Walking thoughts; a reconnoitre

 

Yesterday we did a reconnoitre for a walk we’re leading in April. Three points spring to mind.

First point. Using the word reconnoitre makes me feel a little quasi-military and I feel I should probably have been making notes on where best to build a pontoon bridge, scout out enemy radar positions or dig down to avoid incoming artillery fire. Therefore, I shall use the standard #Ramblers abbreviation instead as we’re not a militia group. We’re a #walking group.

That leads me to my second point – how do you spell that abbreviation? We all know that it’s pronounced reki but how the devil do you spell that?

Recce?                  Reckie?                Reccy?                  Reqi?                    Reccie?                Wrecky?

It’s something I have wondered about for a while (prior to writing this) and it has stopped many a Tweet and an e-mail as I wasn’t sure how to spell it. According to Wikipedia (and they know everything) it’s spelled recce so let’s stick with that from now on.

The third and final point is that a recce can be an invaluable thing; saving time, saving embarrassment for the walk leader and perhaps most importantly of all, it gives you the chance to scout out a place to stop for lunch.

Our walk was from the excellent Walks in Tynedale and Allendale, a [very practical] spiral bound book of ten excellent walks in the aforementioned area. We have walked in the Hexham area many, many times but this walk, from Dipton Mill, took us to previously unseen corners and this is where a recce came up trumps. Without the pressure of fellow walkers, we were able to make a few mistakes along the way, correct them and continue on the walk. Walk directions can always be potentially subjective and the directions for this walk proved to be just so.

  • ‘Walk over the crest of the hill and head for the stile in the far corner of the field’ That one took us about ¼ mile off track!
  • ‘Continue past the left hand side of the wood, passing through some fields’ Exactly!
  • ‘Head for a small clump of ash trees in the distance’ Quite tricky to spot in February.

Now this is a particularly beautiful walk and by investing in a quality recce we now know the route really well when we do it for real in April we’ll be able to present it beautifully, fully relaxed and in control.

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