Sorry about the photos.
Set off today after lunch and parked at Smelt Mill in the Trough of Bowland, this is the headquarters of the Bowland Pennine Mountain Rescue team.
On the 1:25,000 map I noticed a track leaving the road and zigzagging up Staple Oak Fell. I found it and was able to follow it through rough ground to a fence just below the 415m summit. I hopped across the fence and went to the highest point, I’m not sure why. It was all much of a sameness. Views kept opening up in all directions and I took loads of photos of the surrounding Bowland Fells. I then simply followed the fence to meet up with the bridleway from the Trough over to Brennand. In the past this was a regular mountain bike route for me taking the thrill a minute ride down Ouster Rake to the Duchy’s farm deep in the Brennand valley. I couldn’t resist a slight diversion today to view that descent, it did look dramatic.
Returning to the col I decided to follow another fence up to the trig point of Whins Brow 478m on Whin Fell. There were some boggy peat haggs to negotiate before the summit. Views to Morecambe Bay, the three Yorkshire Peaks, Pendle, Longridge Fell and the nearer Bowland Fells above Hareden and Langden Valley where I was tramping a few days ago. Splendid.
I took a beeline off the summit down steep grassy slopes into Rams Clough to meet up with that bridleway coming down from Whin Fell. A winding lane followed the valley down to the Trough Road near a barn. As I walked down the road I recognised a gate leading to the Trough of Bowland Quarry, an esoteric climbing venue I’d not visited for 20 years. The cliff looked remarkably clean and very steep. I recognised some of the lines taking ramps across the face to an unfortunate loose top. I even spied an old peg! I wondered if it was still in the Lancashire Climbing guidebook, yes it is though I doubt many people climb here anymore shame really as it has a lovely situation for a summer’s evening in peace and solitude. It was whilst I was in the quarry that my camera started flashing “memory card damaged” – how could it be. But no it refused to take any more photos and more annoyingly will not download any of today’s pictures. This cheap camera, a Praktica L212, has always had a problem with the memory card losing the occasional pictures. Wilkinson’s Cameras, Preston, have failed to resolve the problem and I will be down there tomorrow with the latest complaint. Annoyed at loosing some fantastic views today. Took some pics with my phone but even those are poor, not my day.
Wandered down the road past Sykes Farm and then the Langden parking spot as the tea van was packing up. Soon back at Smelt Mill.
PS. The memory card was unreadable but Wilkinson’s gave me a replacement free despite well out of guarantee. Local shop 1 Internet 0.
So my camera back in action but those photos lost forever – a good excuse to repeat what was an outstanding walk.