Wednesday 4 March 2015. Jacqui joined me again today for a 6.7 mile walk with 1,740ft of ascent from Kettlewell to Arncliffe and back again. We started climbing straight out of Kettlewell as we made our way through increasingly deep snowfields. A sole walker had been before us and we very gratefully followed in his/her footsteps. This made the going a little easier but it was still hard work as we climbed almost 1,000ft to the summit of Hawkswick Moor. The snow was piled high against the summit wall making the stile redundant. We just had to walk steeply to the top of the drift and step over the wall.
As we crossed the top,and made our decent to Arncliffe the snow became less deep and had almost melted away by the time that we entered Byre Bank Wood and picked our way down through Park Scar. It took us 2 hours to walk the 2.3 miles from Kettlewell to Arncliffe which shows how slow and difficult the ascent had been and the drop down the other side was only marginally easier, being very slippery in places. We stopped for a welcome coffee break at the church in Arncliffe.
We were now in the valley bottom of Littondale through which the River Skirfare flows. The next couple of miles were alongside or near to the river as we followed it downstream to Hawkswick where Holme Barn was up for sale – a snip at £350k.
The more leisurely section of this walk was over, all too soon, and we now had a climb of nearly 600ft back over the shoulder of Hawkswick Moor. I slipped and fell on the muddy path on the way up and both Jacqui and I fell on our backsides in the snow on the way down the other side. There was no harm done other than damaged pride.
It was a wonderful walk in great weather and one that will stay in the memory for quite some time.