Marsden 26-07-2017 – Leader Arnold

Marsden 26-07-2017 – Leader Arnold

It turns out that the weather gods have issues not just with Rob; yours truly is also in the frame.  As with the Huncoat Trail walk, despite a truly dreadful rain and wind forecast, 21 (possibly 22) loyal, steadfast (and frankly mad) ramblers turned up at Marsden today – astonishing!  One of the walkers today was Linda’s David, back from his sponsored bike ride, getting to Paris a whole 24 hours before Chris Froome! Unfortunately, Graham’s car, with John and possibly Joe in it as well, had to go back before the walk started, as John received a phone call saying that the washer had sprung a leak, and there was a flood in the kitchen.  Hope all was OK in the end, John, and you didn’t get your feet too wet at home!

Off 19 of us set in heavy rain, with Jean as the back marker, to the interesting Standedge Tunnel Visitor Centre, with lots to read, and loos to use.  The Huddersfield Narrow Canal and the Standedge Canal Tunnel are astonishing engineering achievements, as you can read here.  There was some desultory discussion in the Centre about abandoning the walk, but after coming so far, the general feeling was to get stuck in, so we did, leaving the Visitor Centre to head west along the aptly-named Waters Road, passing a very interesting gate alongside a blue plaque about an electricity generator.  Shortly afterwards, we came off the road to stroll through a small nature reserve, with hundreds of tiny frogs crossing the path.  There were also some very nicely done engravings of flora and fauna along the route.  Then it was up the first part of the only pull of the day, as we ascended 200 feet onto the moor above Willykay Clough.  At this point we still had some pleasant views to the east, so we took a quick break, though with very little shelter to be had.

Pushing onwards and upwards into the low cloud, with the wind and rain in our faces, we kept quite tight formation as we climbed to over 1400 feet to hit the Pennine Way.  At this point we turned south on the Pennine Way towards Millstone Edge, with the odd tantalising glimpse of breaks in the cloud ahead.  By this time the camera had packed in, so Judy began taking pics with her camera, and I with my phone.  Happily, although the wind became stronger along this stretch, the rain eased off, and by the time we reached our lunch spot amongst some sheltering rocks it was dry and bright, so we had lovely views of the Castleshaw Reservoirs below.  Then the fun began as we left our lunch spot, as the rain and wind both increased dramatically, so for the next half hour we were battered, and had some difficulty in keeping upright.

All bad things come to an end, they say, so after turning east and dropping towards the A62, we were quite sheltered.  On this stretch we walked over the Standedge railway and canal tunnels, seeing wheelhouses to haul the spoil from the tunnels, and a number of ventilation shafts.  Given the weather, I had decided not to climb Pule Hill to the memorial, as the very steep grassy descent could have been dangerous.  Instead, now with just about no rain and wind, we followed a low level route – the Standedge Trail – paralleling the A62 back towards Marsden, with nice sunny and craggy views above us.  This soon took us back to Tunnel End, where we refreshed ourselves very pleasantly at Waters Edge café to end what Roy called ‘an interesting day’.  Thanks to all for coming, to Jean for back marking, and to Mike and Judy for their good photos in the circs.

(Write up Arnold, pics Mike, Judy & Arnold.  Appended here are the route stats and profile.)

Slideshow below, but if you wish to see a static view of the pics all in one go, then click here.

1 Comment

  1. A great walk in difficult weather conditions and clever co-ordination of photos

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