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Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Three northern pensioners claim second ascent of Easington Fell

A call from Bowland Climber (John), had me out on a good nine miler on Sunday. Panic ensues when I have to go south from Arnside into heavy traffic and big town country. John had invited friend Barry whose passion for rocks and minerals had been the subject of anecdotes from John over the years. That was fine so long as Barry didn’t expect me to carry back half a hundredweight of his samples in my rucksack - he turned out to be exceedingly good company and the three of us tramped around, up and over and down the other side of Easington Fell for six hours or so with non-pausing conversation (of the highest high intellectual value of course) - for example, are Higgidy pies good value, and do you walk faster using the 1:25,000 map than you do with the 1:50,000?

I had offered to chauffeur with my car from Longridge to Grindleton, and that might have been a good idea in retrospect  After much driving through scattered villages and country roads in John’s car we eventually arrived at Grindleton. On a steep hill in the village John stopped to survey for a parking spot. When he tried to restart we were informed that the gearbox had long since given up on first gear. It was touch and go boosting revs and torturing the clutch to move off up the hill in second gear - thankfully we were not reduced to manpower.

A series of  footpaths shown on the map, but only identified on the ground by numerous stiles took us to the furthest edges of civilisation.

Leaving behind the grazing pastures we entered  the land of bogs reeds and tussocks and battled on before summiting Easington Fell where lunch was taken. Barry tried to convince John that he had some moral obligation to share his Higgidy pie, but John was not persuaded.

Now, John's predilection for adventure identified a return route on the map dropping into a steep sided, tree filled ravine. There was the merest semblance of a path, but an atmosphere of no human visitation since about 1700.  Ed Stafford struggling down the Amazon from its source sprang to mind.

John had done a selling job on the phone, tempting me with the fact that Easington Fell is a Marilyn, but I saw that I had already ticked it off on the list. I had no recollection of climbing it, nor did any recollection return on this Sunday, but when I arrived home I found the reference here to its ascent in March 2014 hidden away in a post covering several events on different days: 

My approach on that day had been from the opposite direction not far off the road - a quick up and downer, so that probably explains the blank in my memory. Anyway, it was worth going there again in excellent company and with magnificent views across to the main peaks of the Yorkshire Dales. First gear was not needed on the return journey.

The problem with chopped off text seems to have sorted itself

Map courtesy of Bowland Climber

The horse whisperers

Barry pedantically follows the Country Code keeping exactly to the footpath

The stile constructor's version of Spaghetti Junction

John decides to go walkabout.
 There was a danger of disappearing entirely in the bog here 

The distant summit of Easington Fell, and I was getting hungry

In the wild ravine.
 It was possible to walk underneath this stile without obstruction to the other side of the wire fence
 We could only conclude somebody had a lot of spare wood to use up


bowlandclimber said...

Conrad, Good write up of our trip.
Couldn't find any reference to Easington Fell in that Two Marilyns link.

Sir Hugh said...

BC - Sorry about that. Here is the correct link:

I am altering it in the post so you may be able to go direct from there whereas with this version you may have to copy and paste into your browser.

Roderick Robinson said...

Lunch was taken. How peculiarly middle class.

Tautology seems to have crept into the parenthesis dealing with intellectual value.

Sorry to be overly concerned with oddities but pleasures are where you find them. I wrestled with the passage "...when he tried to restart we were informed..." which implies that "he" contrived to separate himself almost in an eyeblink from "we". It took me all of ten seconds to conclude that this is legitimate language; that there are precedents for this rearrangement of pronouns in time, space and syntax. Might I have used it myself? I can't be sure. The fact is that when I first saw it, it sounded unsatisfactory, even if this impression was quickly proved to be wrong.

A knotty one, this. I hope I've clarified where the stumbling block (however fallacious) lies and you are able to appreciate the nature of what I'm talking about. If not, ce n'est pas grave.

Roderick Robinson said...

So it's your birthday and you are silent. Perhaps I can compensate.

I'm imagining a heraldic shield: a collection of symbols which represents what you've done and what you hope to do. The word "tussock" emerges from this outdated post and I'm sure a tussock should find a place on your shield. But the trick is never to be obvious: no walking boots, no rucksacks, all far too corny. An apple with a chunk bitten out might be admissible, evidence of your financial enslavement.

A Le Creuset nestling in the oven would symbolise the past; I believe casseroles don't loom quite so large in your legend as they did. A wooden boat with a huge hole in the hull, eroded by time and tide, might prove - to those in the know - that with you it's better to travel than arrive. Various wrecked models. A defunct power tool obliterated by a red cross would indicate a road no longer travelled. A smashed beer glass side by side with a pristine teapot.

But what about a motto? French rather than Latin. I think. The following is too long but it's a start:

Peut-on croire avec bon sens
Qu'un lardon le mil en colere,
Ou, que manger un hareng,
C'est un secret pour lui plaire?
En sa gloire envelope,
Songe-t-il bien de nos soupes?

I don't do the greeting commonly used on this day, I find it meaningless. So I wish you a better knee and a free Radio Times subscription. Incidentally investigate Channel 81 on Freeview; it has aspirations.

Sir Hugh said...

RR - Ok. I'm working on the shield. Your summary is partly correct, but I am at the moment involved in yet another fairly major DIY project. I am installing a WC in the under eaves cupboard on my landing - there is standing headroom. I am doing all the flooring, and wall partitioning and panelling, but I have recruited the local plumber to do the pipework etc. He is coming today. I hope to do a post about this with more detail. I have even bought a new cordless 18v. drill - the previous one had died, due, as you suggest to a long period of non-use.

I tried to translate the French, then gave in and discovered the whole Jonathan Swift connection. Anybody else who is curious should copy and pastethe whole poem into Google for enlightenment.