Footsteps in Freezing February - will it warm up?

"There is a good side to Rochdale", February 25th

16 of us met up at Healey Corner on the border of Rochdale and Whitworth, some having overcome horrendous traffic problems on and around the M62. We did see a good side to this much maligned town, as the weather stayed bright and dry and the forecast showers never appeared, so the glorious views from up on the moors were clear. We walked along the east side of Healey Dell into Whitworth proper, up the steep brew to Lobden Golf Club and across the moorland to and then around Watergrove Reservoir. Returning on a different path to Lobden, we walked south along the east side of the Whitworth Valley, gradually descending to the now bizarrely empty Syke Reservoir. After our lunch stop we continued across Syke Common, through Syke Estate, and returned to our starting point along the disused Rochdale-Bacup railway line through the southern end of Healey Dell. As promised, tea and crumpets were provided and rapidly despatched. Thanks to all who came.
John Rowe
Photos from John Rattray


An Upper Calderdale Walk, February 1st

My original route was to include Black Hambledon and Hurstwood reservoir but after a week of snow and high winds I decided to change my route. With me working all week I had no chance to check the condition of the paths over the exposed moors so took the view that a less exposed walk would be the better option.
The walk started from Stansfield Road, Todmorden. Twenty one walkers and one dog set off towards Stoodley Pike with the inevitable steep climb out of town. There are no gentle climbs in Calderdale. The paths were okay but the wind was very cold once we reached the top of the moor following the Pennine Way to the Pike. We continued along the Pennine Way for some considerable time until we reached the Pennine Bridleway on Heptonstall Moor near Lower Gorple Reservoir.
Turning left onto the continuation of Edge Lane we passed Reaps Cross and had lunch near Egypt Farm. The condition of the paths worsened and walking on Edge Lane was dodgy due to the rutted ice. We dropped down to Rodimer Clough and picked up Moor Lane which leads on to Dukes Cut. This is where the walk got difficult. Snowdrifts had almost filled in the lane between the banks. It took great effort to walk this section. One minute you were ankle deep in snow next minute it was thigh deep.
We regrouped on the Long Causeway road and we followed the road to Great Rock and then descended into Todmorden via Cross Stones Road. What was planned as a 20 miler finished at 18.5 miles. We got back for 3.40pm - all in one piece.
The snow makes a change from wet muddy paths but it can’t half be exhausting to walk in!

Photos by Julie Spencer ;