Category Archives: Family

A HAPPY BOWLAND NEW YEAR.

Since arriving back from La Gomera Christmas has come and gone, I’ve reacclimatised to the weather, caught up with family and friends, been walking and [indoor]climbing and now 2015 is upon us. So Happy New Year and here are a few random photos in the Bowland locality from this last week of mixed weather.

Langden Brook.

Pikefield Plantation, Slaidburn.

Hazelhurst Fell across Bleasdale.

Gliding past Parlick.

My boys under Fairsnape.

Fairsnape and Parlick.

Parapenting out of the mist.

Parapenting out of the mist.

Ascending Saddle Fell.

Ascending Saddle Fell.

Light into Chipping Vale.

Light into Chipping Vale.

Not me!

Not me!

Parlick in evening sun.

Parlick in evening sun.

What hope for Longridge in 2015?

What hope for Longridge in 2015?

 

WATER EVERYWHERE. INGLETON FALLS.

My 13yr old grandson has wanted to climb Ingleborough since he saw it full on, a couple of years ago, whilst caving in Chapel le Dale. He was staying with me this week but the weather seemed to have taken a nose dive [the back end of hurricane Bertha] We bravely set off in high winds and rain but at the base of Ingleborough itself could see an ascent today would be unwise and futile.

Ingleborough under cloud.

Ingleborough under cloud.

Plan B – Ingleton Waterfall Walk.zCapture.JPGfalls  I’ve not done this for years. The price of entry has certainly escalated [I’ll not comment further] though I seem to remember we used to sneak in above the  turnstiles without paying. Lots of families visiting today no doubt because of the weather, so there was a chatty, jolly atmosphere as we made our way around. You go up the River Twiss [the private part] and down the River Doe, both are impressive gorges. You walk through limestone, slates and sandstone so a good opportunity for a geology lesson. The bit in the middle connecting the two rivers over farm land usually boasts a mobile ice cream van parked in the green lane!  I don’t ever remember seeing the money tree before in Swilla Glen – an old tree completely studded with coins making it look like armadillo skin.After all the rain we have had every fall today was full of peaty rushing water – very impressive.

Pecca Falls.

Pecca Falls.

Hollybush Spout.

Hollybush Spout.

Thornton Force.

Thornton Force.

Beezley Falls.

Beezley Falls and Triple Spout.

Rival Falls.

Rival Falls.

Baxenghyll Gorge.

Baxenghyll Gorge.

And last but not least ….

Snow Falls.

Snow Falls.

My grandson thoroughly enjoyed the walk, and the ice cream, so the day was a success and Ingleborough can wait for a better day.  If you haven’t been round this trail before or have in the mists of time pick a day to visit after heavy rain – you will appreciate. A little Switzerland.

FAIRSNAPE FELL – ONCE MORE.

Parlick and Fairsnape across Chipping Vale.

                                                      Parlick and Fairsnape across Chipping Vale.

If I had a pound for the number of times I’ve climbed Fairsnape I  ….  so here I go again. I have one of my grandsons staying with me and need to keep him occupied and off his smart phone, certainly smarter than mine. He was keen to have a day’s walking and preferred reaching a summit rather than just rambling. So a circuit of the fells above Chipping was hastily planned, actually there was no rush, being a teenager he wasn’t up till well after nine. We parked at Chipping and walked up past the old Kirk Mill with its delightful mill pond and resident ducks. Soon we were into fields and suffering hay fever together from the long grasses – a family allergy. I displayed my knowledge of the area by getting slightly lost on farm tracks and then on rough ground before reaching Burnslack Farm. This isolated farm now seems to be converted into the formula country house or two, though an original well pump remains. Would be interesting to see how they would cope with a severe winter up here. As a child I lived on an isolated farm and in the exceptional winter of 1947 my family spent days trying to dig out the track to a road, have photos of 8ft snow drifts! No helicopter ‘rescues’ in those days. Soon we were up Saddle Fell and on to the good track leading to Fairsnape’s highest point 520m. This is now approached on a flagged path reminiscent of the Pennine Way. After several weeks of good weather the peat hags had dried up and were a joy to walk on making the short journey to the Fairsnape trig point, 510m, effortless.

The views across Morecambe Bay and back to Yorkshire’s three peaks was good. No sign of Wales though. Our onward walk to Parlick was accompanied by several gliders picking up the thermals at great speed. Then down onto lanes into a valley with old mills. By now the fit young grandson, who can easily cycle 100miles in a day, was fading and had to be refreshed with ice cream in the wonderful Cobbled Corner Cafe in Chipping. Made me feel what is 50 years difference if you are still keen and able. Home to watch the end of today’s Tour.

 

Nick's Chair Parlick.

                                        Nick’s Chair Parlick.

