I originally intended to get out to the Dales this weekend, but my friend and I were planning on cooking Burns Supper for a few folk and the timings would have not worked for people wanting to eat food before midnight. That’s happened before…
I thought about a few alternatives, but given the fact we needed to be finished early I planned a route from Hebden Bridge to Sowerby Bridge; the latter being the town in which I live. The route took us over Stoodley Pike and its large monument to giving Napoleon the thrashing he so richly deserved and then cutting east across Crag Vale, Ripponden and eventually back into Sowerby.
The conditions at first were horrible, sleety rain which gave me brain freeze and I cursed the weather forecast for saying it would be sunny all day. Wintry showers rolled in and out until we were well past the Pike.
The road was icy in places and proved very trying for Mike who had bruised his knee climbing in the Welsh Highlands last weekend. I was quite surprised to see the level of snow and ice we did given the fact it’s been relatively mild for a period in which we have snow and it’s certainly been mild all through 2014.
The views were good from the monument which you can climb up into and we had timed this perfectly because another band of snow hit as we walked away south of the summit.
We then walked past a small reservoir and then down and out of Cragg Vale where I remarked to Mike that I forget just how beautiful it is five minutes from my doorstep. I appreciate it’s far from Alpine grandeur, but there is a rolling charm to it and the feel of the ancients – a land lived in since before people could write.
At this point my camera crapped out on me and I have no further photographic record, but the majority has some record above. I will remember this walk in summer as I scouted a few locations where I can strip the hedgerow bare of blackberries. By which I mean take a responsible share. Honest…
You’ll be pleased to read I restored myself by eating an obscene amount of Haggis (veggie version), Neeps and Tatties and then a heart stopping dollop of Cranachan.