Thursday, 27 June 2013

Beamsley Beacon: Addingham to Ilkley 15/06/13

The first three walks on the Summits and High Moors of the West Riding have been on my planning slate for more than two months, and the target for today had been officially listed before weather and ennui intervened, but the route I'll be taking today will be very different from the one originally projected. Having learned the lessons of adequate planning for walking days, my weather eye sees that the 13 mile loop from Ilkley, taking in Beamsley Hospital, is going to be rather too long for a day that threatens a very mixed bag of sunshine and showers, so some judicious trimming is necessary and if that means riding the bus out to Addingham to take a couple of miles off of the circuit, then so be it.

Beamsley Beacon: Addingham to Ilkley  9 miles

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Barden Moor: Skipton to Grassington 08/06/13

No longer having the Dales Way on my walking schemes should make me feel that I am now free to head out into the walking world without the constraints of a plan, but my mind seems to like order too much to start out like that, and with Summer weather upon us and the reality of Summer being only a couple of weeks distant means that I need a plan for the coming three months or so. Last Summer had the many miles of canal path to tread, and this year should have a similar theme, but one hasn't come to me yet, and with a number of plans that I had schemed for April and May still unwalked, I had better make the most of the arrival of summer whilst it is here. So off we go for an early start to join up with the FOSCL group again, who are staying out the Higher Dales to avoid the traffic going to Appleby Horse Fair, and to instead cover one of the southern High Moors that has so far avoided my attention.

Barden Moor: Skipton to Grassington  12.1 miles

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

The Dales Way #6: Burneside to Bowness-on-Windermere 31/05/13

Self at Burneside
To the last leg of the Dales way feeling somewhat sore, as the muscles in my lower thighs and the tendons in my knees seem to be objecting after all that fell-walking yesterday, I guess that must mean that I have given myself a decent workout. My Sis does often emphasise that walking is not a particularly useful method of keeping fit as you are doing a range of physical exertions which you body is programmed to do naturally, which is why she prefers hill-walking and cycling as they are things to really get the body going. I favour point-to-point walking though, as it allows you to experience the world at the most humane of paces, and over an extended period, you can see the incredible distances that you have travelled under entirely your own power, and that's where I am today, taking the ride out from our holiday house in Bowness, to make the 20 minute trip out to Burneside and I can be momentarily overwhelmed that I am so close to my destination. The strange caprices of the universe may have thrown foul weather and the extremes of ennui at me over the last three months, but right now I am less than 10 miles from completing a real long-distance trail, as well as my walk from home to Windermere.

Walking to Windermere: The Dales Way #6: Burneside to Bowness-on-Windermere. 9.8 miles

Saturday, 15 June 2013

The Old Man of Coniston & Dow Crag 30/0513

The first encounter I had with the idea of hill walking came my way as far back as 1980, when my family was holidaying in Wales, as my parents suggested we might take the Mountain Railway up Snowdon and then walk back down, a plan the 5 year old me famously nixed with the phrase 'I'm not wasting my legs!', and so it came to pass that I only did two country walks of any duration in my childhood, and didn't achieve my first summit until the age of 27. However my nieces have both gotten to the top of various big hills already, having summitted Catbells and Skiddaw respectively before they were even six months old, but all trips so far have been on the energy of their active parents carrying them, and we all think that it is time that they got to the top of their first Lakeland Fell under their own power. Younger Niece isn't massively impressed by the idea, and at age 5, I can't blame her, but at 6 and a half, Elder Niece is game, so a course is set to Coniston for four of us to have a wander into the Furness Fells.

The Old Man of Coniston & Dow Crag.  6.3 miles

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

The Dales Way #5: Millthrop to Burneside 29/05/13

Self at Millthrop Bridge
Bank Holiday Monday turned out to be a complete washout, because of course it did, which allowed me a day of rest and relaxation, at least it would have if I hadn't been handed Roast Dinner duty for the evening, and attempts to get my blogging done 'live' went south due to me almost getting worked up into a device smashing rage when trying to plot a map using the slidy mouse-substitute contraption on the MacbookPro (I loath touchscreens with a passion, and can only handle devices with buttons). Then, Tuesday featured yet more rain, so more opportunities were taken to cook, my signature Morroccan lamb, and to take trip to Kendal to revisit the Museum of Lakeland Life before my annual free-entry ticket expired, and to hit K Village in search of bargainous outdoor gear, landing a gilet and lightweight waterproof jacket for under £43, and the latter of those looks like it will prove useful as the return to the Dales Way is made. I have three days of walking to do and three days of holiday to do them in, so Wednesday has me riding back out to Sedbergh, and the pleasant weather of lakeland passes as we travel inland to find cloud hanging heavily and ominously over the Howgills and I steel myself for another 16 mile haul in less than ideal conditions.

Walking to Windermere: The Dales Way #5: Millthrop to Burneside. 16 miles

Saturday, 8 June 2013

The Windermere Three Peaks 26/05/13

Even with me out on my holidays I had no intention of walking on a Sunday, as I'd already had six days of activity preceding it and was in need of a rest, but with another excellent day of weather projected (and two rotten ones following it), I couldn't waste it just with food shopping, a good book and dinner preparation. Plus, with the four ladies of the household all on a cookery course and Dr G out cycling, I was left with only my Dad to entertain, and he'll be needing an afternoon nap, so that'll surely give me a three hour window to get in the sights around Bowness-on-Windermere. A delve into Wainwright's 'Outlying Fells of Lakeland' illustrates three hills around the town that should make for good viewpoints, and I'll plot a course and head out for that straight after lunch, at least I would if I could find my phone. I cannot find it anywhere, so I can only assume that I dropped it somewhere between Gap Wood and Sedbergh, and that wasn't a smart thing to do when walking in unexplored territories...

The Windermere Three Peaks: Brant Fell, School Knott & Orrest Head.  7.3 miles

Thursday, 6 June 2013

The Dales Way #4: Far Gearstones to Millthrop 25/05/13

Self at Far Gearstones
Onward to the Spring Jollies then, not feeling a huge amount of physical and mental enthusiasm after too many tiring weeks of work, but I'm looking forward to the whole clan, all seven of us, getting together again after we all had such a good time back in October, and there's plenty in the far North-west for all of us to enjoy, and weather projections are looking good too! So many cares are to be left behind, and bags can be sent on with my parents as we take a Friday-Friday let, and I can ride light up to Ribblehead on Saturday morning to resume the Dales Way, which encompasses three of my four walking targets for the week, as I wander into the unknown once again. It also looks like this is going to be the first time that I encounter the Yorkshire Dales in what could be described as 'good weather', so that'll add an extra layer of challenge to this day that has already had two extra miles added to it with my choice of start and finish points, as I bid to get to Sedbergh in 7 hours. The adventure starts here then, and what's the last tune on my iPod before alighting the train? 'Magical Mystery Tour' by The Beatles, and I think that feels like a good omen.

Walking to Windermere: The Dales Way #4:
     (Ribblehead &) Far Gearstones to Millthrop (& Sedbergh).  16.5 miles