For newcomers

At the bottom of each post there is the word "comments". If you click on it you will see comments made by followers, and if you follow the instructions you may also comment and I always welcome that. I have found many people overlook this part of the blog which is often more interesting than the original post!

My blog nick-name is SIR HUGH. I'm not from the aristocracy - my middle name is Hugh which relates to the list of 282 hills in Scotland compiled by Sir Hugh Munro in 1891. I climbed my last one (Sgurr Mor) on 28th June 2009

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Saturday, 30 November 2019

Wainwright's Way - Dunsop Bridge to Salter Fell Road

Friday 30th November Wainwright's Way
Dunsop Bridge to Salter Fell Road - 11 miles (there and back)

BC had previously walked W's Way from Dunsop Bridge to Hornby. In my last post I walked from the northern end of Salter Fell Road to part way to Hornby and tomorrow (Sunday 1st December) we will both walk the remainder of that part to Hornby. That will leave me the section from Dunsop Bridge to Salter Fell Road as now described. With BC we had previously walked the whole length of Salter Fell Road during our Lancashire Witches walk in June 2016.

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A toughy seemed likely based on BC's warning of rough going up Whitendale (he wasn't kidding.) Facing eleven miles there and back including the rough section and diminishing daylight hours I needed an early start.

Drama started before the walk. My drive through and over the Trough of Bowland encountered patches of ice. My Kia Ceed GT Line is really a sports car in disguise and not the best on that kind of terrain.  I was gripped several times descending over ice. I vowed not to return that way.

A frosty  8:10 am start treated me to surreal glowing-orange light on the Bowland hills with a carpet of white frost in the foreground.

But for the pre-warning the first five kilometres would have lulled me into thinking this was going to be a cinch.  I had been on a private water-board (I think) Tarmac road. Just after Whitendale Farm a gate lead onto virgin fell.  A board walk off to the right mislead me especially as it conformed to the GPX route I had downloaded from the Long Distance Walkers Association's website. I tried to follow that route but the path soon faded and I was quickly tackling monster sized tussock grass and wasting time and energy working back towards the stream and finding the proper path. Later, when I was returning the path of course went right back to the gate.

Green = already on OS plus GPX route downloaded, but not apparent on the ground.
Blue = the route I took across rough ground.
Turquoise = actual path on the ground used on my returm 
"Path" was almost a misnomer. Its only merit was just being able to identify it; I couldn't see where my feet were going because it was overgrown and uneven underfoot, and it switchbacked up and down requiring continual awkward stepping. Progress was disappointingly slow. The downloaded route did now coincide, but further on it diverged crossing a fence line to the right but that was not apparent on the ground. I continued on the known option of what I could see. Further on the OS 1:25 indicated another path off to the left, but as mine was intermittently furnished with marker posts I carried on.  My path eventually emerged onto the Salter Fell Road between the OS marked path and the downloaded GPX route.

It seemed unfair having to return back down Whitendale after all that effort but there was no alternative. The surroundings on the walk had been spectacular and perhaps worth the effort, but I don't think I will be walking up Whitendale again



Worth clicking to see enlarged







Hornby Road is the same as Salter Fell Road

Looking back at my route up Whitendale - there is more round the back of the distant central fell

Two red lines near finish show OS !:25000 path on left. My route on right, and green is the downloaded GPX route. Ignore all other marks scattered about on my computer Memory Map.


3 comments:

bowlandclimber said...

No comment.

Gayle said...

If you're going to walk up (and back!) a rough, almost pathless valley, then that looks like the most perfect seasonal weather in which to do it.

I understand that we had similar conditions on Friday, but I spent the day making dinosaur posters with youngest grandson and didn't get to step outside of the door until 8.30pm, when I took myself for an icy walk to make up for a day of inactivity.

Sir Hugh said...

BC - We both know we really enjoyed Whitendale (but don't tell anybody.)

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Gayle - I think I have to do one of these masochistic treks now and then just to prove that I still can. Dinosaur posters? Surely fodder for a blog post with some photos?