Well, the Yorkshire 3 peaks was a game of 2 halves for sure. The morning, starting at Horton in Ribblesdale at 6.30 a.m (actually, starting at 3.30 a.m at home) was shrouded in misty fog (one above mist but just below thick fog if you know what I mean) and drizzle. Which continued up and over Pen-Y-Ghent and up to the top of Whernside or so. With the bog section from last year being really, really boggy this year. I think everyone we walked with or saw on the trail plunged at least one boot into the bog at some point.
And then the sun burned away the low cloud and the final 5 hours or so were hot and sunny and with fantastic views in the valley across to Ingleborough and then up on the top of it.
My walking compadres were Adrian. Andy and son Joe. None of them had met each other before but there was surprisingly a lot in common between the actor, the professor specialising in Alzheimer’s research and the recent geology graduate. A love of the hills for one thing. But also an enjoyment of swapping science facts along the route. I joined in when I wasn’t trying to breathe, hauling myself up Whernside and Ingleborough
There were surprisingly a lot of folk out, for what was the end of summer and a lot were raising money for their chosen charities - so hats off to them all.
I raised just over £300 for Simon On The Streets, who do great work with rough sleepers, so I’m personally chuffed. And also chuffed to have completed the challenge itself again. And also also chuffed to have spotted a purse right at the top of Ingleborough , to one side of the path towards the trig point and to have got it back to its owner at the end of the day, thanks to her business card being in there.
And a big THANK YOU to those who sponsored me (you can see who these kind folk were on this site).. much appreciated!
Here’s some photos – once again taken on my cameraphone, so not great depth of field or detail – but hopefully they give you a sense of the challenge. It’s a lovely part of the world and I’d recommend it if you haven’t visited before.
Click on the first photo if you want to see a close-up slideshow thing (I’m trying it out).
I’ve been wanting to venture further afield of late in my prep for the Yorkshire 3 Peaks (the moors around me are great but variety and all that..) and I was thinking north yorkshire or south lakes or maybe the peak district, which is on my doorstep.
Turns out a new client I’ve been working with is a walker and he recommended the ridge circular (taking in Mam Tor) above Castleton, down in Derbyshire. So that was that, the peak district. I’ve been to the area a few times over the years and really like it – so on Saturday son Joe and I headed that way.
Quick Advert :
I’m training for the Yorkshire 3 Peaks challenge which is on 8th September.. rasing money for an excellent rough sleeper outreach / support charity, Simon On The Streets.
If you can, can you spare even £2 to sponsor me? Thanks.
The route we used was the one mentioned here in the Walking Englishman’s blog/site. The route map on the site is a bit loose (as in doesn’t overlay exact path locations), so I loaded the helpfully supplied gpx file into Viewranger and used the phone app on the day rather than rely on the printed map I took as a backup. That isn’t a criticism of the info provided on the site by the way, (lots of great walks on there) but I wanted a more accurate route ‘sense checker’; as some of the paths go through farms and I didn’t want to stray off track too much.
No Brodie on this walk unfortunately. I was a conflicted man – she would have loved the walk but she doesn’t travel too far in cars without getting all gippy. And it was forecast to be a hot, muggy day (which it was indeed, despite the cloud cover for most of it). And she’s slowing down a bit of late and the combo of feeling poorly after the drive and then 5 hours or so in the sun meant, reluctantly, she stayed at home. So it was just Joe and I – but I’ve promised her a long local moors walk this week if time allows.
The start and end of the walk is Hope, just past Castleton, lovely little village.
The whole hike was about four and half hours, with some great views along the way. I’ll let the photos tell the rest of the trip. What you don’t get a sense of so much in the photos is that (being a weekend) Mam Tor itself was pretty busy, lots of families having picnics etc. Which was nice to see but I realised I do prefer more remote jaunts on the whole
After returning to Hope we had a quick snack break at The Blue Apple cafe. The Bakewell Pudding – not Tart, as was explained nicely to me – was fantastic. And a pot of tea that went on for ages, excellent. I think I had a net calorie gain after that pud
Then we headed home with a quick detour (I had a geologist in tow) to the Odin Mine, site of an old lead mining / extraction enterprise. Started in Roman times I think but really active in the industrial revolution. It was dark in the wet and slimy cave we entered but we pushed forward to an area that, when illuminated by the flash on my DSLR, was enormous. And a bit spooky.
Also a quick marvel at the slumped and buckled old road below Mam Tor (geology cares nothing for civil engineering) and then we drove up through the impressive limestone scenery out of Castleton and the Hope valley.
A great days walking – recommended.
- A Great Destination for Ramblers (stravaigerjohn.wordpress.com)
I got contacted today by an app developer who has brought out an app (for Android initially I think) for people looking to do the West Highland Way.
