Kinder Scout Mass Trespass Anniversary

On Monday the 24th April it is the 85th Anniversary of the mass trespass of Kinder Scout.

To mark the anniversary, there is an event being held in Edale Town Hall on Saturday the 22nd April. “Spirit of Kinder” Day.

Start time is 2pm, and it is reported that the head of the  Ramblers will be a keynote speaker, along with the head of the National Trust and the Wildlife trust.

This mass march onto the Kinder plateau marked the beginning of a long campaign by The Ramblers’ Association, culminating in the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, for which we should all be thankful.

It took 68 years to bring this about and have it set in law. It is therefore something everyone who walks the footpaths of England should be proud of.

 

Pennine Way Itinerary

This is my planned itinerary. As with all plans, it is subject to change.

0m             Edale                                                 0m

+3.7m          Kinder Scout     Δ                                  3.7m

+5.5m          A57                                                 9.2m

+2.3m          Bleaklow         Δ                                 11.5m  

+4.5m          Crowden                                            16.0m

First night under canvas, there is a campsite here, or I may push on and camp between Laddow rocks and Black Hill

Day 1  - 16 miles


				

Continue reading Pennine Way Itinerary

Pennine Way Itinerary – Week 2

               Tan Hill                                          123.1m

+5.3m          Trough Heads                                      128.4m

+0.9m          God's Bridge                                      129.3m

+4.0m          Clove Lodge                                       133.3m  

+5.4m          Swallow Hole                                      138.7m


Day 8  - 15.6 miles


				

Continue reading Pennine Way Itinerary – Week 2

Pen-Y-Finally

Three weekends ago, I made an attempt on Pen-Y-Ghent with Dave. We were not successful. I believe we made the right decision to abandon the attempt, but on the first available day, Sunday, we decided to have another crack at it.

This will be my 4th climb of Pen-Y-Ghent, the first two for the Yorkshire Three Peaks, the third we have discussed enough. Not once I have I actually seen the hill. It has always been shrouded in cloud, or hidden behind some weather. The day was glorious. Weather reports unbelievably good, both of us ready for it. Continue reading Pen-Y-Finally

Calderdale Way Day 3 – Sunshine and Mud

This is a part of the Calderdale Way. See more about the Calderdale Way

Calderdale way Midgley to Stone Chair GPX

Back to it.

Having taken a break from the Calderdale Way to get wet on Pen-y-Ghent, and have a sniffle in Meltham, it feels good to put my boots back on the trail.

Continue reading Calderdale Way Day 3 – Sunshine and Mud

Friday, last day of March, 2017 part two

 

Dear No.1 Dad

No.1 granddaughter is excellent, learning something new everyday! She is a cheeky monkey these days

I do remember about the moon I also remember when you used to say we were connected like an elastic band, we could stretch very far away from each other but it would never break- we will always be connected and come back together.

It’s lovely and sunny today, no moon here either, we will be heading out to enjoy the sunshine shortly.

We are missing you too, but are looking forward to seeing you in a weeks time

Hope to hear from you soon!

Lots of love

No.1 daughter and No.1 granddaughter xx

Friday, last day of March, 2017

Hey No.1 Daughter!

How’s it going? Hope No.1 grand daughter is well.

You are miles away at the moment. Remember when you were little and I talked about us both seeing the same moon no matter how far away we are? Today its cloudy, no moon, but I know it’s there, so that’s okay. I will be going on a little walk soon, on my own, but no matter how far it is, I will know the moon is watching us both, so I won’t feel lonely. It won’t stop me missing you though.

Write soon

Dad X

Mental Health Matters

It has been decided that No.1 daughter will collaborate with me on the blog whilst I am walking the Pennine Way. It feels the right time to talk about mental health, and how it can affect everyone around. Its just 5 weeks till the start, and I guess I am starting now to look at the isolation, and that has lead me to think deeper, particularly about the isolation someone suffering through MH issues must feel.

Anyway, that is all to come, and I am really looking forward to it, in the meantime, I will be setting up a just giving page, for just in case you feel that reading the posts might encourage you to support a mental health charity.

