Walshaw and Top Withens 4th November 2012

I left home in quite thick fog, with the intention of really having to navigate with no visibility. As I drove up to Blackstone Edge, the fog thickened, but by the time I reached Widdop to park up it was a lovely sunny but cold day.
I headed up to the Walshaw Dean reservoirs, I got stopped by a couple wanting to know where the nearest food could be obtained. Fortunately the pub was still in sight. They’d come all the way from Haworth without food, map or compass. Admittedly this is a section of the Pennine Way that is well marked (some of it isn’t and requires map skills) so it wouldn’t really have been a problem, but they didn’t actually seem to know where they were even broadly and said they were aiming for Colne! The only good thing was they were togged up for the Arctic!
I then did something I’ve done before that was wrong! There is a footbridge over the drain that says “walk this way”, at least it does to me, despite looking old and knackered and unused and so I did, although part of me knew it would be troublesome. It’s followed by a section where you climb the steps in the wall, teeter spread-eagled on the top and then plunge down the other side. I actually got over fairly gracefully this time, crossing the raging torrent to the drain and stopped for a quick lunch in the sun. I then headed for a Land Rover I’d seen before lunch on the basis that it was likely to be on the track. This was preferable to the wall retreat option. The Land Rover had moved on but the track was there and this quickly got me back where I wanted to be.
I stayed on the Pennine Way and walked until I could see Top Withens and the valley to Haworth. It’s a great bit of featureless moorland and so good for testing out navigation accuracy and techniques. I did some ground to map bearings and a 2 point resection.
My timings all worked out and I got home just as darkness came along, time for a quick shower, nice grub and then back out to see Fairport Convention at Hebden Bridge Trades Club, just 34 years since I last saw them at Cardiff Uni. Simon Nicol has just emailed me to say I can put a video I made of them doing Fotheringhay on YouTube!

I like playing with the twirly camera on my phone!
Walshaw Dean upper reservoir
Top Withens, supposedly Wuthering Heights (I ask you!)
2 Walshaws and a Gorple reservoir
Spot the birdy
Steps up the wall, higher than it looks
Do NOT cross this
Fairport Convention – Ric Sanders, Simon Nicol, Dave Pegg and Chris Leslie

Please visit Map and Compass and learn how to interpret a map with me and my navigation partner, Cath.

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Author: Jak

Mountain Leader.

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