Sunday, 29 September 2013

Solo Ramblings

I'd toyed with calling this post "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud" but this presented two problems: (1) It would surely be better saved for something to do with Ullswater, and (2) I'm not that poetic.
Anyway..

As I've mentioned before, the Yeti has gone and got himself a grown up job (sigh). This, combined with the fact that I tend to work weekends, has meant that there's been a dramatic dip in our ability to hike together.

Now you know me, I can't be kept away from the hills for too long and so I soldier on and try to organise things with my friends or my family. But alas, it turns out that when you get to/beyond your mid-20s, the whole getting real job thing is kind of expected, and so I reach the same barriers with them. Thus, I am forced to consider the alternative:
Solo Hiking 

«From the last solo hike. 

I went on my first solo hike last month while waiting for the Yeti to move back up t'North and, all being well, will be doing my second tomorrow (the same route as before. You all know why). Now this might not seem like a big deal, and indeed it probably isn't for most - but as someone who lives her life in a permanent haze of vague and mild panic, it's a bit of an undertaking. 

That said, my first solo hike went pretty damn well - far better than I'd expected (and that includes expectations formed during the hike). I ended up walking further than I ever have before (and making record time), taking fewer breaks, and being more selective with my "photography". Plus I still got the same strong sense of achievement and joy that I get with every fell conquered.

While I missed the conversation, the security that comes with someone to look after you on the scary bits, and the whole safety in numbers thing (I'm sorry, but the weather was total serial killer on the moors type weather), having someone to take your trig pic, and getting to go for a post-hike pint - the day showed me, if nothing else, that walking alone isn't all that bad.

«"serial killer on the moors type weather"

Now here's to completing my next solo hike in one piece...
(touch wood)

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Wednesday, 25 September 2013

From One Rock to Another: Carl Wark & Higger Tor

Alternate title: "Higger, Please"  (blame my cousin...)

So as I mentioned previously, the Yeti is back in Yorkshire and so I took the opportunity to drag him out to the Peak District before he went and got himself a real job (some people).

Owing to a mixture of persistent (although gradually healing) injury and me not having a railcard at the time (that said, props to the railcard people for sorting out my replacement card so quickly), we decided to go for an easier walk while having a bit of a scramble.
«
So we devised the plan that we'd get the bus from Eccleshall Road to Fox House Inn (so that I could use my county transport ticket. The glamour.), walk up to Carl Wark and Higger Tor, walk round to Hathersage, get some snap, then walk back to Fox House for the bus home.

Plan.

«This is meant to illustrate the whole 'feeling like a boss from having a plan' thing.
I feel it works.

First problem:
I reckon I've mentioned before, but I can't handle crossing streams. 
I'd been hoping that mine and the Yeti's gorge scrambling excursion over the summer would help to deal with that, but alas to no avail. Now, I knew that the walk from Fox House to Carl Wark involved a stream, and I'd dealt with it well enough (albeit with little dignity) when I'd been round the area last month. What I was not expecting was 30-odd preteens on a school trip at the only safe crossing point I know.

Bugger.

So we added another mile to the route and walked round to the bridge close to the Burbage Moor woods (interesting fact: most of it is apparently due for felling). So we got to pester workmen working on the footpath...

«

And climb all over a bunch of random rocks

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Eventually we found our way over to the bridge, and headed off over to Carl Wark. 

We ascended to the top and then proceeded to do the usual thing of climbing over everything in sight and arguing about the Yeti showing off and me being too much of a shutter bug.

And yeah, the Yeti loved it as much as I'd thought he would.

«

Then onwards and upwards to Higger Tor. 

Though while the path up to Higger is pretty clear (as you can see above), once you're up there things can get a little more confusing. That said, it might just be me talking - she who is not allowed to navigate - but it did get a teeny bit annoying up there. Then again, it was nice to have such a decent scramble.

«

But eventually we got up to the top and had a play scrambling up a bunch of things before sitting down to a hearty hiking snack and to work out what our next move ought to be.

We already knew that Higger Tor was fairly near to Hathersage, it was just getting there. But only once we'd figured out the next step (and balked at how wrong my calculations had been as to the proximity of the village to Higger Tor), the heavens opened and we soggily trudged on.

There's not a massive amount to tell you from this point, though it was a lot of fun to chase chickens (don'tjudgeme), desperately avoid suspicious cows, and wander through the village.

«

By the time we got to Hathersage our injuries were screaming at us and so we decided to be lazy and get the train home. So we didn't walk the 8-odd miles we were expecting, but it was still a nice reintroduction to the Peaks after the Yeti's summer away.

Now to train up for the real stuff.