I need suggestions for which charity. Has a particular one helped you, someone you know, or have heard of? I would like to hear from you. If you don’t want to comment below, please email me at andy@awalkonthemildside.co.uk I will never divulge any personal details, put please, don’t send any, just in case 🙂

Stay safe! Andy

Lazy Bones, probably man Flu, but loving the HubbaHubba

Today was going to see me conclude the Calderdale Way, but due to having had a bit of a sniffle this week, I have postponed and will be a lazy bones. Instead I decided to test out the new tent, and because the day was so glorious, I headed up onto the fells beyond Meltham. I walked no more than about 3 miles.

The key today was to keep it short, there seemed little to be gained from a long hike, better to get over the Man Flu completely. So, Meg Hill looked suitable.

The definition of Man Flu is “a cold or similar minor ailment as experienced by a man who is regarded as exaggerating the severity of the symptoms.” Maybe I didn’t have that then. What I had was way beyond a cold, much more serious, I nearly could have, possibly, might have, died or had a day off work or something if it had got even just slightly worse. Lucky really.

It is always quiet here, rarely do you see another soul. But today however, as I got to the summit trig point I met some other walkers, who also thought it would be deserted. This is Helen, with William and Antony. They are in the enviable position of getting out for a walk most days, and had just trekked up from Meltham. Take note, they are all in sunglasses! The sun was out! Hoorah!

After a brief conversation they headed off the hill back towards Meltham, maybe our paths will cross again, who knows, its a big outdoors we play in. Isn’t it odd how we can chat with new people out here? It always surprises me just how different it is if you meet strangers in the countryside rather than in a town. Worlds apart. A discussion for another time.

The rock where they are stood is just by the trig point, and interestingly has a compass rose carved into it. Amazingly, it is quite accurate too.

I grabbed a quick selfie at the trig point of course, but my mission was to seek out something far more scarce. A piece of dry, flat stone free ground of about 3m x 2m. Why? to try pitching my new tent for the first time.

This look like it will do.

I went with a tent from MSR, as they seemed to get good reviews, and at under 2kg for the 2 person sized HubbaHubba NX, I thought I would have plenty of room, with not an excessive amount of weight. The full review can be seen here

Suffice to say, I love this! I pitched on the side of the hill, on top of quite deep grass. The warmth, the gentle breeze and the contrail kisses in the sky all proved too much, and I nodded off briefly. So lazy.

Breaking camp was simple enough, and I remembered to check that I had left nothing. The spot was just as I found it, so I was on my way.

This time of year is really wonderful if the weather is on your side. Not so hot you are uncomfortable, and just a lick of breeze. The calm this week compared to last is astonishing, the hills here still have the comb over that the last storm gave them, but new growth is starting to push through.

Today was the first day of British Summer Time, and it was good.

Pen-Y-Nearly

It was supposed to be an easier day, only 6 miles, and a bit of Amateur Radio thrown in for good measure. Today, the Yorkshire Dales had other ideas.

When we set off from Huddersfield, the weather was not too bad. A rainbow in front of us, a little blue sky even. It was quite different in the dales. The Ribble was swollen, fields flooded, and even many of the roads covered. Still, we had driven quite a way, so we decided to try.

We parked in the car park at the far end of Horton-in-Ribblesdale, and got ourselves organised. Good boots, check. Gaiters, check. Waterproof trousers, check. Waterproof coat, check. In the packs we had storm shelter, first aid kit, food, water, spare dry clothing in waterproof bags, map, compass, gps and spot, as well as the camera equipment and radio gear. Throw the rucksack cover over and we are I think pretty well equipped, and covered for eventualities. Over-prepared? possibly you might think so, its 12’C in the car park, with light drizzle. The walk is only 6 miles, expect about 3 hours. We are carrying about 10 kilos each, which is not too bad for too big blokes, and at our age, feeling you are prepared for the worst does give a modicum of satisfaction.

Feeling like too intrepid explorers, we headed down the road, past the famous cafe, and turned left through the field to the wooden bridge. The water in this normally quite tributary was flowing fast, and only about a foot below the bottom of the bridge. As we got to the middle, we looked at each other and both at the same time exclaimed “pooh sticks!”. I have no idea who won. before you could turn around the sticks were gone.

