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Saturday, 10 November 2018

The rain wins

Thursday walk with Pete - 8th November 2018 - Killington area 

How often have you turned back on a walk? We trudged along south into a biting cold wind and gloomy overcast sky. We reminisced about previous more serious walks we had done together over the years. In particular Pete reminded me of an ascent of Great Whernside and Buckden Pike when he said it was the only time he could remember when I had uncharacteristically suggested turning back. On that occasion Pete pointed out that we were not far off the first summit and might as well carry on. Rain was lashing sideways and wind moving us bodily. We pressed on to the summit of Buckden Pike which is a wallowing quagmire the size of half a football pitch - one of the most unwelcoming summits I have ever visited. We descended to Buckden and had a miserable rain soaked plod back down the road to Kettlewell.

After half an hour today we turned north west on a more sheltered road with wind now more favourable, but we could see rain coming up behind. We usually walk an hour each way if it is linear, but today was more circular. When the rain arrived it was heavy and the decision to abort twenty minutes early was unequivocally mutual.

At the start we passed the potential climbing slabs adjacent to the road that I have mentioned before, and this time I took more detailed photos. We were walking in the same area where the bio and fox-trap notices were seen last week. Earlier we had come across more evidence of the desire to keep the public out: a pair of huge iron gates padlocked with something that looked as though it had come from  Harry Houdini's paraphernalia.

We were glad to get back to Cafe Ambio for cake and warming tea.

Pete hunkering down - Great Whernside summit - 8th November 2010
 Coincidentally 8 years to the day from this post

We passed this dull looking nature reserve. ok if you are into finding sedges that can only be identified, one from the other by using a microscope ( sorry, botanists - I know that's cynical)

Thursday, 8 November 2018

Don't go to Birks Farm Holiday Cottages, Cautley

Wednesday 7th November 2018

I wouldn't be paid to stay at Birks Farm holiday cottages from my experience today.

I was walking part of A Pennine Journey* from Sedbergh to near Cautley returning on the other side of the valley and passing through this place on a public footpath.

The farm had a complex number of tracks and gates, and to be fair the right of way was well marked with yellow paint, but despite that I got off track by about twenty yards. There was a shout from a farm building. The guy came out and demanded aggressively where I had come from and where was I going. He was large powerful and threatening. He shouted telling me not to come on his property and then shouting again frenziedly, directed me through a gate onto the public footpath - I tried to communicate with him, but yet again he shouted out "And don't start telling me to calm down," and then he finished off screaming out "f*** off!"

I reckon this is the most unpleasant encounter I have had with a land owner in over 60 year of walking. How on earth he has managed to secure the handwritten testimonials shown on his website I can't imagine.

The walk was not very inspiring except for it skirting underneath the eastern edges of The Howgills which seem to have unique colouration which is attractive, but for some reason I have have always failed to define I have not been attracted to walk over them very often. My best acquaintance was walking the whole of the main ridge following The Dales High Way a few years ago. At the place marked Fawcett Bank on the map there was an interesting discovery: a gate that could be opened and closed by a long length of string, some electronics, and an apparently hydraulic piston, and a bit further on there was another. I couldn't work out exactly how they worked, but they did.

From my emergence onto the A683 I had intended to continue by tracks and minor roads back to Sedbergh, but heavy rain started and I route marched back down the main road.


*A long distance footpath originated from an early walk by Alfred Wainwright.

Typical Howgill scenery

This and next three - the electronic, hydraulic, string controlled gate

Note string running on the wall - pull and it opens or closes the gate

This box is fixed next to the gate at the end of the wall in the photo above

String runs from this tree stump back to the gate - note small orange marker on string halfway , click to enlarge

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Arnside fireworks 2018

Saturday 3rd November - 2018


The display has been going from strength to strength from year to year and is funded by a bucket collection on the night.

Click on file to open thumbnails.

Click on first thumbnail.

Then click on two arrows at bottom to open as full screen and proper slideshow.

Saturday, 3 November 2018

Waterfalls I have not visited

Friday - 2nd November 2018 - Rusland area

A follow up call from BC after arranging this walk had me confused. BC wanted to ask about bringing another friend. I misunderstood and thought he was referring to a lady. That reminded me of ringing my friend M for an evening out back in 1969; she had said that she could not come because she was going out with her friend Ann,  so I said "ok, bring her along as well." Ann became my wife some months later. I recounted all this to BC, expressing my thoughts that I may be heading for a repeat performance.

(My wife Ann sadly succumbed to Motor Neurone disease in 1997.)

It turned out BC was bringing J and I had mistaken genders. 

BC had majored on our walk in the Rusland area last week plotting a new route "to take in those waterfalls marked on the map and that little tarn." That sounded fine to me - I'm not one for missing a good waterfall - I nearly went over a thirty footer in Scotland some years ago after falling into a stream and being carried into the deep dub on the brink of the falls.