GR7 TRIP. Tinterero – Vallada

                                                                  Famous view.

  The forecast was for high temperatures and as I knew I would be in a deep canyon [barranca] for several hours hoped to get away early. But the taxi couldn’t come till 9 so I was able to enjoy a full fuel filled breakfast. The gas cylinder was safely left with the manager for my return in a couple of weeks. Was soon stood at the lonely roadside I’d left yesterday as the taxi disappeared. Tinterero was in the mist and as I walked down the track it felt just like the moors back home.

                                                                   Misty Morning.

  Except the temperature was already in the high 20s – I had plenty of water with me. Water becomes more important than food on these sort of days. Strolled along until a path diverged off to the right and started descending steeply into the Barranca Boquilla. The waymarks here about seemed more related to mountain biking than walking – signs of the times?  Anyhow you couldn’t go wrong, just keep going down for 400m. Past the famous rock arch pictured above. There seemed to be a whole series of barrancas cleaving into the hillsides. This is a spectacular place.

Now down at the bottom a decent track snakes along the bottom of the gorge past an abandoned farmhouse  – imagine living down here.

As the barranca runs in a north/south axis the sun was shining directly into it so most of my pictures were looking back! This was just an amazing place to be in, a wonderful walk but also a fantastic nature environment. When you stop there is time to appreciate the variety of flying insects around you – including the biting variety! Time to put on trousers again. What one didn’t see were any raptors soaring above. The locals love to shoot anything that moves. You have been warned.                                                                            The track twisted and turned probably doubling the horizontal distance traveled.   There was a  great deal of variation in the limestone walls of the gorge.

                                                               

The track became rougher and eventually ended up in the steam of the gorge; don’t know how you would get on after heavy rain. Saw a wild dog and a group of rebecos [the Spanish chamois]

                                                                    Uno  Rebeco.

I spent almost three hours walking down the barranca with little shade. I was not looking forward to the crossing of the valley floor to Vallada in this heat. Went under roads, motorways , old and new railways in this busy artery of central Valencia. What a contrast to half an hour ago.

Met a French couple walking the pilgrims route from Valencia city to Santiago de Compostela. Wished them well as they have an awful long way to go.

                   Scallop shell – symbol for the pilgrims to Santiago.

My pilgrimage was to an apartment in one of the cluttered streets of Vallada.

Vallada

                                                     Lovely colours in Vallada.   

Did a bit of re hydrating in one of the bars in town, full of unemployed men playing dominoes. The churchyard contained some good interpretative art.

A good meal was taken in a local restaurant and I slept well. What more can you ask from a days walking.

Family Celebrations and a New Crag!

The beginning of this week brought some days of welcome warmth and sunshine. On the Sunday  I was in Manchester to celebrate my youngest son’s 39th birthday. Eight of us went out for an Indian buffet meal, greatly enjoyed by the family with ages ranging from 4 to 94yrs. The waiters made a great fuss of the oldest and youngest, whilst the rest of us stuffed ourselves on the delicious curries.

The 4yr old!!

I had only been back home 5mins when the phone went and one of my climbing partners was enthusing about the weather [we have had little to enthuse over this ‘summer’]. It was soon agreed to have a climbing day on the Monday. As we are both long in the tooth finding somewhere new to climb in the area is difficult. He mentioned that on a winters walk in the dry valley above Malham Cove he had noticed a crag with bolted lines, not in any guide book.. This was news to us and a bit of detective work was needed to glean the necessary information. Monday dawned bright and sunny and after coffee we were soon walking through impressive Yorkshire scenery to Comb Hill.

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Approach to Comb Hill.

   On the approach we thought the cliff looked a bit short and scruffy but once below  we realised it was about 16m [50ft] high. The sun was just reaching the crag as we arrived. Without all the full information choosing a first route was a bit of guess work. Setting off up the a promising line proved rather difficult and the rock was ‘awkward’ but led to a satisfying steep finale. Encouraged we spent a pleasant afternoon on the face relishing in the warm conditions and the superb Dales limestone scenery. It so happens that the popular Pennine Way path goes beneath the crag so we had a steady banter with passing walkers wondering how we had got the rope to the top in the first place!!!

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Give us a clue. 6a+

It’s always difficult getting decent crag photos when there are only two climbing. Anyhow we’ll be back in the spring to explore further.

The next day,Tuesday, dawned sparkling again. This was the occasion for another family ‘celebration’ – 7yrs since my characterful father passed away.To remember the date I took my mother, the 94yr old, out for a scenic drive into the Bowland countryside. We enjoyed a grand lunch at the beautifully situated Inn at Whitewell.  Cheers Dad.

The 94yr old!

The 94yr old!

Three great days with something different to remember and take from each of them.

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