Crowden to Torside and Wessenden to Black Hill

Saturday, 19 November 2011 – 7.4 miles approx and 3.8 miles

A two-parter! (written some months later)

You wouldn’t believe it was the middle of November. A beatiful Autumn morning, with golden light.

Sheep at Crowden

We set off from the car park at Crowden, along the track, then through the woods and along the reservoirs. A familiar route now, but easier walking than cycling in August. We nearly missed the turn off the track for the Pennine Way, but fortunately had stopped to take off a layer, and noticed the people behind us heading up the hill, so we went back a few yards to check the signpost!

Bleaklow signpost

After that elementary mistake, it was fairly straightforward – up the hill, through a noisy gate (you wouldn’t be able to sneak up on anyone!), and along the rocky edges above Torside Clough. It was a bit further than we expected to get to our turnaround point, but we then headed back and had lunch sitting on a bench in the warm sunshine by the reservoirs.

The next part was the hardest – driving to Wessenden Head. We ended up driving into Holmfirth, as we must have missed the road we wanted (I was driving, not navigating …), but we eventually got there and found a broad road with plenty of parking space.

We headed off to the trig point on Black Hill, from our first walk in August. I’d assumed it would be reasonably level, not having studied the map in great detail, and it was a bit of a surprise to have to go across two deep-ish stream valleys. The way was pretty well flagged, easy walking and wayfinding. We pressed on, aware that it was getting late, and that dusk would be quite early at this time of year. We were the only people on the path, but there were a number of grouse, a bit put out at not having the place to themselves.

We got to the trig point as the sun was just dropping behind the hill and the sky was turning pink. But it was open and clear so there would still be light enough to get back to the car ….

Black Hill trig point

… but do you see that wisp of cloud on the right? Within minutes, that had turned into thick fog over the hill, bringing visibility down to 10-20 metres or so. Thank goodness for such a straightforward path to follow! We could see the road some way off, and the headlights of cars creeping across the hill in the fog. It wasn’t too bad, really. What an adventure!

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