Yoke, Ill Bell and Froswick 26th August 2012

I set off early and reached Green Quarter just after 9 a.m. It took a little while to park as there is very little parking in Kentmere and Green Quarter but I managed to tuck it in on a very quiet road. The forecast had said “slight chance of rain” which was why I’d picked today to whizz up some hills.
I walked down to Kentmere church and to the end of the road and then got onto Garburn Pass. This is a mountain road that goes across to Troutbeck. It rises gently for a couple of kilometres and then I headed off north on a good path across some boggy terrain. It was quite warm and a bit muggy. This path also rose gently although when I came back down it seemed much steeper so I can only conclude that I wasn’t really feeling the climb. I got all the way up to Yoke and had a short break there. The weather started to close in a bit and there was a lot of low cloud around. Then onto Ill Bell through the gloom. Ill Bell (no sickness, no bells) has 3 cairns which were reminiscent of the Nine Standards in construction.
From Ill Bell you have to drop down quite a bit and then go up again to reach Froswick, Wainwright didn’t seem to think you would go there unless you were going somewhere else but I didn’t really want to keep going as had already been to the hills you can reach easily from there, also my route was not a circuit. So I had my lunch and looked across to Thornthwaite Beacon, High Street, Mardale Ill Bell and Harter Fell.
I turned back and retraced my steps. There was a shower on Ill Bell and a much bigger one as I got back to the Garburn Pass, my head felt like it was being massaged under the hood of my coat!
The Garburn Pass had got a lot wetter and what with my thin summer socks, gave my feet a terrible pummeling. I got back to Green Quarter at last, actually much more quickly than I’d thought, and had a delicious slice of my own home made shortbread!
Feels like my exercise regime and losing a few pounds has been worth the effort. Home before 6 p.m. And 3 more Wainwrights bagged!

Cairns on Ill Bell
Ill Bell
Lake Windybum
Kentmere Reservoir, Harter Fell above
I like these cairns
All three on Ill Bell
Kentmere Reservoir looking south
Flew over my head

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Widdop August 24th

Nice early evening walk in Widdop with Anita passing several reservoirs and looking at some slightly different navigation tricks.
We stayed out until it started raining and then headed back as it got dark. We didn’t have to use our lights as despite the low cloud, it was still easy to see because we’d got accustomed to the light changing as we walked.
Managed not to get too badly bitten by midges. Anita came up with really useful piece of advice to prevent being eaten alive which is to eat marmite or take a Vitamin B pill if you don’t like it, before encountering the evil beasties.

Widdop reservoir
Gorple reservoir

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Marsden by bike

Chris and I set off from my house along Cycle Route 68, an unsatisfying number as it is neither 66 nor 69. We went through Krumlin and then down the very steep slope to the motorway tunnel. This is a tunnel under the motorway and it’s a bit dark but nothing like the one on the disused railway line that goes between Bath and Bristol and which was so long and dark it was scary. Chris tells me this is now properly lit and surfaced.

Along the edge of Scammonden dam and then up onto a road which took us to Deanhead reservoir. We’d planned to go along the side of this and then up onto the road but as it turned out it was a construction site with no entry so we backtracked and instead took a footpath to get onto the road. This footpath had not seen a lot of feet and was very steep and overgrown and was hard work negotiating bits of bog.

Finally we got to the road which we went along a short distance, helped by noticing that we could just have got to where we were by taking the road anyway! and then off along a great path, the Kirklees Way, which was only great as far as Cupwith Reservoir, all of 500m, and then became a very wet boggy and stony path with big ruts. We spent a lot of time off the bikes but at least it was all downhill.

We got to Marsden eventually, and refreshed ourselves with ice creams, mine a honeycomb one which just had one huge piece of honeycomb crunch in it. Chris had a rum and raisin and a Malteser one!

Then it was back along the canal to Sparth reservoir and Chris quickly got in and had a swim round. Then back on the bikes for the big hills home. Somehow there seemed to be an awful lot more hill to negotiate on the return than we had noticed on the way. We took a different route keeping to very quiet roads but it was hard hard work and a lot of bike pushing. Some of the places we went through were very pretty and just a few miles from home. We picked up route 68 again at Wilberlee and then it was pretty much down all the way home. We needed that freewheeling reward! 5 hours of very sweaty work but really great too!!