I’d love to do this path / trail its entirety – on my bucket list, as having driven up most of it (and walked a tiny part + one mountain at the northern end) it’s a beautiful part of the world.
And I have family in Erskine / Paisley and as a boy we had day trips to Loch Lomond. And I’ve travelled up and down the road to Inverness a few times as an adult and always wanted to stop and wander a while..
Alas I don’t have the time just now – but (and this sounds like an Ad, it isn’t!) .. if I was to do it I’d download this App for sure, it looks really useful.
I’ve got viewranger which of course handles all the GPS, route marking and more but this looks a bit more specialist with local knowledge thrown in. One of the neat things for this App, I think, is it looks to have a diary feature. so you can jot down notes at stopovers.. handy for blogging types (yes you can blog on the go but having a facility in the app for diary notes seems a nice touch ).
Some info from the developers:
“For the first time, a guide to Scotland’s West Highland Way long distance path is available for Android phones and tablets. People can use it to plan their route and accommodation in advance and also day-to-day as they walk the route.
The app can display a map of the route overlayed with the locations of essential facilities such as hotels, hostels, B&Bs, campsites, shops, transport links, etc. Users can move around the map and touch a location to see information about the facilities there, including links to the appropriate website for further information. So people can find the best accommodation options and link straight to their websites for contact details and booking.”
Looks like they are going to do bespoke apps in a similar vein for other long distance paths. nice one.
Just a quick post about an outdoors festival taking place in the South Pennines area (north UK for my USA friends) in September.
I just got an email update about it and there looks to be loads on for every type of outdoorsy person.
The events run between 8th and 23rd September 2012.. you can get more info here : www.walkandridefestival.co.uk
And for my specific micro-area (Marsden ) there’s quite a few walks listed (not just when the festival is on, obviously) http://www.walkridesouthpennines.co.uk/walk_inner.php?area=9
It kind of coincides with my pre / post Yorkshire 3 Peaks challenge but I’ll make sure I can get to some of the events.. some even involve Beer
My sponsored challenge can be found here : http://www.justgiving.com/MarkKelly-Y3P
I’ve had a couple of trips away of late, so this weekend I was determined to get out and get moving in prep for the upcoming Yorkshire 3 Peaks challenge I’m doing (raising money for homeless charity Simon On The Streets). Saturday looked like the best day so that was the plan. A ‘proper’ walk, come what may. What I hadn’t planned for though, was just how long the (excellent) Olympics opening ceremony would go on for.. and how heavy the red wine I was drinking would be. Oops.
Saturday was therefore a bit of a slow start. And my reluctance to get up the hills wasn’t helped by the rain that started just as I was getting Brodie’s harness on. Anyway – rain,schmain – off we went, though neither of us in particularly high spirits!
I had planned (in my head) a route that would start out from the back of the garden (always a good place to start) and go straight up the hill to the catch-water near Shooters Nab above Marsden. The climb felt a bit hard this time (first time for a long time actually). I was a bit dehydrated and I was cursing myself for not drinking more water before I set off. There was approximately 10 miles ahead of us so I stopped to swig some water rather than start with a headache.
The route described a southerly, then west to north-westerly loop up above the Wessenden valley on the heritage trail and then joining the Pennine Way near the Deer Farm and heading over the moors between Swellands and Black Moss reservoirs towards the Oldham Way / Pennine Way.
The part between the Deer Farm and Swellands Res is one of my favourite parts of the moors whether rain, snow or (occasional!) blue sky. Walking down the little steep sided valley to the river (Wessenden Brook) and the wooden bridge, past the waterfall and then up the steepish hill to the phone mast (and Heritage Stone number X (can’t remember which one that is.. 11?)) is a nice little section and gets your heart going.. more so with a dog pulling you downhill sniffing out sheep and rabbits (every time).
We stopped for a quick lunch of cheese sandwich just after Black Moss res (Brodie being a bit partial to cheddar) before heading over the A62 and on to the impressive cliffs looking over Castleshaw reservoirs. I could have spent ages here poking around the interesting shapes of the rocks but would have had a bored dog to contend with.
I shot a short video near the Oldham Way / Pennine Way Cairn – Warning : terrible sound quality due to the incessant winds ..
We then headed a bit further north before turning east / south east, down Willykay Clough and down to Eastergate and the final tramp back into Marsden.
So about 10 or 11 miles in all and I had reckoned about 4.5 / 5 hours to complete. Which it turned out to be.
And after that first shower we had patchy blue skies but (very) strong winds to contend with over the first 3 or 4 hours or so (it got a bit wearing actually).
I’m glad I got out despite the initial reluctance and a few more 5+ hour walks to get fit for the 3 peaks are on the cards
If you enjoyed this post and admire my grit in fighting a mild hangover,
why not sponsor me for the Yorkshire 3 Peaks: