14 March 2011

Gordale Scar and Malham Cove

A circular route starting with a scramble up the waterfalls at Gordale Scar, joining the Pennine Way just below Malham Tarn to return to Malham via Ing Scar and the Cove.
Distance: 6.3 Miles | Time: 2h 30m | Difficulty: Easy

It's a fickle mistress is work, one minute there's none of it, the next minute you can't shift for the stuff - taking up every waking moment and filling your precious free time with a desire to do nothing more than sleep. Then there's life, has the funny ability to get in the way of getting out and about and stuff done, so it was after a few false starts that I got out to Malham earlier this week for one of the classic walks of the Yorkshire Dales; Gordale Scar and Malham Cove.

Traditional Barn

I tend to steer clear of Malham, it's a lovely place don't get me wrong, but you usually can't shift for people - especially on weekends. That and once you've seen Malham Cove that's it, done and dusted. I know it's the pride of the Dales but it really doesn't evoke the sentiment of "You haven't been to Malham Cove? Here, take my car..." But if you look further than the limestone and the hordes, there's some good walking to be had (with some excellent pubs for post walk refreshments).

22 February 2011

Great Whernside : Take 2

A circular route over Great Whernside, returning to Kettlewell along Top Mere Road
Distance: 7.54 Miles | Time: 3h 31m | Difficulty: Easy

Last time I was in this part of the world it rained hard enough to go straight through my waterproofs and lead to some serious investment in better kit, so a beautifully crisp winters morning brought me back to the picturesque little village of Kettlewell for a rematch. I wasn't going to let its puny little 704m summit get the better of me this time (Okay, so I summited it before, but it was in downright crap conditions).

Kettlewell and Great Whernside

Cold, sunny and crisp underfoot; ideal conditions for getting out of the house and into the Dales on a January winter's morn. At least today there'd be minimal chance of a rain storm interrupting my fun, and severely reduced chances of me finishing the descent on my arse ('cause Top Mere Road doesn't give you that opportunity, go head-over-tit whilst you're dropping back down into Kettlewell and it's a compound fracture you'll be looking at).

12 January 2011

The Fairfield Horseshoe

A circular walk taking in the Fairfield Horseshoe peaks (Lord Crag, Heron Pike, Great Rigg, Fairfield, Hart Crag, Dove Crag, High Pike and Low Pike). Starting and finishing in Ambleside.
Distance: 11.2 Miles | Time: 6h 18m | Difficulty: Easy to Medium

It was another one of those days where the weatherman lied wasn't wholly accurate with the truth. Rain and low clouds in the far western fells, clear from Ambleside eastwards. Bollocks it was, but having driven all that way we weren't going to let that deter us from putting a few fells behind us - no, we'd leave that to the white-out we'd encounter up top.

Ladder Stile

For some reason or another I'd decided to shoot in black and white on this trip, might have been something to do with the general crumminess of the light levels or a sense of foreboding brought about by skies that didn't look too promising - either way, I think they mesh nicely with the commentary to come...

11 January 2011

Pen-y-Ghent and Plover Hill

An ascent of Pen-y-Ghent and Plover Hill via the Pennine Way from Helwith Bridge. Returning to Horton-in-Ribblesdale by Foxup Road and then along the Ribble Way to Helwith.
Distance: 11.3 Miles | Time: 6h 13m | Difficulty: Medium (Weather Depending)

Combining my target of 500 miles of walks this year with TelFaller's desire to tackle Pen-y-Ghent from Helwith Bridge; last weekend provided us with a suitable opportunity to kill two birds with one stone, and bag Plover Hill on top of the regular Pen-y-Ghent route.

Fawcett Moor

The Friday beforehand had dumped 4" of snow on us - admittedly not a huge amount, but as any Brit will tell you; enough to bring the country to a standstill - fortunately the temperatures rocketed to a balmy 3.5 degrees overnight leaving little snow to be seen come Saturday morning. Never-the-less we broke out the reserve Fellmobile (shod with a set of meaty Scandinavian winter tyres) and headed out into the Dales.

3 January 2011

Round the Bend: Brazos Bend

Back in the November I found myself in Houston for 10 days - about as far removed you can get from the Yorkshire Dales, short of driving to Ulaanbaattar I guess. I'd never been to Texas before and to be honest the only Texan history I'd learnt way back in elementary school was the battle of The Alamo - so I kinda had this preconception that Texas was all desert, how wrong I was...

Tree Ducks

I put over a thousand miles on what I, somewhat cruelly, called the 9th ugliest car in the world and discovered that you don't have to travel far (at least on a Texan scale) to find some fantastic locations for a good walk.

1 January 2011

Year in Review : 2010

So that was 2010 eh? Definitely had its ups and downs; planetary, politically and personally - there was turmoil across the board in the last 12 months.

Globally there's been floods and earthquakes (not forgetting yesterday's 7.1 in Chile) on a near unprecedented scale creating numerous humanitarian disasters. 

Britain saw it's worst winter in living memory with the potential for another to follow in the next few weeks; I had the displeasure of living through Sweden's worst in over 40 years (-38 plus windchill is not fun).