Looking back to Scammonden
Bathing Belle

Chris swimming to the steps at Sparth

Helmet hair
Nearly home

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Fitness and exercise

Fitness and exercise

I stopped going to the gym some time back as I had got bored and decided to take up cycling instead. I’ve managed to do this reasonably well although I have been put off when it’s been doing torrential flood producing rain.
I aim to go out for at least half an hour 3 times a week and to do this as soon as I get home from work.
A few months ago I also watched Michael Mosley on Horizon talking about his desire to get fit and what was the optimum way to do this with the least amount of effort.
His regime of 3 bursts of 1 minute exercise 3 times a week was shown to make significant changes to various measures. I haven’t taken up this idea other than to run up the stairs at work sometimes (3 flights from my floor to the top).
I’m also reading Hillfit by Chris Highcock (another splendid name). Chris’ regime is to increase strength by gradually increasing resistance exercises. He encourages working the muscles to failure.
So I’ll see how it all goes, I  definitely prefer riding the bike as it’s outdoors in the fresh air and lovely countryside around us. It helps that it’s easy to put the bike in the car so that I  can avoid the huge hills on which we sit!

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Diet, fasting

Diet and fasting

About 2 weeks ago I decided that I couldn’t continue just eating anything and everything and being very greedy and that I needed to get some control or else I would just expand to Michelin man proportions.
I was also given the sight of my cousin who has lost loads of weight and is now training for a marathon by doing lots of running. She looks fit and is eating healthily. She is in her 20s but this was a bit of a catalyst for me. Or just envy!
So I went back to calorie counting and portion control but this time with a difference. Instead of allowing myself to eat bread and pies and cakes and chocolate because the calories only added up to x, I would eat much more healthily and in fact cut out all those things except for a square of chocolate and a 100 cal energy bar if I wanted them.
This strategy has been working well and I’ve lost a few pounds and am enjoying eating nice tasty food more slowly and not needing to stuff myself of an evening.
Then on Monday I watched Michael Mosley on Horizon and the research seems to stack up in favour of incorporating fasting into one’s lifestyle. MM looked into ways to do this and go to work full time and came up with 5 days of normal eating and 2 days of fasting (limited) on work days.
MM’s reason for wanting to do this is because he doesn’t want to die young like his father did and he wants to be alive for his family and reduce the possibility of diabetes, cancer, heart disease and stroke. In particular he mentioned getting rid of abdominal fat which is a factor for most of those.
Summary of Horizon programme.
Yesterday I tried my first fasting day. I had breakfast of muesli and yoghurt and lunch of soup followed by a fruit yoghurt with fruit juice and later an apple. And apart from a half pint of beer that was it for the day.
Chris and I have also did a bike ride which involved a lot of up especially on the last bit after the pub. Whose idea was that? Enormous hill down to the Hinchliffe! But we probably sweated the beer off!

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Chris doing Martian look
Last big hill to do
Stoodley Pike
Last dregs of sun at Blackstone Edge reservoir

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Night and Day at Walshaw Dean 4th and 5th August 2012

By the time we arrived at Widdop it was nearly dark. To start Carol off on night walking we used a tarmac path in order to gain confidence from the car park to the top of the first of the three Walshaw Dean reservoirs. It was mild and the sheep were just going to bed.
The forecast for the weekend had been for thunder, torrential rain and hail which is why we ended up doing a night walk instead of camping. As it turned out Saturday was pretty good all day and none of the horrors appeared.
It was cloudy but the moon still gave a lot of light and this then shone off the water, so all in all it was very easy to see and we didn’t need to use our headlamps.
The moon had been full so was doing waning gibbous but rose where I expected it to so we did a bit of natural navigation.
A short but quite exciting walk. And we saw 2 owls on the way up to Widdop.

This makes me thinks of etchings
Moon reflected in the reservoir


I decided to return to Widdop by day to prospect for possible camping spots. I didn’t really find anywhere that would fit the bill but had a nice walk and went off in a different direction from my usual trips to Walshaw Dean.
I got down to the fabulously named Pisser Rough accompanied by rumbles of thunder and was just looking at the bridge across the weir when it started to rain heavily so I abandoned that idea as it meant working a way on not very clear paths along the steep sides of the clough. I probably would have done it if someone else had been there but didn’t want to take a chance of falling into the beck and getting wet and stuck.
Instead I more or less retraced my steps. This was quite a bleak walk and I only saw a few people at quite a distance when I got off the main track.
On the way back, the torrential rain came on and was really awful in Hebden and it was easy to see how easily it gets flooded there as it looked like it was about to happen again.
We saw later on that Bradford had a big dump of hail several inches deep in places, so the weather did all turn up but a day later than forecast.

Before the thunder
I want to say this is ectoplasm but it isn’t
Steam rising

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