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Sunday, 31 January 2016

Boulsworth Hill (Lad Law)

Saturday 30th January

Boulsworth Hill -  SD 930 356 (English Marilyn 145 out of 175 for me) 

I have a vague memory of visiting Widdop with our group of climbing friends in the sixties. Weather was foul, we took one look at the bleak crags then departed the scene. I have retained a memory of a large, intimidating crag throwing out an invitation for a potentially rewarding re-visit given better weather. But I never returned.

Closing in on the last few of the English Marilyns, and researching for todays foray I noticed Boulsworth Hill (Lad Law) was only a few kilometres north of Widdop.

The nearest habitation is Harle Syke a suburb of Nelson, four kilometres to the west of my starting point, Coldwell Reservoir. I tried to programme it into my Tom Tom sat nav. It was not recognised. My iPad mini has its own mapping with built in sat nav and there was no problem defining the hour and a half’s drive.

With our best in the world Ordnance Survey mapping with its related OS grid reference system, which can easily pinpoint locations to the nearest few yards, I often wonder why this is not more widely used, especially by businesses who need to inform customers of their whereabouts. It would be invaluable if Tom Tom incorporated this into their destinations system.

Temperature at the start was two degrees but with an icy gale and associated wind-chill the feeling was much colder.

My route followed a good track: The Pennine Bridleway. A wet and muddy minor path struck off up the hillside to the summit. I was battered by wind all the way and lashed by intermittent hailstorms. Approaching the summit I saw the trig point, but then what seemed to be higher ground a hundred yards to the south, so I went there first and found an overhanging rock for shelter, hot coffee, and a quality Topping's pork pie given to me the day before by daughter J.

I splashed back to the trig point then descended. I met a guy on his way up and queried his lack of gloves. He said his hands were not cold: I didn't believe him.

I drove south on one of the most spectacular roads I have experienced in the UK. The objective: a nostalgic look at Widdop crag. The weather had closed in alarmingly with high wind and swirling hailstorms. Driving with Widdop reservoir on my right I could hardly see anything across the other side, and at the nearest point I was just able to discern the crags, appearing disappointingly small in contrast to my sixties memory, and the weather was even worse than it was on that miserable visit

By now the roads had a significant covering of snow and hail. My drive on the one-track roads as far as Colne was a challenge. My return via Guisburn and Hellefield was enjoyably traffic free and more pleasurable than my outward journey via the M6/M61/M65.

This was a good day out, but Widdop seems to be one of those places with so much promise, but not for me.

On the Pennine Bridleway- Boulsworth Hill ahead

Marked on the map as a ford - I can't resist sparkling water

The marginal track to the summit which lies to the left and behind the pimple on the horizon

Near the summit

Splendid 360 degree views all round the huge expanse of the Trawden hills and moors


Gayle said...

Whilst not OS grid refs, we're exclusively using lat/long coordinates to navigate using our TomTom here in Spain. We do the same sometimes in the UK (where I'll get a lat/long of our destination from Memory Map on my phone to dial onto the SatNav).

As for Boulsworth Hill, I remember that one - we ascended from spot height 389 on the road to the SW, taking an off-piste route up but finding a path for our return.

Sir Hugh said...

Gayle - I hadn't realised you could do that with Tom Tom. I will give it a try. Which of the Lat Long options d you use on Memory Map?

I considered your route - looks like an easier ascent, but I thought mine may be a bit more interesting. I drove past the track end you mention and saw it briefly in the swirling hail.

Gayle said...

I prefer d,m,s, but the TomTom can accept d.d and d,m.m too. It's a source of annoyance that you have to tell our TomTom which format you want to use (via the settings menus) before inputting a different format of position. We're using various resources for our night stops and they all use different formats so I'm having to faff with the settings every time we switch to a different source of information. Still fantastic though that we can say 'take us to this exact spot'.

Sir Hugh said...

Gayle - Wow! just sorted Tom Tom and Memory Map. I found it's best to create a Mark on Memory Map then look at its Properties so that the Lat. Long. coordinates are permanently displayed whilst you input into Tom Tom. Otherwise just using the cursor to display it goes away after a few seconds. Thanks for your help - I have no doubts I will be using this a lot in future. It would have been invaluable for navigating to the starting points when doing Munros, but that all now seems a long time ago,.

gimmer said...

all this makes me wonder how they found Dr Livingstone

Sir Hugh said...

Gimmer - dead reckoning?

gimmer said...