Blog updates are only on an
"ad hoc" basis when I have something to say and will not be
particularly regular. Latest entries first.
As 2022 draws
to a close, I would like to thank all the visitors to my site for their
support and particularly for the number of kind emails I have received.
There are clearly quite a few people who appreciate my walks and the work
that goes into producing them. Usually, we have our family Christmas at my
home and my children and grandchildren come to visit. This year however, we
opted for a change and went to stay at Grange-over-Sands, which is roughly
mid way between where my daughters live. One of them did the hosting and all
went very well. I took the opportunity one the one fine day over the break
to walk up Hampsfell, intrigued by" Hampsfell Hospice" shown on
the map. The route is now on the website. Unfortunately the views to the
Lake District were obscured by cloud. Other days were rained off.
everyone has a good New Years's eve and a great 2023.
7 December 2022
For a variety of reasons, not least two bouts
of COVID within six months, this year has not been one of my best for
walking. What has been particularly disappointing is that having the two
lots of COVID plus a booster jab in between, 'immunity' seems a distant
goal. The only hope is that subsequent infections are less severe than they
otherwise might have been. The latest bout was almost certainly contracted
either on the plane or at the airport on my return from Lanzarote. I have
started to wonder whether foreign holidays by plane are worth the hassle, if
illness is a likely result.. On the plus side the weather in Lanzarote was
fantastic, if anything too fantastic on some days!
On the Lanzarote theme, the accommodation we
stayed in had a Nescafe Dolce Gusto coffee maker. We bought the capsules and
gave it a go. We were inpressed. On return to the UK we bought the self same
machine and the self same coffee (at least as described on the box). The
resulting coffee bore little resemblance to the capsules in Lanzarote. An
exchange with Nescafe revealed that even coffees with the same description
have different compositions in different countries to suit local tastes. Hey
On the plus side, Christmas shopping almost
1 September 2022
As Mountain Rescue incident occurred in the
Lake District recently. An 83 year old woman collapsed. The information
given when calling 999 included the location using What3words, which put her
near Hawse End on the western shore of Derwentwater, nowhere near where she
actually was in Crow Park overlooking the north-east shore. Evidently there
have been several instances where rescues have been delayed because the
What3words app is not proving sufficiently accurate, despite it being
supposed to pinpoint locations to within three meters.
The message from Mountain Rescue Teams is to
give the best verbal description of the location, preferably with the
Ordnance Survey grid reference. The grid reference can be obtained from an
OS map or perhaps most easily by having the free OS Locate app on your
mobile phone, which is easy to use. Don't wait until you need it. Just have
it on the phone as a matter of course.
On the subject of mobile phones, I have never
been bothered about having a smart phone, relying on a trusty old and bomb
proof Nokia. However my wife recently upgraded her phone so I have inherited
her iPhone SE. The first thing I did of course was download OS Locate (see
above) and also the OS Maps app, as I subscribe to the OS Maps website and
use it for planning some walks.
A friend of mine has been using this app for
a while now and is forever extolling its virtues. So, on a recent walk
across Access Land where there were no Rights of Way marked, I thought I
would give it a try. Undoubtedly, it is extremely accurate. However, I
discovered if you have it on all the time it is very power hungry and I can
see why walkers get into difficulties relying on mobile phones. I had
switched off everything I could think of but I doubt it could have taken me
round the whole walk, only about 8 miles. Fortunately, I have what is now an
ancient GPS receiver but it keeps going all day on one set of rechargeable
batteries - and I have a spare set, just in case!.
I accept the battery in my "new"
smart phone may be not at its best, being about five years old. A newer
model, usually larger these days, may retain more power but I treat my
experience as a cautionary tale and will only use the OS app when/if I need
it for brief interludes.
20 July 2022
Bradford MDC in West Yorkshire has announced a
number of closures of Access Land because of the severe fire risk. Moorlands
are tinder dry and according to the local weather forecast tonight, no
is forecast in the near future. The areas involved can be seen on the maps
of Trawden, Wadsworth Moor, Heptonstall Moor
Moor, Ovenden Moor, Worley Moor
Moor, Morton Moor
4) Addingham Moor
22 April 2022
Friday 29 April 2022 marks the launch of the
Yorkshire Heritage Way long distance walk. The launch is taking place in Bradford Cathedral at 9am (all welcome) and the walk then progresses that day in two stages (to Saltaire and to The Hermit pub). Over the next few days it progresses to Ripon Cathedral via Fountains Abbey (arriving at the Ripon beer festival on Monday 2nd).
