#67 – Pen y Ghent on skis

Sunset over Pen y Ghent - January 2010

Well here we are hurtling into March and still no real winter.  A couple more weeks and it will be spring, though you might think it had already arrived.  In post #65 I told the story of a very unseasonal (and summery) February day on Cadair Idris in 2008, but sometimes it works the other way round.  In January 2010 there was enough snow to ski from the roadside at Horton-in-Ribblesdale.  With that possibility there could only be one target – Pen y Ghent.

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Posted in 3. Yorkshire Dales, General Interest | Tagged , , , , , | 22 Comments

#66 – More ‘Peak District’ wandering – The Crowden Horseshoe

Laddow Rocks above Crowden Great Brook

Long before I first visited The Peak District, I wondered why it was divided into ‘The White Peak’ and ‘The Dark Peak’ …. I think I get it now.  The White Peak is named after the white limestone rock that dominates the landscape in that area, whereas the Dark Peak is named after the colour of the water you have just washed your socks in after walking there – the Dark Peak is the land of the peat bog!

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Posted in 4. Northern England | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

#65 – A warm, sunny day on Cadair Idris – in February?!

Penygadair, the summit of Cadair Idris

My mum would have said, “it’s neither one thing nor the other”, in the way that mums do.  Now, I like my winters cold and with loads of snow, and last week held the promise of real winter conditions at last, but then what happens?  It gets warm again, that’s what!  As I said, neither one thing nor the other.

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Posted in 5. North Wales | Tagged , , , , | 11 Comments

#64 – Higger Tor and Burbage Rocks – a peek at The Peak District

An icy day in the Peak District - The 'Duke's Drive' near Burbage Bridge

Winter had definitely arrived, and looked as though it might hang around for a while.  This usually means ice-axe and crampons, and perhaps a look at something steep and icy.  Chris, however, doesn’t do ‘steep’ or ‘icy’,  and although ‘Mist’ has 4X4 traction with fitted ice grips (or claws if you prefer) I didn’t think she would be up for anything serious.  That wasn’t to be a problem, as a bit of snow on the ground transforms the most mundane walk into something interesting.

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#63 – Rishworth Moor from Ryburn

'Blackwood Edge Road' heading towards Rishworth Moor

After the ‘buzz’ and drama of “The Spine” it was time to head back to business as usual.

This walk could have been a big mistake.  A look at the map for Rishworth Moor shows several ‘drains’ that feed the reservoirs on this high section of Pennine moorland.  Drains? Reservoirs?   That all sounds like a bit of a watery theme then!  Well, not on this walk it wasn’t.  We had left Shipley on a normal, grey January day, but as we gained height on the drive over, we realised that there was a snow line, and though our objective for the day was modest enough, it was sure to be up in the white stuff.

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#62 – ‘The Spine’ – Britain’s most brutal race! (Part 2)

Mark Caldwell at Greg's Hut

Sometimes the Pennine Way must seem like a bad joke.  One of those times must be the Cumbria section where the route climbs steadily from Teesdale to cross the watershed at High Cup Nick.  From there the route drops 400 metres to Dufton, then climbs 670 metres back up to the watershed at Great Dun Fell – that’s fine if you’ve booked a B&B at Dufton, but not so good if you’re cold, knackered and running ‘The Spine’ race.

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#61 – ‘The Spine’ – Britain’s most brutal race! (Part 1)

Running "The Spine" - Kinder Plateau

The Pennine Way is well known amongst outdoor enthusiasts as being the first long-distance trail in the UK.  The idea of a national trail came from walker and journalist Tom Stephenson, who having been inspired by the Appalachian Trail had written an article in 1935 titled “Wanted: A long green trail”.  If the concept was simple the execution was anything but, and it took 30 years of wrangling with landowners over rights-of-way issues before the 268 mile trail was established in 1965.

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Posted in 3. Yorkshire Dales, 4. Northern England, General Interest | Tagged , | 15 Comments