Winter Wandering

Anyone for a swim? At the boundary Barbara recreates Everest Base Camp Bill takes a breather County Boundary, Gordon is on the wrong side! Gathering at Hollingworth Snow, what snow? Trekking on Where did Alma go? Winter in the hills
Sun and Wind walk

Wednesday 20 January 2010.

13.8 miles in winter conditions

Start 10.10 (one always turns up late…this time two!!!)

Finish 15.40 in time for tea

The recce on Sunday was another Winter Adventure and the time taken was over an hour longer than expected, however the thaw had set in by Wednesday but only at low level.

19 brave souls assembled (eventually) at Hollingworth lake, East Lancs regulars plus three guests, Norman from South Pennines, John and Viv from South Manchester and a rarely seen East Lancs member Alan.

The going was much better underfoot for the first hour or so until we reached the track after Piethorne. The snow was still thigh deep in the walled track all the way to the Ram’s Head.

Reg at this stage found the going too much and with some regret turned back. With the wind from the East, the wall on the dam of Readycon Dean reservoir gave shelter for the first of two food and drink breaks.

The Pennine Way was followed northwards over WINDY Hill and SUN End (cleaver eh) over Blackstone Edge to the Aiggin Stone. The route then turned west, with the frozen lake in full view it was just a case of following the Roman road down the hill.

A tough little walk in the conditions, Norman obviously found it a little too tough and was spotted trying out some new transport, “Suits you Sir”

Thanks to the brave souls for their company and extra special thanks to June for her help with the recce, shame we never found her in that deep snow drift on Wednesday.


BOTANY BAY CIRCULAR – Sunday January 24th 2010

14 miles – should have been 11 but you know how it goes!!!! 20 men and women and one dog.

An “ad libber” as Norman puts it. For the uninitiated this means an off the cuff walk, not reccied and you put up with whatever comes your way. It was also a landmark event for the East Lancs in that it is the first time a “crew” has ever mutinied and left the “captain” to his own devices. We’ve lost the odd participant or two on walks before (sometimes deliberately although nothing could be proved) but never have we previously lost a leader. Sadly John did manage to catch up with the rest and proved how thick-skinned he is by ignoring the unanimous groan of “Oh No”

This walk was put on just to provide an opportunity for us all to escape the recent shackles of the weather and get out there getting some exercise. Word went round and we had twenty people turn up at Botany Bay car park. Thankfully the forecast of rain all day was incorrect and, although we had some, it was never uncomfortable and surprisingly neither was the mud.

The walk is a good one. The first port of call is White Coppice and the cricket club. Imagine our amazement to see as we approached cricketers in full playing kit. Apparently they were there for a photo shoot. Some of our ladies took an awful long time drinking their coffee in case it was a “Calendar Girls” type shoot!!! Although looking at some of the profiles in the team it would have been no surprise to see a police photographer on duty!!!

We moved on up the goit to the picturesque little lake at Brinscall and up through a pleasing little country park on a disused railway line at Withnell to Abbey Village. Here we decided to add a section on to the published route and we circuited the reservoirs at Tockholes. After crossing Pike Lowe we came down towards Withnell Fold where annoyingly the original path is now inaccessible due to barb wire. We were told this is due to an angry dispute between the farmer and United Utilities. We found a way round it – unfortunately so did John – and came down to the Leeds/Liverpool canal towpath. The section of this canal through Wheelton and back to Botany Bay can hardly be bettered on its whole 130 mile course.

A good walk, an enjoyable day and, as usual, great company.

Thanks everyone!

Captain Bligh
Hilary and Maude on the canal towpath Mary and Ruth enjoy lunch Through the woods Viv and Barbara have a chat Will Norman stop talking and eat?