Tuesday 3 March 2015. Today’s walk was 7.75 miles with just over 1,000ft of ascent. I tried to do this walk last year but Hebden Beck was too deep to safely cross and my GPS malfunctioned so I had to abandon soon after starting out. I’m pleased to say that I finished it today and what a fabulous walk it turned out to be.
The walk up the road to join the path running alongside Hebden Beck was fairly uneventful and I saw a group of DofE lads all dressed in the same red jackets and another group of about 12 walkers/ramblers. I soon reached the crossing of Hebden Beck at which point I abandoned last year. I was pleased to see that the ford was cross-able although this meant walking in the stream for a couple of steps. Had I not been able to cross at this point then I could have back-tracked to the bridge at Hole Bottom and made my way forward from there.
By now, I was all alone in a white wilderness with blue skies – simply magic. The substantial farm house in the picture is at Yarnbury, the last point of human contact for quite some time. There was a sense of excitement and mild danger although, in reality, I wasn’t that far out of contact with the rest of the world. Soon after Yarnbury the path passed along a narrow lane with walls on either side. This provided some shelter from the strong wind and I took the opportunity to have a coffee break whilst I watch the snow storms blow through further down the valley.
The high point of the walk was at Bare House, a derelict farm house, where the snow drifts were at their deepest with one gateway being so buried that I couldn’t open it and had to climb over. From here it was downhill all the way to Grassington. The path was indistinct because of the snow but someone must have passed this way yesterday as their footprints were just visible and provided a useful guide. On this stretch of the walk I became enveloped in one of the many passing snow storms which reduced visibility to about 50 yards for a short time. Soon after it was back to sunshine again.
I stooped for lunch in Grassington before making my way across now muddy and waterlogged fields back to Hebden.