«*Cue Rocky theme*

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Hiking Wishlist: Cavedale

Now I'll hold my hands up here, I really didn't know all that much about Cavedale other than it's near Castleton, is very pretty, and is (apparently) worth a wander. 
But good old research has thrown up the following pearls of wisdom: 

*It has a bridleway

Source


*It has a minor ascension leading to a damn decent view

Source

*It apparently has a waterfall (at least according to Flickr)

Source

*And apparently someone was murdered there in the 80s, but let's not think about that. Especially not before any solo hikes out there...

Instead, look at this view
(Source)

Monday, 23 September 2013

Sniffly Times

I've been so awful for updating - again!

I'm going to go ahead and play the I'm so full of cold, I can't see anymore card as my excuse.  Admittedly I'm still pretty ill, but as I'm starting to feel at least a little more human at the moment then now's as good a time as any to get back to the keyboard.

It's a bit late right now to get to it in earnest (there is yogurt to eat and endless episodes of Daria to watch...), but I promise the following will be forthcoming this week:

  • Another Hiking Wishlist post
  • A write up of mine and the Yeti's wander up to Higger Tor
  • An edition of Rambling Ramblings 
  • And I'll drool over another bit of kit I can't yet afford
Until then, here's to all the Lemsip in Yorkshire...

«I am roughly as ill as I look. Bah.


Cheers!

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Filter Faffing

Yesterday, the Yeti and I finally went over to Higger Tor; one day I'll write up an actual account of what was an ace (if soggy) day, but this is not that day (I'm going drinking).

Instead I've surrendered to my friend's regular suggestions to piss around with filters, and so here are some of the photos from yesterday's misadventures. With some filters.


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Also: I chased some chickens.

«I... um... I can't defend this.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Hiking Anecdote: Grimmest Beer Garden Ever


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There was a lad as loved a lass
Who lived at t'top of t'Kirkstone Pass
He said: "Ah'll love thee for ivver 'n' ivver
But will I visit thee? Nivver, nay nivver"

Over a year ago now, I got taken to the Lakes for a few days by my hiking partner at the time. The weather was atrocious and so the only full day of the trip was largely spent milling around Keswick and driving around near Ullswater. But in our meanderings, we did come across the Kirkstone Pass Inn: the third-highest pub in England.

We had a pint there (it was something to do) and, I must admit, I fell a little bit in love with the place. Perhaps it was partly the novelty of being so high up, of being so remote, or perhaps of the fact that we could no longer see his car parked just across the road thanks to all the cloud. Or maybe it was just because it was a beautiful little pub that seemed to have fairly yummy food on offer.
At any rate, I wouldn't say no to going back there with the Yeti. 

If nothing else, I could get a better photo from the car park this time...

«

Disclaimer: Ok, not really a hiking anecdote per se, but in my defence you can hike up there! ...Also, someone reminded me of this place today and so I wanted to reminisce. 

Friday, 6 September 2013

Back at Sea Level: The Yeti Returns!

You might have noticed that I've been quieter than usual this last week - well, as those of you who follow my Twitter will have heard, there's a fairly good reason for this: 

The Yeti's back!

«Woo!
So naturally I've been spending an inordinate amount of time pestering him in his new flat (which, being new, has been without internet) rather than doing things I'm supposed to be doing - like studying, working out, house work, and updating Bitches Love Hills. But things should be returning to something resembling normality soon.

Until then, there's a slightly busy weekend ahead: 

Today is my little brother's ("Smallit") birthday - still stunned he's actually 10

«At Greasbrough Dam. I'll make a hiker of him yet... 
And tonight I'll be having a busman's holiday: getting drunk at the pub where I work (my auntie is having her birthday party there).  Actually quite excited - my cousins (and indeed my aunties) are an ace bunch to have a drink with.

Tomorrow is the first Saturday I've had off in a long time. 
Hills are an option, but on this occasion, I think we're going to and get hammered.

To close, here's my mum's awesome photo of Carl Wark Fort from the other week - having a broken camera isn't such a bad thing after all...

Yvonne Wootton 2013

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Hiking Wishlist: Higger Tor

It might not be hugely aspirational, perhaps not even that exciting, but I've been thinking a lot about Higger Tor since I spied it from Carl Wark last week.

Path to Higger Tor (Andrew Birkitt) Source
The Yeti and I are eagerly awaiting the next opportunity to head over to Carl Wark (as he hasn't been yet) and then up to Higger Tor to climb over, well, pretty much everything... then probably on to Hathersage for a pint or five.

Carl Wark as seen from Higger Tor (Mat Robinson photography)
Source

I think I'm also somewhat swayed by the fact that Higger Tor is technically in the Sheffield boundary. South Yorkshire pride 'n' that. 

But on the whole - as with any item on the wishlist - it looks pretty, and it offers damn decent views. And that's more than enough for me.

(martynj1 on Flickr) Source