Meltham

Arrive early so search is on for a coffee stop but local bakers is not yet open. Most give up but 3 minutes prior to start Harold rolls up with an oversize carton of coffee and proceeds to drink it all in next to no time - he regrets it all morning!

There is a nip in the air but forecast for the day is promising. Nine of us raring to go,six of our own group, Virginia from The Irregulars, Steve from East Lancs and prospective member Helen. Our leader announces he has been unwell but will do his best to get round.

Nobody is sure to what degree our leader is affected so past experience has us packing all our warm clothes into our rucksacks rather than wearing them as we know we will be working hard soon. Helen is apprehensive as apart from 1 walk with us last month has not walked this type of distance before and is worried about the 'brisk' tag.

First objective is Castle Hill with splendid views over Huddersfield and back towards Holme Moss. Harold regaled us with tales of his photography, his on line experiences and his skiing holiday.

On to Almondbury Common where we were informed that Bear baiting was outlawed in 1824. Kirkburton was the next objective and Norman had quite clearly recovered from whatever ailed him as the accellerator pedal was now applied.

An early lunch was taken before noon with over 10 miles already completed.

The afternoon walk was a combination of field paths and woodlands with snowdrops in abundance - no new born lambs to be seen however.

Val was roadtesting some new trainers and managed to get round without getting them too dirty.Virginia secured another 3 geo-caches towards her collection running into thousands, and Helen completed the walk stronger than one or two of the regulars.

Walk finished around 7 hours after start and for the statistically minded we completed 22 miles with around 3500 feet of ascent. Norman seemed to be in fine fettle at the finish and thanks from the rest of us for leading a good walk.

Yet again another excellent day out in the country with good company