Stories and pics from
February Day Trip to Ben Chonzie
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The weather forecast was not looking too good for the day trip to Ben Chonzie ... however a look out the window first thing revealed a near cloudless sky. After a couple of pick-ups en-route Ian, Douglas, Hamish, Elena, Willie and myself set off from the Loch Turret Reservoir dam. This provided us with a nice high start to the walk (350m). We decided on a clockwise circuit of Ben Chonzie, which involved a climb up on to Carn Chois which provided a grand view south. To the north, Ben Chonzie was clear and covered in a light dusting of snow.
There was a fair drop off Carn Chois before we climbed up on to the shoulder of Ben Chonzie, where we met the snow and a bit of cloud. Before long we were well and truly in the cloud, but there was a sense it could clear at any moment (it did once we left the summit of course). Finally we reached the summit cairn to be met by a couple with the coldest looking poodle I've ever seen (even with its jacket on!). After lunch we continued down to the head of Moine Bheag where we took a short cut down to Lochan Uaine. Unfortunately, there were no takers for a 'dip' in the lochan. Douglas was wavering, but finally decided against it, so we pressed on. The walk finished with a good track along the east shore of the reservoir.
After a quick drink in Crieff, we headed home after a good day in the hills.
ps If anyone knows of a good real ale pub in Crieff please let me know before the next visit!
February Weekend to the Yorkshire Dales
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Heavy snow, particularly in the Yorkshire Dales, the week before had caused some concerns over getting down to Ingleton for this weekend, however, a few mild days eased the problems and by mid evening most were well ensconced in the Marton Arms enjoying some real ales and good food.
Saturday dawned a little misty but initially dry. Raymond, Jane, Allan and Bob went off to the Classic local hill of Ingleborough then on to Whernside, after stopping off midway for soup and a beer in the pub near Chapel-le-dale. Chris, Jim and Ian drove over to Horton in Ribblesdale to climb the third classic hill in the area, Pen y-ghent, timing their start to coincide with the start of the days rain and sleet. In Horton in Ribblesdale's excellent tea room we met up with Kate and Kate’s sister and husband, Helena and George, for snacks and pint mugs of tea and hot chocolate. Tony, Vera and Iris had a walk round the well known waterfalls walk on the River Doe and River Twiss. Willie and Mark headed east and climbed Great Knoutberry and Aye Gill Pike, leaving snowmen on both summits, but they probably won’t be there next time you go.
Another convivial evening was then spent in the Marton Arms sampling other choices from the menu and continuing with the task of working our way round the 15 real ale hand pumps.
Sunday was much brighter and most of the group set off for Malham to do the circuit of Gordale Gorge, Malham Tarn and Malham Cove. Rather than scramble up through the gorge Tony, Vera and Iris went back to Malham before going up to the spectacular Malham Cove. The rest of us carried on to Malham Tarn, stopping briefly on the way to build a snowman on Seaty Hill, then on to the Tarn where we met Jim coming in the opposite direction before we carried on to the Cove. By this time the weather was bringing the crowds out and Malham Cove was the main focus of attention for sightseers and climbers alike. On our return to Malham, Chris and his team were just arriving as Allan, Bob and Ian were off for a well earned pint and Mark and Willie, due to other engagements, set off for home. In the midst of all this activity in Malham, Raymond and Jane had decided to climb Pen-y-ghent although they probably would have had enough time to go to Malham as well.
Thanks to the availability of a free third night in the hotel as part of their winter break programme most had decided to stay until Monday giving more time to relax in the bar checking out any of the ales which might have been missed or maybe just forgotten about from the previous evening.
Despite expectations after the good weather on Sunday, Monday arrived pretty damp and miserable and most decided to head for home. Bob and Allan were the most adventurous and set off for some hill in the Lake District near Kirkstone Pass. Ian and Iris had a wander in Ingleton before going round the waterfall walk (at £3/head) by which time the weather was a bit brighter.
An excellent weekend made all the better by the extra free night.
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