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Friday, 4 March 2011

Planning the Unplanned High Force to Malham

high force

Whenever there’s a bit of a hiatus in the walking exploits, the mind inevitably turns to things that could be done.

One thing that I’ve been thinking could be done is a walk from Malham to High Force based on an idea in AJ Brown’s 1931 book Moorland Tramping about which this blog has already touched upon.

I was thinking that AJ Brown seems to poo-poo the idea of heavy use of the map and compass, so I wondered if this journey could be completed without either – and no GPS or anything like that. Just, in fact, with the sense of direction.

penyghent

It seems to be around sixty of your Queen’s miles from one place to the other and, it seems true that the entire journey could be completed by following the Pennine Way. Now the Pennine Way, in my umble opinion, could probably be very easily followed without a map or compass or, indeed anything which infallibly points in one direction. So this wouldn’t do. A more direct line is called for.

So, the plan is to set off with a tent and a large supply of scoff and walk between the two points in as direct a line as is feasibly possible. It seems highly likely that any route will coincide with the Pennine Way for a chunk.  I will not plan where my overnight stops will be but will listen to my body. When the corpse says its time to stop, then I’ll stop. If it says go, I’ll go.

tan hill inn

I’ll follow bits of the Pennine Way, but also cut off corners and loops and, from Tan Hill, I’ll follow the Durham/Cumbria County boundary across the tussocky flat desert of Stainmore. This will be fun. I may visit Great Knipe.

I may go North to South because:

1) High Force is much easier to leave at than arrive at if you haven’t got anything to navigate with.

2) Its not far from home and I might be able to get a lift

3) I might get a nice tan by heading into the sun, as opposed to a burnt neck.

4) There is no 4.

The only question is “when”?   I fancy the summer. I might have to postpone something else already planned.

June would be good – lots of daylight, skylarks,  a fresh, blue breeze… beautiful Pennines. Four or five days should do it.

This is the plan. There is not much more to it. (I have to choose the food and buy the gas…)

malham cove

 

16 comments:

Phreerunner said...

Very good, Mike. Sounds like you've a lot of fun in store.

QDanT said...

"with the sense of direction"
Your talking about Superdawg then ?
I suppose the Dawg will be carrying all the gear as well as pulling you along ? In fact I bet it was the Dawgs idea ?
good luck - Danny

Mike Knipe said...

Ta for the picture, Martin... fun fun fun...

Dan - The dog's not coming - he eats too much. It can't be that hard, can it? I mean , you just walk South, innit...?

4 Winds said...

Hi Mike and Bruno! Cracking blog - takes me back a bit. I'm from Hunwick and used to go stomping round Weardale when I was a lad.

Paul

Mike Knipe said...

They closed The Monkey, y'know, 4 Winds. Shame....

4 Winds said...

Never made it down to the Monkey -too far to walk! When we were kids we used to get the bus into Willington (don't know if Bond's busses are still running)and have a sneaky beer or two there (less chance of getting caught!)

Paulleddit

Mike Knipe said...

I'm not sure about Bonds.. I think its all Arriva now..
Our discreet drinking den was The Ship in Skipton. I had three 18th birthday parties there. Its an estate agents office now.
Eeee them were the days.

Al said...

I'm liking that idea, I only have 2 bits of advice...don't follow the sun, else you'll walk in a circle, and don't call out them mountain rescue chaps, they'll have a field day if you've no maps or nowt!

Martin Rye said...

Nice plan. Go do it. Spring would be nicer. Less people about and bugs and the like.

Mike Knipe said...

Al - MRT will only be called if I break a leg or something. I'll claim that my maps were stolen by terrorists. I realy don't think this is rocket science, y'know. - e.g. Ingleborough appears in many skylines quite a long way North and Malham is just a bit to the left. (Remember the Navy Lark?)
Summer Martin. Spring's too full at the moment.

Tilly said...

I think that will be quite an adventure, there is no telling where I would end up if I set off without a map. I guess if people start talking with a scots accent I would know I was heading the wrong way.

Mike Knipe said...

I suppse there's always a chance that something could go horribly wrong, Tilly.
If I turn up in Kilmarnock asking for the Pennine Way............

John J said...

There's a folk song / music weekend at the Tan Hill Inn this weekend - shame it coincides with the Challenge Spring Reunion.

JJ

Mike Knipe said...

I'm off to Galloway providing I can shift the worst of this damn cold.. (never eat chocolate digestives whilst subject to sneezing attacks.. just a tip, there for you.)

Jules said...

Nice idea - I hope you get the chance to do it, and report back!

I know what you mean about planning stuff when you are laid up - it always make me feel better when I'm feeling crap.

Mike Knipe said...

I feel another post about this coming on... I'll have to be quick, I could be out walking by Monday...