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Monday, 2 February 2015


Early starts are my preference for walking days. Time in hand can be crucial to cover underestimation, navigational problems (euphemism for getting lost), stopping to explore, and minimising  time spent battling oncoming bad weather, and especially in winter  avoiding the sudden onset of darkness. There are many other potential reasons for delays.

On Sunday I was away at 8:00am to drive to Keld to tick off Kisdon, one of my remaining Marilyns in Region 35. The early start was well justified.

A few Sundays ago I climbed  Rogan's Seat from Keld, The past comes back to haunt , so I was familiar with the road route branching off the A684 (Sedbergh to Leyburn)  at Appersett over the fell road to Thwaite, then over Buttertubs to Keld.

I experienced more and more snow on the fell road, until, just after the summit I met a snow plough going north, The driver was unable to proceed and had radioed for a bigger beast. I returned, precariously to the A684 and onwards to Askrigg, then off up the fell road to Muker. After a mile I met a Land Rover coming the other way and was told the road was impassable. So I returned to the back road to Castle Bolton and then north again over the fell road to Grinton and Swaledale, and then west to Muker. I had intended to walk from Keld but parked in Muker and set off from there at 11:00am. It had taken me three hours. Afterwards the return journey, north via Kirkby Stephen took 1hr. 22 mins.

An old lane led part way up the hill to the farm at Kisdon with fairly heavy snow and further tracks then to the open hillside, and it was difficult to identify anything looking like a summit on the undulating terrain. I took a compass bearing and ploughed on through snow covered heather and eventually found the summit pillar. The return back through Keld and alongside the river Swale was all delight in the afternoon sun. This was a little classic round with scenery as good as anywhere in the UK.


The red line shows my extended road journey. Note the short distance between my turning point on Abbotside Common and Keld and Muker compared with the eventual distance to Muker

Red line shows my clockwise route starting at Muker. The brown dash line is my LEJOG route which still  remains on Memory Map on my computer. The green tent was a night stop on that route.

The tea shop and old school house in Muker. The sheep is really there (placed). Three year old granddaughter Katie saw the photo and said "He's looking at the view".
The plaque to the left commemorates Cherry Kearton - Google if you wish to know more.

 "In memory Of Cherry Kearton, naturalist author and explorer. Pioneer of wildlife photography. July 1871 - Sept. 1940. Educated at this school" 

The Pennine Way crosses my path to the summit

From high up on Kisdon. The red dotted line shows my route a few Sundays ago to Rogan's Seat

Kidson summit. Keld down in bottom behind the pillar

Afternoon sun following the River Swale back down to Muker

Looking back up the Swale towards Keld


John J said...

Getting lost? Surely you mean 'temporarily mis-located'?
Lovely photographs - I particularly like the sheep enjoying the view!

Sir Hugh said...

JJ - Thanks. I think that gets the record for the quickest comment after posting.

welshpaddler said...

Looks an excellent venue.

Roderick Robinson said...

Should it be "other potential reasons for delays" or "other reasons for potential delays" or should we simply get rid of "potential"? But in raising the point I am risking, in effect, saying "I would." to a question I raised in a recent TD post "Who'd be a pedant?" The trouble with pedants is not whether they're right or wrong but their assumed omniscience and their tendency to patronise. One is entitled to bolt the door against pedants since they are death to conversation. But as Grannie S may have said (or if not said may have thought): God doesn't pay his debts in money. An enigmatic assertion but it allows us to imagine a pedant suffering a condign death: Being hit by a falling dictionary or strangled by a calling Seventh Day Adventist.

You can see now why I inserted "risking" as a get-out.

However it's Muker that on the agenda. Sixty-five years ago I read a lot because few West Riding girls responded to my linguistic approach to the subject of love-making. Given I'd oodles of time I read anything, including a review (possibly in The Dalesman) about the history of the village of Muker. The experience stuck. Obviously the village supports the Yorkshire tradition for coming up with truly horrible names (Ruswarp, Sleights, Uggle Barnby, etc) and seems to be linked to the production of phlegm. The text of the review stressed the remoteness, insisted that the best approach, even in summer, was by sledge (I may be a bit hazy on that one), and that Muker was rarely visited. Since I didn't finish the review (usually the case with Dalesman articles) I'm quite prepared to believe the author went on to pile incest on top of incest, resulting in a type of mutancy where humans become indistinguishable from sheep.

Muker was, you might say, an Ultima Thule, and I'm not talking Finnish rock bands.

Now I see it has an arts and craft centre. This may be another example of God not paying his debts in money - the ineluctable outcome of sharing a bed with your great-uncle. You may be prepared to drink tea there but not I. No one has ever proved to me that incest is not infectious. Check that they wash the cups. Thoroughly.

Sir Hugh said...

welshpaddler - Hi Bob - How's the snow going in Wales?


RR - the sheep on the roof says it all - obviously some mutant bearing forth from dubious interaction with the local roofing man."It's in the genes you know."

Gayle said...

I was going to ask you about access to the top of Kisdon, but a look at a 1:25k map tells me that (contrary to my first thought when I looked at it a couple of weeks back) it's open access, so no trespassing is required.

As for 'navigational problems' I wouldn't always consider that phrase to mean 'getting lost'. There are certainly some difficult-to-navigate places where excessive map-dithering has caused significant delays (and I do reckon that there should be a formula similar to narrow-boating 'lock miles' that takes stiles into account!).

Sir Hugh said...

Gayle - I agree about time taken interpreting maps. Another drama I notice - when you stop to do whatever for, in your mind, just a few seconds, and somebody comes past you, then you look up and see how far they have travelled in what you think is the short time you have been faffing.

.Add a few of those up and you've soon lost a mile.

afootinthehills said...

Hello Conrad. I do enjoy your posts and photographs about places I’m not very likely to visit although we might just spend some time in the Yorkshire Dales sometime this year. Back in the early 1980s while visiting my brother and his wife who lived near Stokesley at the time, we had a lovely day with them on Buckden Pike. We came up from Buckden and descended to Starbotton for a couple of pints of Old Peculiar – the ladies had half pints! Thoroughly refreshed we returned via Moor End Fell, Firth Fell and Birks Fell(I think)and thence down to Buckden. A fine day all round.

Incidentally, we are thinking of buying a Yeti Outdoor (170PS) later in the year and although reports of the car are very favourable, any comments you have good or bad would be much appreciated.

Sir Hugh said...

Afoot - The Yorkshire Dales are as good as anywhere in the country in my opinion. I spent a lot of my teenage and early twenties years walking, climbing, caving, fishing and pubbing there. Happy memories.

I have been happy with the Yeti. It did have a problem with the door locking system but it was sorted under guarantee and I also had a broken rear coil spring which cost quite a bit, but I wouldn't let those two things put you off. Mine is 4WD and climbs the local hills on hard packed snow with very well. Previously I had an Octavia which was good and had the DSG automatic, and I do now regret not springing the extra to get that on the Yeti.

afootinthehills said...

Thanks Conrad and all the best.

Mark said...

The contrast between the snowy ascent and the idyllic looking river side return looks to be really satisfying.

Sir Hugh said...

Mark - Yes. It was the best day I have had for a while, but I haven't got your knack of patience stopping to get good bird shops and the like.