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A winter scene in the Dales. Looking towards Ingleborough from Sulber Nick. Climbs of Ingleborough start from Horton or Ribblehead. We run these walks throughout the year.

Wharton Hall in the valley visited on walks from Kirkby Stephen. A favourite venue for many easier walks.



Weekends 2002


Members from all over the country arrived to a wonderfully comfortable hotel on Friday. Some had braved the high passes and others had fought with motorways. The weather forecast was not good but walkers always travel hopefully and after a splendid meal and time at the bar expectations for Saturday were high.

To everyone's surprise large patches of blue sky were clearly visible in the morning and these spread as the day went on. 'A' party had been promised a walk of 20? 17? 15? miles and left the bus just before Hartington to plot a course between Dovedale and the Manifold valley initially down Narrowdale. There were some surprises on the way. The river Manifold which, we were assured, had been totally invisible at the time of the recce was in full spate. Oh dear! At Wetton the holy ones sat outside the church and the others found the pub. One member found she had been sitting with the wrong group. We never heard the last of it! Safely back at Hulme End we used our time profitably in cleaning our boots until the coach arrived.

'B' party also offered a walk of variable mileage - could be 10, could be 13. Wait and see. 'C' party, not to be outdone, decided to give the 'B' party their support and all set off together. Starting and finishing at Hartington they moved via Sheen to Brund where they followed the course of the river Manifold to Longnor. One member was heard to remark that he had never trodden in so much .... in all his life. Lucky man, he must have led a clean and blameless life. At the 10 mile point near Pilsbury a brave volunteer stepped forward to lead the extra three miles along the Tissington Trail and arrived safely in Hartington where another boot washing ceremony took place. Despite extensive research I have been unable to unearth any other exciting events. To misquote someone famous: 'There were no shipwrecks and nobody drowned. In fact, nothing to laugh at at all.' It just shows how well led we all were and what care our leaders took of us.

Sunday, however, was different. It was a day of potential shipwrecks and drownings. The weather was straight out of Macbeth, tearing branches from trees and soaking those who dared to put a head or even a hair out of doors. 'A' walk was cancelled and a modified 'B' walk offered. Most people saw the light or rather the dark clouds and departed to wrestle with massive winds, driving rain and roads closed due to accidents or tree-felling. Some chose to visit the book fair in Buxton and some chose to stay and drink coffee at the hotel.

Then there is a rumour that twelve souls, labelled mentally deficient by the rest, ventured out for a walk (what?). Walk might not be the most accurate word to describe what they did. Flying, soaring even as they reached the dizzy heights of Solomon's Temple and clung to each other to stay earthbound. Was this wise? Crossing fields against the wind became a major feat and avoiding the cow pats when they landed an even greater one. They got back safely, however, much to the amazement of those still at the hotel, who were still wondering why they had done it. Did we enjoy it? Well, it got us out, didn't it? And we definitely felt better for it. Didn't we?

A most enjoyable weekend. Memories of stiles which may have prompted people to start a diet and beautiful countryside enhanced by the sunlight and racing clouds will stay in many people's minds. Thanks to all those involved in the organisation of the weekend and those who recceed and led the walks. We couldn't do it without you.

Diane Exley

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