For further information, see https://www.burleybridge.com/yorkshire-heritage-way.html.
years ago, I bought some Mountain Equipment gaiters. I do not use them if I
can help it as all gaiters make my legs hot and in summer with lightweight
boots, I do not use them at all. Disappointingly, the Velcro, which secures
the flap over the zip, pulled away from the stitching.
they guarantee their products against defects "for the reasonable life
of the product", I complained to Mountain Warehouse, as I did not
think three years put them beyond "reasonable life". It was
obvious from their condition that they had not been over used. They asked me
to send them back. They have now been returned, fully repaired and as good
as new. Thumbs up for Mountain Equipment.
to learn that Gateshead Cheder, an Orthodox Jewish school, took 13 children,
aged between 14 and 15, up Helvellyn in ice and snow, in March last year,
without appropriate equipment. For navigation, they were relying on a mobile
The 2 adults leading had no proper mountain
leadership qualifications or experience in winter conditions.
lost their way on the descent and one boy fell several meters, fortunately
only sustaining minor cuts. The Keswick mountain Rescue Team had to be
called out to rescue them.
were they thinking? There are lots of steep drops and it was fortunate
nobody was killed.
if you are leading any group but especially children, please think about the
requirement for the expedition a bit (lot?) more thoroughly than these
teaching staff did.
Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted the school and they were fined
£30,000 plus costs and a victim surcharge.
this is how the school perform their 'In loco parentis' responsibilities, I
would be inclined to send my kids somewhere else (I would anyway, as I am
11 January 2022
I received a report that someone had had
problems following one of my routes and had got lost as a result. Depending
on how I feel on such occasions, my thoughts range from "I couldn't
possibly have been wrong' to 'oh God what have I done'! An brief
exchange involving a map section and aerial photo revealed that the cause of
the problem had been a right turn at the end of a wood and trying to be
helpful, I had mentioned the turn was indicated by a blue bridleway arrow.
There was no arrow and it sounds as though the writer had continued on,
looking for it. Seemingly in the intervening 2 or 3 years, the arrow had
dropped off, been removed or whatever. In fact looking at my instructions, a
direction to turn right at the end of the wood, on its own, would have been
enough. A case perhaps where less is more!
It is difficult knowing how much information
to include. Having fallen foul of instructions in books/newspapers in the
distant past, which left you hanging and indeed that was why I started my
website in the first place, I tend to err on the side of including more
rather than less!
I have of course amended the instructions
5 January 2022
Mountain Rescue Teams (MRTs) have reported
that the number of rescues having to be done is escalating. It should be
remembered that all the people on MRTs are volunteers and have lives! Many
rescues are cause by people relying on mobile phones which fail (probably
running our of charge) and/or people venturing on to quite dangerous fells
with no map or compass. This is not fair on the MRT members. Even if you
want to use electronic navigation means, please have a 1:25000 scale map
with you and a compass, as back-up. Most of these maps only cost around £7
or £8, which is not much if it prevents you getting lost and having to call
out an MRT, or worse, becoming injured, or exposed too long in bad/freezing
weather, through taking the wrong route. See Ordnance
Reasonable compasses are available for under
£20 and if you are not sure how to use one, see How
to Use a Compass. You do not need to be an expert to use one
sufficiently to prevent disaster!
Year to all users of this site. I hope 2022 proves to be a happier year than
2021 and that we can cease to be in thrall to Covid and its resulting
Happy Hiker reaches its 11th birthday. As I start the year, there are around
370 walks on the site. One which surprised me with its 'enjoyability' last
year was a more urban walk, from the little village of Esholt, not far from
Bradford/Shipley in West Yorkshire. This involved passing through a huge
sewage works. Most unexpectedly it proved to be a lovely walk with
attractive woodland and canal sections. The sewage works was barely
noticeable. I might look for some more 'urban' walks in 2022.
I noted a
report in the paper this week that 'rocket powered' paramedics will be
zooming over the Lake District fells this summer as part of the Flying
Ambulance service. They wear a back pack rocket motor plus more on each hand
and can cover a lot of ground very quickly. They can only carry a small
amount of medical equipment but coupled with a quick response, could be
enough to make the difference.
I have just
realised the date but this is not an April Fool, its for real.
All information on this
site is given in good faith and no liability is accepted in respect of any
damage, loss or injury which might result from acting on it.