Sunday, 28 July 2013

Rombalds Moor: Steeton to Guiseley 20/07/13

Walking the High Moors of the West Riding and failing to do another traverse of Rombalds Moor would surely be an error, but having already crossed it twice this year and three times in total, does it still have a good trail to offer? A only 6 and a half miles long and 3 miles broad at its limits, you'd imagine that it would soon run short of fresh and unseen perspectives, but this is plainly incorrect as it offers an awful lot of things to see, so unlike the other moors of Lower Wharfedale which can only offer a couple of routes over their masses, Rombalds Moor can offer a whole book's worth, and the best way to get the full flavour is to walk the full length of the spine of the moor along a latitudinal route, rather than the traditional longitudinal ones. This had been intended as one of my shorter ambles, but after plotting it turns out to be my single longest walk on the High Moors so far, so it's probably for the best that this isn't another day of unrelenting sunshine and 25+C temperatures, and our first heatwave since 2006 may have passed, but the walking season certainly has not.

Rombalds Moor: Steeton to Guiseley  13.1 miles

Monday, 22 July 2013

Grassington Moor 13/07/13

For the first time in my walking odyssey, we meet a day when I actually considered not walking on the grounds of it being too hot, rather than too grim or wet, and having gone to bed for a night of restless sleep brought on by excesses of heat and a rough headache, walking prospects for the Saturday looked grim. On rising the following day, my mood was much more resolute, mostly because of the realisation that we are having a proper hot and clear summer for the first time since 2006, and it would be wise to make the best of it as we might go another seven years before the next one. Plus good long days are needed when you are still delving into upper Wharfedale, and whilst Grassington Moor is a much vaguer upland mass than the High Moors previously explored, I'm sure that my investigations will show that there is still plenty to see up there, so get the bag loaded with liquids and set out for the High Moors in the heart of Limestone Country, on the hottest day of the year, taking with you the idea that you might well be insane to do such a thing.

Grassington Moor, via Hebden Ghyll & Bycliffe Road: 12.6 miles

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Barden Fell & Simon's Seat 06/07/13

I quite unexpectedly got sun-burned on my trip over Whernside, surprisingly as I'd barely seen any direct sunlight, but I noticed when taking a shower afterwards and finding that it stung my cheeks and ears a lot more than normal, and sure enough, lower half of the face (due to consistent hat-wearing) is looking distinctly pinkish. Work colleagues greeted me with 'Where have you been that we haven't?' and 'Are you going to try to even it out next weekend?', so I must have been looking unusually healthy! Anyway, after that experience of light frying on an otherwise unremarkable day, we've hit that rare point in summer where the clouds disappear, the wind drops and the temperature soars, the sort of weather which we haven't seen since 2006, I think, and I had better slather on the sunblock and don the sunhat and the most lightweight clothing possible and prepare myself for a whole day of seasonal warmth in the gritstone country of Lower Wharfedale.

Barden Fell & Simon's Seat  12.1 miles

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Whernside 29/06/13

The top of the year comes a week later than I had planned, as the 22nd provided uninspiring and grey skies around Morley and promises of grimmer weather further afield, so the mid-point of the walking year, and of my 3 year odyssey can come as 'Flaming' June comes to an end. Having walked up Ingleborough at the start point of the year, I think it's time to return to the Yorkshire Three Peaks and make my first assault on Whernside, having first looked that way back in 2002 and being discouraged from going there as my more active friends described it as a 'grim and unforgiving slog', but having had a reconnoitre on my wanders in Dentdale, I have picked myself a route which is the path less trammelled and approaches that big hill from its more interesting aspect. So, top of the year and top of the county too, which has a nice symmetry to it, and the weather for the early summer looks like about as changeable as an all white cloud day can be...

Whernside: Dent to Ribblehead  11.3 miles