Thursday, 10 January 2013

Cliff makes an offer I won't refuse


Black Ark - near Litton
On the bridleway 
When you know someone, like Cliff, who has still got Yorkshire Marilyns to do, it is a good incentive to re-visit them. And when it involves a horse head, you know it is an offer I won't refuse.
Birk Fell/Horse Head Moor in Littondale has a lot of history when it comes to Marilyn lore. The designated summit has wandered around the length of the ridge and the measured height has hovered both below and above the crucial (when it comes to defining a mountain in England) 610m/2000ft level .
Although the Tamperers have made a final decision as to where the top lies, we made a point of visiting everything, just in case. And we did them all on a fine cold day, with temperature inversion fog in the valley and clear skies above.
Firth Fell trig point
The ridge has two Ordnance Survey trig points - neither of which is on an actual summit, although that is difficult to tell with the naked eye. The first is on Firth Fell - and once you are up there the day's uphill struggle is over and all is left is the peat bog and fence climbing struggle. Thankfully the frozen conditions lessened some of the extra bogginess after all the recent rain.

Birk Fell

So, we then visited the true summit on Birk Fell, the 608m spot height, the 603m spot height on Moss Top, the various Horse Head tops including the 609m cairn and finally the Horse Head Moor trig point.
View of Buckden Pike
Horse Head 609m spot height

View of Pen y Ghent
Horse Head Moor trig point
We then dropped down to Halton Gill and debated about whether to return along Littondale by walking on the road or by the river. The road won, because it remained in sunlight. And then after a bit of tour looking for somewhere that was still serving food we ended up having a late lunch/early tea at the Old Hall Inn in Threshfield.
Halton Gill, Littondale

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Wet west Wales

29-12-2012 - 05-01-2013

New Year's day in the Tarrens
A wet stay in Wales over the new year provided an opportunity to re-complete the tampered Welsh Humps before the end of 2012 and to bag a load of 500 metre plus Deweys in the area around Machynlleth. It did not lead to many photo opportunities though.

One of the striking sights was the number of pink ribbons, in memory of still missing five year old April Jones, in Machynlleth and the surrounding area. I found this both sad and touching - and, in an odd way, reassuring that the majority of people are humane.

For at least a couple of days, the town was cut off by floods on the main roads  to both Aberystwyth and Aberdyfi.
New and wet Hump Tyddynbriddell hill summit 
Carnedd Das Eithin
Pen Trum-Gwr summit

Fford Gefn summit - maybe. Who really knows which sphagnum moss mass is the true top?
Whilst walking on Bryn yr Wyn I spotted strange behaviour from a flock of sheep on a distant hillside. Fairly typically for an animal that flocks together they were following each other. What was odd, was that the front of the flock had joined up with the tail to form a circle with a diameter of about 150 metres and although a few sheep broke the pattern and ran across the middle the circle was maintained for over the ten minutes I had a view. They could still be in a circle now.  Sorry about the poor quality picture.

Weird sheep circle - no sight of UFOs though
Just 88 (out of 428) Deweys left to do - all in Wales. Will I ever finish them?

Because, here be dragons