Following the road for a short way, we were able to see just how much water was tearing down the hill, tremendous volume, brown like a chocolate river in Charlie’s chocolate factory, but turbulent as if it needed to destroy everything in its way. The rain stopped. Just kidding, the rain stopped pretending, and came on strong. Even the sheep were having a bad day.

We started up the track at Brackenbottom, where the field was leaking great torrents on what should be the track. Sheets of rain could be seen tracing their way across from left to right. The wind was starting to pick up too.

Half wading, half slipping, we made our way to the top of the first field, with a couple of pauses to catch a breath. The wind was at our backs, which, remarked Dave, “is a good thing, it would be awful walking into this!” Oh joy.

Sheep , it seems, can have more sense than people. We would be the ones sheltering behind a wall later on.

For now, though, we feel good as we reach the first wall at Brackenbottom scar.Water cascades over the edge. “See that water fall Dave, that’s the path”. It turns out that up until now, the wind hasn’t been strong, NOW its strong. Hardly here yourself speak above it. On to the second wall.

Water cascades over the edge, and gets flung back by the wind. Its a “waterclimb”! It turns out that up until now, the wind hasn’t been strong, NOW its strong. Just about hear Sam and Tom. They are as mad as we are. Sam and Tom have been staying nearby over the weekend, in a tent, and walking all 3 peaks. Turns out they may actually be even less sane than us!

I think that this is the first point at which we raised the spectre of not playing radio at the summit. Only a few yards further and we met a group from UCLAN. They had turned back without reaching the summit, forced back by strong winds.

This is Craig, Adi and David. We left them to continue off the hill with a promise that we would take a look and probably follow them down soon.

How bad could it be? Young, fit, fully equipped yet they couldn’t get to the top? Dave and I looked at each other, turned and put our heads down as we put our feet to the hill again. By the time we reached the gate with the Pennine Way, the wind had picked up. It turns out that up until now, the wind hasn’t been strong, NOW its strong. It takes both of us to open the gate against the wind, and it near launches Dave as we just get through. We crouch behind the wall, like sheep, and discuss possibilities. We decide to see what it is like over the next section, a paved step section of about 100 yards. It turns out that up until now, the wind hasn’t been strong, NOW its…… oh bugger, back to the shelter of the wall.

Decision made, we send a Facebook message that we are abandoning the try. The temperature reading is -1’C. Thirteen degrees colder than the car park. The wind is not gusting, its just a constant. It sings through the fence, and makes the wall leak droplets like a wet sponge lifted out of the bath, but these droplets peel out horizontally. Fighting the gate open, we set off back down. Now we get the full force of the monsoon at us. It turns out that up until now, the wind hasn’t been strong, NOW its strong, and its wet. And its hard! Should rain feel like you are been sand blasted? I can’t talk over the gale, so I can’t thank Dave for his earlier comment about it at least blowing from behind, but I think harsh thoughts. 🙂

With each drop in altitude the pitch of the wind drops by an octave and we can hear normally again. We meet a couple heading up. They don’t look prepared. He has the small day pack, she is wearing jeans. Hoping they will be sensible, we advise that they should assess the climb at the next step up along the path. We give the same advise to at least 3 more groups we meet on our way down, and we see at least one pair make the right decision and follow us off the hill.

Back at the car and it seems that all the precautions I took were not enough. My new camera is fogged, having got wet through. Battery out, hopefully it will dry over the next few days. Hopefully.

Our adventure at an end, we retire to the nearest bar, for what I am starting to believe should be a tradition. The Selfie with beer in hand at the pub.

That should be the end of the story. After most outings it would be, however, I must quickly give a review of the Crown at Horton in Ribblesdale where we took the selfie. The beer was good, but that I am afraid is all that was good about this pub. Hardly two sentences did we get from the staff, and both of those indicated that wet walkers were not welcome. After she disappeared to who knows where, we started to notice all the printed paper pinned around the room. Don’t do this, don’t do that, no dogs, no mud, no wet, NO INTEREST! We quietly finished our beer and left. I will not return. The Golden Lion will have our custom when we return later this year. If you read this before your visit, I hope that you will consider the Lion before the Crown too.