2014 01 22 Chasing the Goose


A great snowy day out. That was the chat in the 'Fox and Goose' pub at the end of the walk, although there was a stretch during the afternoon when one walker asked 'Are we training for Everest or what?' What a good idea!

It had snowed heavily on the previous day and it had not frozen to give a firmer surface or blown the snow off the tops to give any stretches of easier going. So it was a tough day's walking. We had the help of a few tracks in the snow from early morning dog walkers climbing past Birchcliffe, but all signs of paths had vanished as I looked for the way down to Pecket Well. We slithered down the trackway to New Bridge; from there,  the old mill lodges in the Middle Dean valley looked good in the snow. Some easier going on the trackway from the head of Crimsworth Dean to the head of Hebden Water where we lunched. Then, some seriously tough stretches up the valley to the Gorple Reservoir and past the ruined farmhouse of Raistrick Greave to reach Reaps Cross - wading through thigh deep snow in places there. There was one stretch which was walked pretty much in silence, as people saved their energy for the treadmill in the snow. From Reaps Cross, by common consent, we picked the most straightforward route down the Colden valley and reached the Fox and Goose pub at our journey's end about 4.45 p.m., 17 memorable miles.

As promised by the 'management', there was a good fire in at the pub and a chance to visit West Yorkshire's first cooperative owned 'real ale' pub. The pub was saved from closure by the subscriptions/investments from 320 'shareholders' who wanted to keep it as a 'traditional' pub and it seems to be thriving. It was certainly a good morale raiser after a tough day's walking. I'll be working on a suitable walk ending at the pub for the Saturday programme next winter - it's only fair to those who are hard at work during the week!

 Photos from Geoff: 

- Note the last picture in this gallery showing the close accuracy of the route taken in heavy snow with the route as shown on the map.

 Photos from Steve: