View from Oban Bothy

View from Oban Bothy

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

A Sweltering Dales Backpack, 24th–26th June 2018

Messrs Rye & Walker had planned this little jaunt and foolishly invited me along….probably knowing I’d bring them beer. Which I did. Obv.

The Plan was to meet up at Hebden near Grassington on Sunday around 2pm. I’d had a particularly tough week and so decided to make my own way to the first camp spot of the trip on Conistone Moor, meeting up with Martin and Andrew at 10pm. My alternative plan was a good ‘un, it meant that my walk avoided the silly high temperatures of the day.


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The Planned Route

A few shots from my evening walk from Hebden to Conistone Moor, Sunday’s overnight pitch  :

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I eventually found Alan and Martin just after 10pm. I wasted no time in getting my tent up (I used my TN LaserComp….just to remind it that I still loved it) and distributing the cans of beer I’d lugged up.

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Monday morning dawned very brightly and rather warmly. After a quick breakfast and a few mugs of reviving caffeine we were off, via Great Whernside, to Kettlewell for tea, coffee, bacon butties etc.

It was now getting very hot. I don’t know how Martin & Andy coped with long trousers, I was cookingly hot in my lightweight kilt and T shirt.

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Wot?

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Looking back to Kettlewell

After our refreshment stop we headed out, climbing out of the valley. This was tough going in the very strong sun.

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We’d had a good day of walking, but the high temperature and very strong sun slowed us down. Water was very scarce. We eventually found an almost dried-out tarn. My Sawyer filter clogged in seconds. Andy’s MSR Guardian filter was a life saver, it filtered what was virtually mud, converting it to clear and potable water.


We needed to find a suitable pitch for the night, ideally with a water source – not easy. Eventually we pitched up at Horse Head Gate, actually on the wide path. There was a trickle of a stream nearby so we were sorted for the night. 

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Decision time.

The Plan for the next day was to head over to Pen-y-ghent, this was clearly going to be a problem. Limestone country isn’t known for a surplus of surface water – and water was going to be a vital requirement if we were to continue with our route.

Home for the night on Monday:

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Sunset

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Sunrise

We chose to re-route and cut our trip short by a day. We’d camped on the Pennine Journey LDP, this offered us an easy way off the top and down to the River Wharfe at Yockenthwaite and then to pick up the Dales Way – much easier walking, plus far more chance of picking up water.

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An ex-mole on the Pennine Journey LDP

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Descending to Yockenthwaite

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The dried-up River Wharfe at Yockenthwaite

At 7.45am it was so hot that we were actively searching out shade. Bits of woodland provided some relief from the blazing sun – but the flying insects were a damned nuisance. Smidge helped.

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St Michael and All Angels Church at Hubberholme

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At Buckden we sat outside the village shop, ate ice creams and glugged cold drinks.

The Dales Way follows the course of the River Wharfe so it was fairly flat (apart from some hilly bits) and easy walking.

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At last, water in the River Wharfe

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Conistone Pie

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Limestone pavement

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En-route to Kettlewell and more ice cream

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Posing outside Kettlewell’s village shop: purveyors of el-cheapo electrolyte drink. And ice cream. (Poor quality pic due to a mucky lens on my phone)


Next stop: Grassington…and a pub. No beer though, we drank copious amounts of coke, water, shandy – anything that was refreshing, cooling and rehydrating.

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Hebden, so near….

We arrived back at Hebden around 4.45pm, we needed more ice cream and cold drinks – the tea room was still open it was doing good business. We made full use of it’s facilities…all of them!

We parted company around 6pm, Andy and Martin headed off darn sarf whilst I enjoyed a very pleasant drive through the Dales and eventually back home to Manchester.

First job when I arrived home was to run a much needed cool bath and have a good long soak, that cooled me down nicely.

I’d considered going to the monthly music session at the Lord Eldon in Knutsford….but I was too knackered! A cold beer at home suffficed.

Thanks to andy & Martin for planning the trip, for cutting it sort Winking smile and for inviting me along. It was good.

Full photograph album here.

5 comments:

  1. A rare event indeed John, to be afoot in the dales in the midst of a heatwave. one day you will be reminiscing, 'Ah yes, I remember walking the Dales in the great heatwave of 2018. We were dead hard in those days'! Well done, it looks a great trip.

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  2. I like the Dales - it was good to be there in the dry - just a shame it was so damned hot!

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  3. Lovely write up John and some gorgeous pics, one I've been waiting on. Recognise and love the route, it is a beautiful area. Will save this :-)

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    1. Thanks Margaret....it was a lovely route, just a shame we couldn't complete it due to the hot, dry conditions. We really must get out and complete it before long (once the rain re-starts!) - if you fancy tagging along I'm sure t'others would be delighted.

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