#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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Posted in 4. Northern England | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

#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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Posted in 4. Northern England, General Interest | Tagged , | 7 Comments

#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

#60 – A special delivery by the coal man!

The 'coalman' on his round

This week’s blog is a bit on the short side.  I’m out for the next few days acting as safety cover on what must be the most gruelling race in the UK – It’s called ‘The Spine’ and the competitors are racing each other north up the Pennine Way.

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Posted in 3. Yorkshire Dales, 4. Northern England, General Interest | Tagged , | 8 Comments

#59 – “Water, water, everywhere……….”

Thornton Force in spate

The plan had been to go to the Peak District for our next hill day.  However, the ‘breezy’ day with ‘sunny intervals’ turned out to be ‘blowing a hoolie’ and ‘light rain’.  Our last outing to Malham on Boxing Day {26th December) had seen us blown and buffeted round the hillside.  I for one wasn’t especially keen to repeat the experience, but didn’t have an alternative ready.  It was Chris who saved the day by suggesting the Ingleton Waterfall Walk. Click to continue….

Posted in 3. Yorkshire Dales, General Interest | Tagged , | 6 Comments

#58 – Re-visiting the Ghosts

Boxing Day walkers at Janet’s Foss waterfall

 December 2010 was memorable for the snow and extreme cold conditions that gripped the UK, causing chaos far and wide.  December 2011 will be remembered for different reasons, at least by those who walk the hills.  A succession of Atlantic low-pressure systems combined with associated weather fronts has at times made walking the hills an unpleasant experience.

There have been calm days, sure enough, but I seem to have been doing other things on the settled days – we did manage an outing to Malham on Boxing Day, where the lower paths were crowded.  The small waterfall of Janet’s Foss was in full spate, and as we reached higher ground we were blown and buffeted by winds that made walking a trial.  There was some cheer on the horizon though – New Years Eve at the Station Inn at Ribblehead in the Yorkshire Dales.

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Posted in General Interest | 9 Comments