Friday, 12 August 2011

A Tale of Two Walks Part Two

We had been sent the map for the walk that my wife is going to do for the HACK in early September, so we decided we'd have a go at part of it.  The full walk is around 24 miles so I found a place where we could take a short cut and make a 16 mile walk which took in nearly 10 miles at the start of the hack and about 4 mile at the end with a couple of miles to join the two parts.

We arrived at the start at around 10:30 which is about two hours later than we'd planned because Evey the dog had suddenly started limping the night before so we thought we were going to have to abandon the walk.  All of a sudden in the morning she stopped limping, all we can think is that she'd managed to get a piece of cat litter in her paw and it had fallen out.  We were so relieved because we thought we might have to take her to the vet and my daughter wouldn't have been happy because Evey is her dog and we were just looking after her.

The walk started at Grin Low Cottages where there is a car park and a Caravan Club site adjacent.  The weather was glorious with lots of hazy sunshine and a few white fluffy clouds.  To be honest it was a bit warm for walking but we needed to get in the practice.  The weather was so much different to the walk at Kettlewell in the first part of this blog which had been just two weeks earlier. The walk started with a bit on the flat to get warmed up and then a good hill to climb to almost the height of the Cat and Fiddle pub.  In this first photo we are getting our first view of the pub across the valley on the brow of the hill.  At this part of the walk we were heading away from the Cat and Fiddle but would curve around and head towards it later.


As we continued the walk we came to an abandoned quarry where there had been an old building that someone had made a pile of stones on one corner.


There was a small stream running through the quarry that we needed to cross and here Evey was taking a well deserved drink.


As we climbed back out at the other side of the quarry we could look back and see the piles of old stones with some more of the Peak district hills in the background.


We were now heading towards the Cat and Fiddle and had the wonderful view towards the South with the sun and shadows across the scene.


This was our second view of the Cat and Fiddle pub which looked very busy with lots or cars and mini buses in the car park.  We stopped here for a quick break before we headed to the highest point of the walk on Shining Tor.  On the HACK this will be where Checkpoint One will be and the walkers will be able to get more water and refreshments.


Here's the trig point at the top of Shining Tor where we had wonderful views of the peak district in all directions.


From here we headed towards Cat Tor which you can see in the middle of this photo.  There is a steady hill down and then back up again to get there and it's paved like the Pennine Way that we walk on regularly.


After Cat Tor we go down further to Pyms Chair which is where we cut across to rejoin the main route of the HACK.


We followed the road called The St. near Pyms Chair down to Errwood Reservoir.


After Errwood Reservoir we rejoined the route at a little bridge over a stream after which there is a fairly steep climb up to where Checkpoint Three will be.  We've missed out Checkpoint Two with our short cut.  After the checkpoint we go along an abandoned railway line which is flat but seems to curve a long way around the valley.


I think the valley was called Wild Moor and there were quite a few people walking on the paths below us.  The railway line ends at a blocked tunnel where we have to climb again to the top of the hill.


At the other side it is a very steep path down into the village of Burbage where there were some lovely big properties.  This monument and pond was at the bottom of the garden of one of the houses.  Evey was looking across at some moorhens wandering across the lawn and then jumping down into the water.


After Burbage we made our way back to the car park and there was one final climb to get over the into the quarry where the Caravan Club was situated.  There were signposts to Poole's Cavern and Solomon's Temple but we may visit them another time.  After 16 miles up and down the hill in the heat we were ready for going home.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

A Tale of Two Walks Part One

I can't remember whether I've mentioned this before, but my wife is in training to do HACK (Hike Against Cruelty to Kids) at Buxton this year, so we've been in training.  Some work colleagues of hers go on walks a couple of times a year so we signed up to join them on a walk around Kettlewell.  We've never been on an organised walk with other people before, so we were just hoping that we weren't going to be the ones that were constantly lagging behind, especially as many of them were much younger and fitter than us.  As it turned out that wasn't the case and we were pleased to be towards the front/middle of the pack most of the time.  We'd been looking forward to the walk for weeks but the weather forecast on the day wasn't good so we packed up our waterproofs expecting the worst.

These first two photographs were taken at the top of the first hill out of Kettlewell which felt like an almost vertical climb from the car park.  It's hard to tell on the photos but the weather is atrocious, it was blowing a gale on the top of the hill and the rain was hard and very wet. Even with the (so called) waterproofs on I was wet and cold and my feet inside my boots were soaking.  I was having to keep my camera in my backpack with a waterproof cover and just take it out when there was a photo opportunity.  There wasn't much to see of the view, as you can see below the scene is getting quite misty over about fifty feet so the expected view for miles just wasn't there.


For the group photo I was facing into the wind, as they were keeping their backs to the wind, so I was getting rain splodges on my lens.  While we were waiting for the last people to reach the top we were starting to get very cold so we had to move on and hope they caught us up later.


The next part of the walk was downhill towards Arncliffe where the TV soap Emerdale Farm was filmed in the early days.  The group had caught up together on the way down from the top of the hill and we were just setting off again to drop down into the village.


From Arncliffe we followed the river up towards Litton and here we were crossing the river by stepping stones.  Even though it was raining hard today this year has been pretty dry so far and there was little water in the river.  The weather was a bit better down in the valley but it wasn't going to last for long.  I was completely soaked to the skin but was getting the wet suit effect where the water next to my skin was warm from my body heat.


From Litton we went back over the hill again towards Buckden and the weather deteriorated as we went over the top.  On the way back down the hill one of the party was having a problem with her knee so we left a group helping her down the hill and we carried on down the hill to Buckden.  Just outside the village was this lovely big tree at the head of a line of trees in the field.  The weather was starting to brighten up but we were all still cold and wet.


As we reached the village the rain finally stopped and one of the ladies in the team decided it was a good idea to stand in the middle of the road and remove her tee-shirt to wring it out.  Fun eh!


The weather was improving by the minute and it was actually getting quite bright as we crossed the river at Buckden.


We waited at a cafe for the remaining team members to get down the hill.  The lady with the poorly knees found that she was OK once she'd reached the level ground at the bottom of the hill.  In the meantime her husband had made his way down the valley to Kettlewell and brought the mini bus up to Buckden.  I was quite looking forward to the four miles walk down the riverside back to Kettlewell but the majority decided it was time to abandon the trip and head off to a pub for a hearty meal.

Part two was a very different walk and I'll try to get it posted in the next couple of days.