#69 – The Standedge Trail and the Pennine Way OR The day we didn’t go up Pule Hill

Pule Hill above the Standedge Trail

 After a couple of weeks of indifferent weather combined with domestic chores, it came as a relief to have a free day and a good weather forecast.  It didn’t take long to prepare a couple of rucksacks, and even less time to decide where to go – time to fill in another gap in my Peak District knowledge.  Only in this case we didn’t actually walk in the ‘Peak’ – we did park the car there, though.  Today we were heading for the StandedgeTrail.

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#68 – Helm Crag and Far Easedale

Late afternoon view of Helm Crag seen from Far Easedale

There seems to be a bit of a theme developing in this blog.  In #65 I described a warm and sunny February day on Cadair Idris in 2008.  Last week in #67 it was a February ski trip up Pen y Ghent, which although snow-bound was again blessed by sunshine and blue skies.  Circumstances kept us off the hills last week, so I returned to plunder the archives and found this – yet another warm and sunny day in February in 2007, this time in the Lake District.

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#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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#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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#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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#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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Posted in 4. Northern England | Tagged , , | 5 Comments