Mar 26 2011

Walk 25: Under The Cosh

Foxup with Ingleborough in the distance

route: Horse Head & Cosh Outside from Halton Gill
Date: 26th march 2011
distance: 8.8 miles
ascent: 1,338 feet
time: 4 hrs 30 mins
walkers: Dave, Leanne, Sandra & Simon

It was after midnight when I got to sleep last night so I felt a little tired when the alarm went off at 6.20am, but I was soon up and about and as usual and looking forward to the forthcoming adventure. Today’s excursion was taking in two trig points from Halton Gill, which was used for the last years Jamie Oliver/Sainbury’s Christmas ad apparently. As we arrived there was no sign of Jamie Oliver or anyone else for that matter and everything seemed peaceful. The morning air had a bit of a chill to it but we looked set for a dry day and that is all you can ask for I guess. Ramblo stuck a couple of quid in the honesty box located in the wall alongside the lay-by, then we snapped the team shot before setting off.

Soon we had walked through the little hamlet and found the bridleway that would lead us almost all the way to our first trig point.

The climb was a reasonably sharp one and as the path snaked back we could see Halton Gill and the car sat below us. At this point we hadn’t gained too much height but the path continued to climb gradually and we paused a couple of times to catch breath. As I paused to take in the views and suck in some oxygen, I noticed a sheep that had left the others and was rubbing itself against some rock. It was having a really good scratch for a couple of minutes and was still going strong as I set off once again.

There were plenty of sheep around and I mentioned the film Zulu as at one point there seemed to be loads of the on the ridge line, but fortunately they didn’t pose a threat and we carried on laughing and joking as we went.

The next fifteen minutes or so were pretty straight forward walking. The bridleway meant good under foot conditions and the sting had gone out of the hill now meaning we were moving forward at a quicker rate than earlier, and we soon got our first sight of the trig point.

We followed the path to the wall then followed that across to the trig where we took the usual pictures (see the tick lists for those pics). The view from here was pretty impressive as we could see Pen y ghent poking up above Plover Hill and to the left of that we could see Fountains Fell and Darnbrook Fell. We could see more of Ingleborough than we did on the way up (see main pic). We also had good views over to Buckden Pike and Birks Fell and all of the peaks mentioned brought back many happy memories from our Yorkshire tops challenge we completed last year. It seemed so long ago, yet at the same time it only seemed like last week. I think if I were to ever end up on Mastermind (not that I will) my chosen specialist subject would be the 25 walks we have done so far as I feel as though I can remember every yard walked and every tiny detail. Sherpa G string is often laughing at me because I recall things to do with previous walks so easily. One thing was certain, there were more lovely views going into the memory bank to be recalled another time. With the scenery taken in, it was time to get going again and we followed the wall for a short distance before we were halted by an adjacent wall. There was a gate to allow us through but it was tied so tightly we had to climb over it, being very careful at the same time to duck under the barbed wire that ran just above it. After safely negotiating this little obstacle we continued following the wall, which was now on our left hand side and it would stay there until we saw the next trig.

Although we had just reached Horse Head trig point there wasn’t any horses to be seen, we did however see a sheep head and lots of other bones and bits. In two separate places there were scatterings of bones so who know what had gone on prior to our arrival.

The next hour or so was spent covering the three miles along the top as it curved round towards Cosh Outside. The terrain was a little wetter in places and from time to time we had to pick our foot placement carefully, but with each stride we were getting closer to our second goal of the day. It wasn’t particularly strenuous, more a case of being careful with feet placement and not going over on your ankle or sinking into a bog.

We reached a fence that looked electric so I made sure to be extra careful as I strode over it before helping the others over. It turned out it wasn’t but you can’t be too careful! From here we just had a slight climb before we could see the trig as it stood slightly to our left on the highest point in front of us. Behind and to the right of the trig, Ingleborough was closer now than at any other point during the day and it was a very imposing sight as always.

After taking our pictures at the trig we decided to take shelter from the wind and have a spot of lunch and after looking for the best spot we decided to hide behind a nearby wall. It wasn’t a perfect shelter as the wind was coming at an angle but it deflected the majority of it and we were quite happy as we munched away on the various items we had brought with us.

After filling our fuel tanks we began our homeward journey and I hoped it wouldn’t be too difficult as I usually get it in the neck if it is. I had already got my excuses in over lunch and I find myself being less committal and more vague with every passing walk to make sure I am in no way accountable. I say that in the right spirit as I know that L’Autobus don’t really mean it, or at least I think they don’t, but I can’t take the chance! I know lots of potential frustration is caused by not knowing so I try to keep everything transparent and out in the open so everyone knows the plans. That plan right now involved heading towards a group of trees we could see and hopefully picking up Cosh Beck that we could follow back to Foxup.

I explained that I was unsure of the underfoot conditions or how easy it would be to follow the beck and it seemed the team were happy with my route. So happy in fact, when given the option of finding a track that ran just above the beck they opted to follow the natural route over the man made one.

With no footpath either side of the beck we crossed from one side to the other depending on where the best walking surface was, although sometimes we had no choice as one side simply wasn’t passable. We must have crossed about eight times taking care each time not to slip on the wet stones we used to step over. As frustrating as it may sound, crossing from side to side actually added to the enjoyment for me as it added a bit of extra spice. I like to experience different things and as nice as it would have been to follow a path I have done that before, and the lack of a path meant we could have been stuck and had to back track at any time. That feeling wasn’t to last though as a little further downstream we spotted a couple of little wooden bridges that led to a stile/gate in the wall. These things meant we were now on a footpath and the route back was now a simple one.

The beck continued on as the footpath slowly angled away from it to climb up and over a little hill in front of us. As we reached the top and started back down towards the beck we were watched by some of the more inquisitive sheep but the majority of them just carried on eating as they do.

We finally reached Cosh Beck once again and had to cross it to reach the track back to Foxup, which in turn would lead to the road back to Halton Gill. Ramblo decided it would be easy to cross but after a minute or two of deliberation she changed her mind and backed away leaving Beaky to go first. Once across he helped L’Autobus over before I took one big stride and was across too.

From here we had the simple task of strolling back into Foxup before we walked along the road back to Halton Gill.

Another walk was complete and it had been a very enjoyable one for many reasons. We had once again seen fantastic sights and each time we do go places now I tend to have an idea what the surrounding peaks are which adds to my enjoyment. The walk hadn’t been that difficult but at just under nine miles it allowed us to build our stamina slightly for the larger challenges that await. With each walk I felt a little fitter and a little stronger and hopefully that will continue to be the case throughout the year. With the cardio out of the way we then decided, as usual that we would lift some weights to complete our exercise plan for the day. When I say weights I do of course mean pints, two of them to be exact, but isn’t that all part of the enjoyment?

Sir Edmund


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