (Kendal club), two (or three?) at Allenheads, one above Garrigill (Alston club), two at Yad Moss, two at Harwood (Ski Federation), one on the chapel en le Frith road (Derbyshire), one at Newby Head (Wensleydale ) one at Castleside (near Consett) and portable tows on Great Dun Fell, above Nateby, Kirkby Stephen and at Hudswell near Richmond. No doubt there were others. snowHead
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Peter S wrote:
Roll back the calendar to circa 1985 and I can think of at least 15 semi permanent ski tows in the Pennines. Two at Swinhope (Weardale), one at Langdon Beck (Teesdale), two on Hartside (Kendal club), two (or three?) at Allenheads, one above Garrigill (Alston club), two at Yad Moss, two at Harwood (Ski Federation), one on the chapel en le Frith road (Derbyshire), one at Newby Head (Wensleydale ) one at Castleside (near Consett) and portable tows on Great Dun Fell, above Nateby, Kirkby Stephen and at Hudswell near Richmond. No doubt there were others. snowHead


Blimey I never realised there were so many!
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@Peter S, Count in White Rose Ski Club and Yorkshire Ski Club having Briton Lifts at Kilnsley/Windy Ridge near Grassington. Also used to set the lift up at Dob Park outside of Otley.
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Ricklovesthepowder wrote:
Blimey I never realised there were so many!


Other ones I've heard of are:

Pott Shrigley - probably on the road up the Brickworks; Eldon Quarry - the A-frame that lifted the return rope is still in place; Hayfield - portable run by the same people who ran Eldon Hill. The Hayfield Tows were out in 2010ish; Edale - had gone by the 70s, used to be operated by the National Park Rangers; there were apparently assorted portable tows down the Derwent towards Matlock.

I think Post Shrigley and Hayfield ones were run by farmers.

Not sure when tows in the Cheviots or at Wooler were in use but this website has a lot of interesting historical information:
https://trevorhipkin.net/northumbrian-ski-club/ski-tows/

When the internet was less cluttered there you could find stuff on portable tows being put up on Blackstone Edge. Although this might have been 60s & 70s.

My guess would be most ski clubs close to the Peaks and Pennines would have some form of portable tow in the 50s / 60s maybe into the 70s.
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I was chatting to a lady on Mam Tor the other week who said they used(?) to run a portable tow on there. I think on the Edale side. Apparently there used to one or two out on the Shropshire Welsh border Oswestry way.
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@AndAnotherThing.., that’s true. Drove from Yorkshire to the Peaks one snowy day, probably 1985 with the aim of hiking up and skiing down a bit, only to discover someone was operating a Briton lift and as I recall charging 50p a tow. It was good until we ran out of the cash we had with us.
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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!
To add to the list of 1980s clubs/lifts consigned to history: Clay Bank (above Great Broughton) on the North York Moors. The ski slope was in the field next to the steep footpath up to The Wainstones.

Then there was the cross country skiing kit that used to be available for hire on the former railway line at Castle Eden Walkway in the late 80s. It's near Stockton, not Castle Eden - confusing but so named because the railway used to run TO Castle Eden...
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skimastaaah wrote:
@Peter S, Count in White Rose Ski Club and Yorkshire Ski Club having Briton Lifts at Kilnsley/Windy Ridge near Grassington. Also used to set the lift up at Dob Park outside of Otley.


I was a member of White Rose Ski Club for a while and used the tow once in Roundhay Park. Does the lcub still exist and are there any (ex)members on here?
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Learnt to ski at harwood back in 79 and skied there when snow fell for 5 years untill the family moved to glencoe..
Still remember having to hold onto the rope as we were lifted off the ground
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