Great Whernside via Dowber Gill
Leaving Kettlewell, the ascent up Dowber Gill was less soggy than expected. The limestone waterfalls were particularly stunning. A steep ascent took us to the ridge of Great Whernside which was exposed and gave everyone the impetus to pick up the pace in order to get to lower ground more quickly.
We made our way down to Castle Grid before picking up the Starbotton Road and Top Mere road that took us back down into the Village. Fairly strenuous but enjoyable none the less.
Buckden to Kettlewell via Hubberholme
On a cold, windy but (happily) dry day the B group started our walk with a stiff climb to warm us all up. We were able to admire splendid views whilst catching our breath, before continuing.
Having re-captured Gerry who was determined to walk off with 2 strangers (did his mother never warn him?) we soon came to the stepping stones. Alas, at least 3 were covered by rushing water so we must cast around for a suitable and safe diversion. We could see a footbridge but reaching it proved tricky but not impossible.
The afore-mentioned strangers popped up again at this point. They warned us that a ford ahead was in spate and was at least 18 inches deep. The walk leader decided to go and assess the situation before adopting an alternative, road-based route. Fortunately, the strangers had exaggerated the problem and the whole group crossed safely through waters no more than 6 inches deep. Moral: Don't trust strangers.
Bizarrely, by now we had ourselves picked up a lone walker: Brian, who was doing a recce for a U3A group. He remained with us until after lunch at Scar House when he headed for Yokenthwaite and we descended to Hubberholme.
In Hubberholme the church, where J B Priestley's ashes were scattered, was open and we managed to find 2 of the subtle Thompson of Kilburn wooden mice in this 12th-century gem.
The remainder of the walk, alongside the River Wharfe on the Dales Way, whilst not as eventful, was equally enjoyable.
Starbotten to Kettlewell via Buckden
First, I would like to say thank you to Richard for leading what was an extremely challenging walk. We encountered strong winds, that could blow you off your feet, had to ford across swollen streams and saturated ground. We had mostly fine weather with the sun shining it was closer to the end of the walk that we encounter some hail which was thrown in for good measure. We never knew what was around the next bend and gave us lots to talk about whilst walking.
Richard took the wise decision to go down from the top of the ridge to lower ground, due to the strong winds. We had a slight incident as we had to cross the swollen stream were a John, a new walker, was a little wobbly crossing the ford and Mick waded in to stop him from falling over. It was a great introduction to what walking with LSRC is all about, comradeship, which was shown a few times this walk. I was just a little disappointed that we had no true gentlemen that offered to carry us ladies across the flooded streams. I think a few of us finished the walk with wet feet and aching legs yesterday, but it was a lovely day. Again, I would like to thank Richard for leading and everyone else for taking the time to look after each other, especially David for helping everyone across swollen streams, across bridges and over stiles.