West Pennine & Rossendale Walks
Date: 23rd January 2010
Distance: 4.9 miles
Ascent: 739 feet
Time: 2 hours 30
Start Grid Ref: SD781162
A walk of firsts - my first walk after a knee op, my first walk in the West Pennine Moors and my first proper cloud inversion.
Route Summary: Holcombe - Peel Tower - Harcles Hill - Bull Hill - Chatterton Close - Holcombe
Photos: Click on the photos below to enlarge.
Walk Detail: This was my first walk since my knee operation at the beginning of December the previous year, my first venture into the West Pennine Moors and the first one since I started work on this website.
For most of the drive out to Holcombe it looked as if the weather was going to spoil things for me as from Skipton we were driving in thick fog. It was with some surprise and no little excitement that we saw some glimmers of blue as we parked up near Holcombe. My first reaction was that the cloud was blowing over but as we climbed up out of the fog towards the Peel Tower it became clear that we were being treated to an inversion, a phenomena that occurs when cloud covers the valleys and the tops of the moors and mountains are in brilliantly clear sunshine.
It is a fantastic effect although it did limit the views somewhat as the only other high ground, apart from sections of our own walk, that stood above the cloud level were Winter Hill, Hailstorm Hill (with the Scout Moor Windfarm particularly prominent) and Pendle Hill away to the north.
After spending some time on Harcles Hill taking photos (especially of the Peel Tower which was regularly re-submerged in the cloud) we headed up to the top of Bull Hill having checked beforehand that there was no firing on the range that day. Having ate our lunch near the summit it was an easy descent down to Chatterton Close where we were once again into the cloud and from thence it was an easy walk back to the car.
Except for a couple of twinges my knee had performed better than anticipated and with the experience of an inversion as well this proved to be a memorable return to hill walking.