Sunday 9 August 2015. Bea has joined me for a few days and for her first walk I decided to do an 8 mile route from Heptonstall with a total ascent of 1,900ft. The first part of the walk was easy as we descended through Midgehole to the NT car park for Hardcastle Craggs. From here it got a little harder as we steadily climbed over 700ft in the next mile and a half. By now we, well me, were ready for a rest as we stopped to admire the view. Soon after restarting we were accosted by a grumpy grouse who seemed upset that we had infringed on its territory. I thought to myself that it should make the most of its time on this earth as there are only 3 days to the “glorious twelfth”.
We were now at the highest point of the walk and the only way was down. This was very steeply to meet with Hebden Water and the path that led us to the tea room at Gibson Mill. A nice riverside walk followed before crossing over to the other side on stepping stones.
The second and even steeper climb took us from the river up past Hardcastle Craggs Youth Hostel to the hamlet of Slack. Our path from here was overgrown with nettles and as we turned back I was surprised to see that we were being followed by a group of 4 walkers, one of whom was Moira Fraser, a Ramblers Board of Trustees member, who I’d met at the last two General Councils.
Our amended route back to Heptonstall was thankfully free from nettles and included a short section that I’d walked last week. I was surprised by the amount of ascent on this walk which, I think, is the largest daily total on this holiday.