Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England

Off Piste


It was a case of no snow, not the wrong kind of snow.

Out and about this week I came across this gentleman, with a nifty way of getting about.


He is in training for a 50m cross country ski race in France, to build up his stamina he goes out like this one day and runs the next, It was very kind of him to explain, he was a bit out of breath as he had just ‘skied’ up this hill, (my kind of skiing has always been of the ‘down hill only’ variety and included lots of stops for hot chocolate.)


The hills gradient is 1:7 and what is now road was once a railway track, with a stationary steam engine at the summit, the engine was used to haul the trucks up the incline, it was built in 1831, to link two canal systems. Could I get up that hill in these shoes? I don’t think so!


But I have to say this is a wicked hill to sledge down, especially on either a plastic bivvy bag or a fertiliser sack, I know I have done it and Tom found it rather an exciting run on his mountain bike, in what was not a totally controlled decent, it was miraculous that both he and the bike arrived at and got round the bend at the bottom together.

Author: uphilldowndale

Watching the rhythm of rural life, from the top of a hill in northern England. Having spent most of my life avoiding writing, I now need to do it! I am no domestic goddess, but if I were expecting visitors to my home, I would whisk round with the duster and plump up the cushions and generally make the place look presentable. I hope that by putting my words where others may see them it will encourage me to ‘tidy up and push the Hoover around’ my writing. On the other hand I may just be adding to the compost heap. Only time will tell! Pull up a chair, sit yourself down, I’ll put the kettle on.

8 thoughts on “Off Piste

  1. Yes and we all know what it like trying to steer a shopping trolley.

  2. Are you sure that they weren’t filming for ‘Last of the Summer Wine’!

  3. Has he got a licence for those?

  4. Sorry, that was such a SAD police comment, I can’t believe I wrote that!

  5. I saw loads of people on those when I went to Norway.
    I can go up hill (slowly) on cross country skis. Down hill is mostly on my behind.

  6. I see rollerblades in northern Michigan, too, whenever there’s no snow. (That would be in July. The middle of July.) Our rolling drumlins are considerably gentler than your hill, though. My furry hat is off to the athletic gentleman.

  7. We will let you off IG, I suspect they were fully licensed,taxed and insured!judging by the gentleman’s accent he probably skis on the right.

    The hill is where my big brother used to take me when he was teaching me to drive, to practice my hill starts; this probably why, when I am feeling under pressure that I have a reoccurring nightmare, that I am in car that is running away, backwards, down a steep hill.

    Welcome Gerry, looks like you have REAL snow where you live.

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