A Snowdon jaunt

I headed over to Yr Wyddfa / Snowdon on Saturday with some Marsden mates and my son (also a mate). I knew them all but (stick with me) they didn’t all know each other before the walk. I forget how a big a village / small town Marsden is.

Five of the guys hadn’t walked up Snowdon before so there was a nice sense of excitement. I’ve been on a few ‘Snowdon in the Snow’ trips over the last 4 years, always sociable fun and a good day’s walk. But being in January or early Feb, they had all been susceptible to poor weather. In fact, last year saw four of us battle a blizzard and turn back (sensibly) just before the Clogwyn Coch area.

So this year’s trip, falling as it did in the third week of March, could have brought clear skies and amazing vistas.

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Snatching words on the Marsden Poetry Trail

March Hill Marsden Moors hike Hiking Yorkshire Walking rambling

I set out last Saturday with friends Jenny, Karl and Taru, after the Hare surveying training, to walk the Marsden poetry trail that I put together last year.

Taru and Jenny had wanted to do the ten mile circular that navigates Pule Hill, Close Moss and March Hill. The weather looked like it would be pretty good to us. Although good in Marsden is relative: ‘fresh’ or ‘blowy’ would be kind euphemisms.

But as Simon Armitage says in ‘Snow’ (a great piece and a stop along the trail) : ‘We should make the most of the light”. That’s a pointer to the poet’s birthplace and conditioning right there.

The poems that we took turns reading out at each ‘waymarker’ (yes, I sprang that on them) were frequently snatched from mouth and hand.

And the winds crashing against the industrial cliffs of Pule Hill quarry knocked Taru and Jenny over at one point. Then threatened to snatch at least one of the three hounds off and away into neighbouring Lancashire.

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Edale to Kinder Low Circular Hike

Edale Kinder Low Hike National Trust Helicopter

Brodie stopped a few feet below me and gave me a look: ‘so, who were you calling old?’ she seemed to be asking. I was picking my way hesitantly down Grindsbrook Clough, a pretty steep rocky path that hugs the brook and wends its way off Kinder Low, back down to Edale, which was not yet visible below us. My right knee and Achilles tendon were both aching a bit so Brodie had to stop every few yards or so to wait for me to catch up with her (she was on the extendable lead so didn’t really have a choice). Jenny was ahead of us and Karl behind, all of us watching out for especially slippy rocks.

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Mindful on Moel Penamnen

Rhiw Fach Quarry Cwm Penmachno Hike

I just spent a weekend in a cottage with no TV, no Internet and surrounded by hills. I could have stayed for a month or three. This, coming perhaps surprisingly from a blogging, tweeting, instagramming, facebooking chap. It’s really very nice to just sit quietly and read a book or have some thoughts. Although I’m not that good at sitting still actually, as Anita kept telling me. But I tried to do some ‘mindfulness’. Then realised maybe you just have to be mindful.

I got into the mindfulness groove a bit more up on Moel Penamnen. The things I was mindful of:
– Both my boots are leaking now
– that wind really is very strong
– my achilles tendon has been aching a lot on the last few walks
– the clag up here just isn’t going to lift is it?

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Brimham Rocks Circular along the Nidderdale Way

Nidderdale Way Yorkshire Dales Hike

I went on a walk last Sunday with my ‘Butterley Booters‘ compadres which was remarkable for two reasons:

(1) Brodie came in the car with me / us on the 90 minute journey to get there. Which is a personal best for her, as her younger ‘barf zone’ limit was around 45 minutes. I’d stopped trying longer trips with her but I’m glad to say she made it there and back with her dignity (and stomach contents) intact.

(2) We started from (and ended at) Brimham Rocks. Somewhere I’ve never been. “Really? Never? Really?” Jenny and Taru both asked when they first mentioned a walk there. The Rocks are a real geological magnet for tourists and walkers alike. They had passed me by though. I’m glad to say I’ve seen them now.

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Le Hike to Le Grand Depart

between Holme Moss Black Hill Yorkshire Moors

The Tour De France Grand Depart, as anyone with a TV or radio will know, started from Yorkshire this year. And whilst I’ve never had more than a passing interest in watching bike races; it seemed crazy not to be part of such an enthusiastically embraced event, living so close as I do to part of the route. By close, I mean … Keep reading >