We all three ascended through steep woodland from Rusland church on a rocky path topping out on a Land Rover track at the point of the first of the two waterfalls.  We could hear the cascading water a few hundred yards down the other side of the track, and either BC or J suggested they had a glimpse of water through the trees, but I think that was sheer optimism - a vote was taken whether to descend to view or continue on our way to Number Two - there was no enthusiasm for the descent (pauper spirits.)

A bit further on another mini waterfall was spotted far below down an impenetrable wooded hillside which may or may not have been Number Two.

The tarn was not a disappointment and it may just have qualified for me re-naming this post The Tarn Walk. By this time, which was not so long after my breakfast, J was hungry but again democracy prevailed asnd he was outvoted in favour of sandwiching later.

The rest of the walk took us through more woodland and old lanes and tracks all with that special fringe of the Lake District ambiance.

A good day out with good friends. The conversation was wide ranging. J has a background in chemistry and we exchanged many anecdotes about making explosives back in our school days. Does that bring back some memories Gimmer? I hope the ranging search engines and or the anti-terrorism squad don't pick up on key words here.

I've just noticed that the two waterfalls are not even shown on the 1:50 OS map

Please click on first photo to enlarge all

Killington village.

Thursday walk with Pete - 1st. November 2018 - Killington village

We have been exploring the lanes around Killington Lake recently and I thought to myself I have never  actually visited the tiny village of Killington, so I plotted a there and back route starting from where we left off last week.

The long descent to the village had Pete concerned about the return - I had intended our route to go beyond the village, but we decided to shorten it at the church marked on the map in the village. That turned out to be quite unusual and included the adjacent pele tower.

As it turned out Pete ascended in spritely fashion and nonstop so we extended the walk at the other end which you can detect if you follow the arrows on the map carefully. That extension took us past a pair of minatory notices on the edge of a wood with open access from the road. What "bio-security" refers to I have no idea, but it conjures up images of Porton Down, and as for "trapping foxes," that can presumably only lead to one conclusion - sickening.

It was only as I started writing this post I found that we had walked right through Killington village on 10th October 2013 and although I remember other parts of that walk, including the intimidating notices shown in the photo below, I had no memory of the village, and we must have missed the interesting church and pele tower,

Here is a link to the relevant post from 2013, the comments were entertaining.:

 Click first photo to see rest enlarged

From the summit before the long descent to the village

Descending to Killington village - Pete pondering about the return climb

The far gatepost is the trunk of an old tree

Pele tower on left, church on right.
 The tower is in the process of conversion to a self catering
holiday venue

Pity I managed to cut off the right-hand side.
 This was a particularly colourful
window even for stained glass

This and below were together.
The bio notice was there on the previous visit in Oct 2013
 but the fox notice is new.
I haven't heard of "trapping" foxes before. All of this just made me feel sick

On a lighter note (subject, not photo) back at Café Ambio - note the crook

Friday, 2 November 2018

Elaine's Tearooms and Smearsett Scar

Wednesday, 31st. October 2018 - Feizor, Nr. Settle.

On 17th October 2007 (pre blog) I was mopping up the last few of the trig points on OS Sheet 98. One of these was Smearsett Scar (SD 802 677.) I've just looked back at my journal. I must first of all register my current antipathy to blood-sports. Here is an extract from that day.

"I set off from the farm at the end of the road in Little Stainforth and had a chat with the farmer who let me park there. Conversation lead to me mentioning that my father had been secretary of the Airedale Beagles for twenty five years. The farmer told me they used to come onto his land, and they said they were there to "exercise the hares."

Smearsett Scar turned out to be a jewel of a mini mountain on that glorious October day similar to today's ascent. Despite  preferring to seek new places to visit rather than repeating previous trips there are a few that I have a special feeling for meriting  re-visits.  Smearsett is a qualifier. My next visit was serendipitous, that is, it not being the main aim, but fortuitously turning out to be within ten minutes from the route of the Dales High Way which I backpacked in April 2010, and enjoyably made that small diversion, again in fine weather. From the Scar trig the Dales HW passes through the pretty village of Feizor, and since my original visit a café had opened there and gained a reputation for good food with people fully booking tables at weekends, but unfortunately it was closed. I have always had it in mind  to go back and walk a circuit including the Scar with a visit to the café halfway round, and so it was today.

The café was open with a friendly welcome, a bacon butty and a pot of tea, and it lives up to its reputation.

Smearsett Scar was ascended with pleasure on the return leg, this time from the  north.

Limestone country, the old lanes, leading to green cropped turf - my favourite country - the Yorkshire Dales - scene of so many esrly adventures in my fomative years - all nostalgia.
Next photo looking back down the same lane. 

I seem to be getting paranoid about gates.
There may be more to come in the next couple of posts.
I think this one is competing for the Turner Prize.


The now quite famous Elaine's Tearooms at Feizor


On Smearsett Scar ridge.
 The summit is behind the camera.
 Feizor nestles down below the hump at the end of the ridge

Smearsett Scar and Pen-y-Ghent ( a change from Ingleborough which seems to be photographed so often from locations near and far)