April Showers ... or April Sunshine

Oriental Chipping,  Wednesday April 15th, 14 miles, 18 walkers

Leaders Dave & Alma Walsh

Despite the heavy rain which had not been predicted, 18 walkers set off from Chipping car park for this 14 mile midweek walk. Some hardy souls were baring their legs in shorts.

We headed initially south-west from the village along a quiet road before joining a track at Black Hall which led us over fields and then on to the road to Fell Foot which lies at the foot of Parlick. Normally this road is full of vehicles belonging to paragliders who set off from the top of Parlick but in view of the driving rain the road was empty.

The main path to the top was closed due to repair work, so we worked our way across before a final steep assault along a fence line took us to the top. No hanging about here in view of the dreadful conditions and lack of views, so we dropped down to the other side of the hill and had a quick (very) coffee break.

The rain slackened as we made our way past Wolfen Hall to the main part of our walk on the Eastern (Oriental) side of Chipping. We came across a brood of tiny ducklings just before Lickhurst Farm (no mother in sight).

The rain had stopped altogether by the time we took lunch (at Alma's forecasted time of 1.20pm) sat on a rocky outcrop with fine views of Fair Oak Fell to the north-west. The weather in the afternoon improved significantly and we made our way back to Chipping via pleasant fields and lanes.

The walk finished at Norman's predicted time of 4.07pm, is that man never wrong? So enough time for the usual midweek drink for some at a local hostelry.

Thanks to everyone for turning out in such trying conditions.

Dave & Alma Walsh


The First Feather, Saturday April 11th,  33miles, 6500ft.

Due to other events going on over the same weekend, I only expected a handful of people. However 17 came, not all intending to do all three “Feathers”, and one only walking the first 7 miles or so before leaving us to do her own thing. Another lady found it hard to keep up with the brisk pace which was needed in order to finish at a reasonable hour. She was subjected to a bit of Yorkshire tack and diplomacy, and was “persuaded” to retire in Horton-in-Ribblesdale. Luckily she was offered a lift back to Kettlewell by a kind hearted gentleman (with a twinkle in his left eye!).
Leaving  Kettlewell at 8am, we followed Top Mere Road to Cam Head and then joined the Starbotton Road for a short distance before turning right and following the bridleway to Tor Mere Top and on to Buckden Pike, passing the memorial to 6 Polish airmen who died when their Wellington bomber crashed in 1942. We arrived at the trig about 10am, but we’d had some rain and a little snow, so we re-grouped and set off down to Cray, where we had a short break.
From Cray, we followed the path to Yockenthwaite before the second climb of the day over Horse Head Moor. Down to Halton Gill and Foxup where we had another short break, then on to Horton-in-Ribblesdale where we took over the café. The time was now about 3.10pm, but we took advantage of the facilities, and I got the lady who was dropping out organised with her return to Kettlwell, and we left there at 3.50pm.
Only 14 miles to go, but Pen-y-Ghent and Old Cote Little Moor (it didn’t seem that little after 30 miles!) in the way.
The wind was behind us as we left Horton, but it was very gusty as we fought against it on the higher parts. A nice mainly level/downhill walk then to pick up the River Skirfare in Littondale, which we followed to Arncliffe and our last short break before tackling the last climb of the day.
Some youthful exuberance took over on the climb and descent, so the group was stretched out quite a long way. The sun had set by now, so I had to drop back to keep a few of the more tired walkers in sight, particularly as we had a little scramble off a limestone escarpment to negotiate.
Well done everybody.
Thanks to anybody who sent photographs in and also to Brenda and Clive for providing a lovely supper.
See you all in July for 2nd Feather.
Ken Noble

Photos tfrom Karen Pickersgill

Photos from Julie Spencer


Not A Full Shilling, Easter Monday, April 6th

No report as yet but we do have photos from Julie Spencer