2015 04 11 Feathers part 1


The First Feather. 33miles, 6500ft.

Due to other events going on over the same weekend, I only expected a handful of people. However 17 came, not all intending to do all three “Feathers”, and one only walking the first 7 miles or so before leaving us to do her own thing. Another lady found it hard to keep up with the brisk pace which was needed in order to finish at a reasonable hour. She was subjected to a bit of Yorkshire tack and diplomacy, and was “persuaded” to retire in Horton-in-Ribblesdale. Luckily she was offered a lift back to Kettlewell by a kind hearted gentleman (with a twinkle in his left eye!).

Leaving  Kettlewell at 8am, we followed Top Mere Road to Cam Head and then joined the Starbotton Road for a short distance before turning right and following the bridleway to Tor Mere Top and on to Buckden Pike, passing the memorial to 6 Polish airmen who died when their Wellington bomber crashed in 1942. We arrived at the trig about 10am, but we’d had some rain and a little snow, so we re-grouped and set off down to Cray, where we had a short break.

From Cray, we followed the path to Yockenthwaite before the second climb of the day over Horse Head Moor. Down to Halton Gill and Foxup where we had another short break, then on to Horton-in-Ribblesdale where we took over the café. The time was now about 3.10pm, but we took advantage of the facilities, and I got the lady who was dropping out organised with her return to Kettlwell, and we left there at 3.50pm.

Only 14 miles to go, but Pen-y-Ghent and Old Cote Little Moor (it didn’t seem that little after 30 miles!) in the way.

The wind was behind us as we left Horton, but it was very gusty as we fought against it on the higher parts. A nice mainly level/downhill walk then to pick up the River Skirfare in Littondale, which we followed to Arncliffe and our last short break before tackling the last climb of the day.

Some youthful exuberance took over on the climb and descent, so the group was stretched out quite a long way. The sun had set by now, so I had to drop back to keep a few of the more tired walkers in sight, particularly as we had a little scramble off a limestone escarpment to negotiate.

Well done everybody.

Thanks to anybody who sent photographs in and also to Brenda and Clive for providing a lovely supper.

See you all in July for 2nd Feather.

Ken Noble.

Photos from Julie and Karen click here

Photos from Frank click here