Saturday, 28 April 2012

Langdale Weekend Away 24th April

Langdale Weekend

Over the last weekend in April, 24 of us went up to the Lakes for a bargain weekend at High Close Hostel (Langdale). A small, select party set off earlyish on Friday morning and after lunch within the grounds of Ambleside Youth Hostel, proceeded to High Close where we were to spend the night. During the afternoon we circumnavigated Loughrigg Fell, getting our first views of the Langdale Pikes, which were to feature prominently in next days walking. By the time we had returned to the hostel, other members of the party had started to arrive.

Saturdays A walk, led by me, started from the hostel and was to take in The Langdale Pikes with an ascent of Jack's Rake for those that felt so inclined. 11 brave or perhaps foolish people decided to tackle the climb, the sensible ones taking the easier route up. Nevertheless everyone made it and despite being rather tired, we all felt rather proud of ourselves. Our next ascent was up Harrison Pike but when given a choice, most people decided that the further peak of Pike of Sickle would have to wait for another day. We descended to the New Dungeon Ghyll hotel where refreshments were taken, the majority of the party opting to catch the bus along Langdale, your intrepid leader however plus three others opted to finish the walk that came out at about 10.5 miles.
The B walk led by John Gregory, was chosen by many thinking this to be an easy option, it did however turn out to be about a mile longer than the A walk. It followed a similar route to start with as far as Stickle Tarn, then veering northwards towards High Raise before dropping down Far Easdale Gill and into Grasmere. Here I was very surprised, knowing the leader, that they went to a tea shop!
The next day there were a couple of walks of about 5 miles that finished soon after lunch, just as the rain arrived. Up to this point the weather had been very good and we consider ourselves very fortunate.
Many thanks to Shaun for organising such a good value and convivial weekend.


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Sunday, 22 April 2012

Family WAlk 22nd April

Family Walk
There were three families on the walk, including us.  The weather started off really unpleasant with heavy rain and strong winds and by the time we were walking up towards the ridge above Castleton, I was planning on turning back into Castleton and going home!  However after a quick lunch during a dry spell, the sun came out so we continued up to Mam Tor, enjoying fantastic views in all directions.  We descended back towards Castleton via the “broken” road which provided a bit of excitement for the children.  By the end of the walk we’d done 7 miles and had mostly dried out.  I’m afraid the camera was hidden away in a dry bag and didn’t come out all day!
Best regards

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Brighouse to Todmoren Canal Walk 21st April

Canal walk Saturday 21 April  Brighouse to Todmorden                       
Our usual gang of four met up at Stalybridge station on a gloomy morning but by the time we had made our way to Brighouse by train, the weather had brightened up considerably and this set the tone for the day. Although we had occasional spots of rain, the weather held good which was remarkable really considering the unsettled weather of late.
We proceeded along the Calder & Hebble Navigation by way of Elland to Sowerby Bridge, The canal and river are in close proximity throughout in pleasant rural settings. Our first lunch stop was in The Navigation at Sowerby Bridge, where we partook of some excellent chunky chips, good value at £ 1.90.  We reluctantly left there for the Rochdale Canal and on to Hebden Bridge for our second lunch stop in The Railway where Linda tucked into a sumptuous salad followed by chocolate marshmallows !
We set off  for the final leg of the walk to Todmorden. This is the most scenic section of the walk with the hills crowding in on each side. We finished off in the ‘White Hart’ Wetherspoons before catching the train back to Manchester.
John H

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Sunday, 15 April 2012

Two Langsett Walks 15th April

Langsett Walks

Walk 1 Jack
This was a 12mile long walk above Langsett. It started off badly as I could not find the way out of the car park and we ended up in the toilets, I am pleased to say that this was the only navigational error and all went well after this. We walked over Langsett dam and passed by "North America". From here we ascended Cut Gate to reach Margery Hill. After this the route across Harden Moss was rather undefined and boggy. Luckily for the rest of the party, I was the only one to fall into the bog. We managed to get out of the rather cold wind at lunchtime by sheltering in the lea of Outer Edge Rocks. An eventual descent was made into Hardron Clough and a final return made along Langsett Reservoir.

Walk 2 John
RECORD BREAKING "WHIMPS" John's easy option of 7.5miles followed a low level, but scenically attractive route around Langsett and Midhope reservoirs with a lunch-time stop at Midhopestones with its charming church and the welcoming Mustard Pot Inn, before returning via the old railway track. A cold day, but bright and sunny with excellent visibility. Whilst the leader objected to the labelling of his group as "whimps" by the leader of the opposition, he can I think, rightly claim two significant records in SWOG'S history: 1. The recruiting of potentially 5 new female members on one walk and 2. A walk in which the number of women exceeded men by more than 3 to 1. Impressive! And an idication that this particular leader must be doing something right.

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Saturday, 7 April 2012

Portmadog Easter Weekend


A goodly crowd attended this event, staying at the independent hostel, Snowdon Lodge, the birthpalce of Lawrence of Arabia, in the hamlet of
Tremadog. It offered comfortable accommodation and excellent facilities.

Some of us enjoyed a meal at the somewhat quirky Golden Fleece on the Thursday evening. On Friday most of us took the train to Criccieth -a
charming town with a picturesque castle, and walked back along Black Rock Sands and the coastal path via Borth y gest.

Saturday's walk from the hostel took us into the hills behind Tremadog. A steep climb brought us to our coffee stop by the attractive farm of Pant
yfan which linguistic Denise imaginatively translated as "gusset"! This route afforded fine upland farm and mountain scenery and wonderful views over the Afon Glaslyn estuary and the coastal areas of Cardigan Bay and the Llyn Peninsula.

On Sunday most of us explored more western parts of the Llyn with short walks around Abersoch and Morfa Nefyn.
On these three days the weather was fine and dry if not very sunny. With the cooperation of many members we enjoyed two communal meals followed by jolly evenings in the large, comfortable lounge around its cosy log fire.

On Friday Jack and Chris H ably led a session of lusty folk singing from ancient YHA songbooks. The following night we were entertained by the Portmadog Symphony Orchestra which, under the direction of their esteemed guest conductor, Sir John Gregorolli, enthralled us with a programme of music by Verdi. It was rather embarassing though that several members of the audience exhibitted disrespectful chatter and laughter throughout the concert. We were then treated to the gyrocopic talents of Agile Angie of Strictly Come Dancing fame who then had us dancing the night away.

An excellent meal at the Union Inn made for a relaxing final night for a now near-knackered group. The rain finally arrived with a vengance on the Monday morning, but we were happy to make an early homeward journey after a weekend of much laughter, lively conversation and the shared companionship of a most congenial and convivial group.

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Sunday, 1 April 2012

Standedge Walk
After days of dull grey skies, Sunday surprisingly turned out to be a bright sunny day with a gentle breeze – ideal walking weather. Varying numbers of SWOG members (we started with 17, peaked at 18 and ended with 13!) took part in some or all of the walk, starting at the Fox House pub, just past Hathersage. During the morning we enjoyed excellent views as we walked the full extent of Stanage Edge along easy paths, until we hit the A57, with an elevenses stop complete with ice cream.
From there we retraced our steps for a short spell, then attempted to pick up the path across Moscar Moor. After a  belated lunch stop, we followed a series of vague paths and sheep tracks across open moorland, before finally arriving at the wall and path marked on the top of the moor. Unfortunately this path also soon disappeared, but we soon picked up a proper track again down to a small lane, where the first of our party to go left us to take a shortcut back to the car park.
From there we dropped gradually down into Hathersage on grassy tracks, where 4 more  left us, before a final steep climb up through woods and fields, from where we could see The Fox House. A short walk across moorland brought us back to the cars.
Officially walk length per Trail route description - 14.25 miles
Walk length per Colin’s phone - 24 miles!
Walk length per Jack – last known reading 14.1 miles, after which his device went flat (it was obviously too much for it!)
Best guess – 15 miles

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