12 December 2017
Cannot believe where this year
has gone. I have not been doing much walking lately partly due to a
hamstring injury and partly due to a non-walking related project which has
occupied a lot of time. Hope to get back to it after Christmas/New Year.
However I did squeeze in "a quickie" in November from Helmsley to
On the walking front though, a
user of one of my walk routes emailed, suggesting a change, as he went
wrong. After exchanging two or three emails, I made a small change. He now
said that if he had had a map, the route would have been obvious! Er yeah!
That's the point of maps.
Please always take maps on
walks. Although my route descriptions are quite detailed and I like to think
pretty accurate, they are not intended as map substitutes. Having a map to
refer to will clarify any occasions whene there is any doubt over my (or
anybody elses) directions.
Finally for 2017, I would like
to wish all visitors to my site Seasons Greetings and thank you for your
support and lovely emails.
29 August 2017
I was recently asked for a
contribution to an article for the Raven Hall Hotel, at Ravenscar on the
East Coast of Yorkshire. The results can be seen here http://goo.gl/U7fG4d.
There is a circular walk on my website which takes you to Markenfield Hall -
7 August 2017
with others, I was recently asked by the company Gala Tent to contribute to
this article entitled "8
Breathtaking Walks in Yorkshire". . It contains some useful
information, in conjunction with links to the walks themselves.
6 August 2017, Grough Magazine reported on a call out for the Patterdale
Mountain Rescue Team, to rescue a number of walkers on the summit of
Helvellyn who were suffering hypothermia. Because of worsening weather and
the number of walkers involved, the rescue mushroomed to involve Keswick
Mountain Rescue Team and the Royal Air Force Mountain Rescue Team, plus a
helecopter - and this is AUGUST! It demonstrates that even in summer at even
the relatively modest altitude of Helvellyn, the weather should never be
taken for granted and warm clothing, waterproofs etc should always be
13 May 2017
Last Friday, I joined a walk led
by a friend of mine. There were four of us in the party. The walk involved
quite a long trek across moorland, with no clearly defined path, following a
line of boundary stones, when we could see them! Unfortunately, our leader
twisted his knee. Initially he elected to carry on but the chosen route
involved continuing this terrain to the top of a low hill then down
eventually to a track In effect, two sides of a triangle. The walking proved
very tiring and extremely boggy.
I suggested that as we were
walking over this sort of ground anyway, given the knee, it might make sense
to "walk the hypotenuse" over the moor to reduce the overall
distance. This was agreed but meant finding our way across pretty
featureless terrain in the hope of finding the end of the proper track.
Although I had my Garmin
receiver, the route was not programmed but of course it did permit an
accurate determination of where we were. Having got that far, I decided to
get out the compass and use that to navigate for a change. I could probably
have triangulated our position with the compass as there were some
identifiable rocks and the hilltop to take bearings from but not wanting to
mess about given the knee, I used the GPS to identify our position. Taking a
bearing from there on the OS map, we proceded to walk the direction
indicated. Finding markers to maintain the line was not easy, it being
heather clad moor. It was a case of selecting lighter coloured bits of grass
or particular tufts of heather and making sure I did not lose sight of them.
Each item probably 100 yards apart
After lots of wet feet, we hit
the track spot on. I don't know why I was surprised but I am always amazed
such a simple bit of kit can be so accurate. It is some time since I used a
compass in earnest, as I use the GPS mostly but it proves the worth of
carrying a map and compass.
The knee seemed much recovered
after a pint!
1 May 2017
Just returned from Shropshire.
This is my second visit there and once more I was impressed by the area.
Beautiful countryside with innumerable hills to walk. It is also a very
quiet, peaceful place. If you are looking for somewhere a bit different to
walk, without the crowds, it is well worth a visit. Expect some more
Shropshire walks on Happpy Hiker soon.
3 April 2017
As the walking season starts to
get seriously under way it is worth a reminder about the fast approaching
2026 deadline, when public Rights of Way which are not recorded on the
Definitive Map held by each local authority, will cease to be Rights of Way,
in accordance with the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 (the 'CROW'
Act). Although 2026 seems a long time away, in reality, relative to the
importance of ensuring all historically used ROW are recorded, it is
Although it is perhaps expecting
a lot for people to check the local authority maps at random, it is
important at least that if you know of, or come across, any historically
used paths which are not recorded on an Ordnance Survey map, that you check
the Definitive Map. Once we get past 2026, it will be too late and any
unrecorded paths will be lost forever!
More information on The
Ramblers website plus what
to do if you know of such a path.
3 March 2017
I have lost
count of the number of mountain rescues which have occurred this year due to
people getting lost because they did not have a map or compass and/or were
relying on navigation with a mobile phone which failed for some reason, or
were caught out by bad conditions. The latest were a couple stranded on
Sharp Edge because ice conditions were worse than expected. They were too
scared to continue and phoned for rescue.
all the Mountain Rsecue Teams are volunteers and their lives shpould not be
put at risk just because you choose to venture to risky places, or in bad
weather conditions, without the right skills and equipment. Always - as
in really always - have a 1:25000 Ordnance Survey map with you and a
compass and know how to use them. If there is snow and ice on high peaks, do
not venture on to them without crampons and ice axes. Do not take silly
chances. The mountains will still be there another day.
10 February 2017
Just returned from a holiday in
Chile. It was somewhat "full on" as including the flights there,
we had 9 flights in a fortnight! The country is over 2,600 miles long, so in
a limited time, flying is the only practical way of seeing iis best parts.
The scenery ranges from glaciers and the most amazing mountains in the
south, a more temperate climate, similar to England, with green pastures etc
in the Lake District to the Atacama Desert in the north. The latter is
exceptionally arid but has a large geothermal area with spectacular geysers.
The capital Santiago is in the centre, a huge city. On the coast is Valparaíso,
a somewhat dilapidated city following a massive earthquake in 1906 and
virtual abandonment following this and its decline as a port after the
Panama Canal opened. However it has had something of a revival after the
historic quarter of Valparaíso was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
definitely worth a visit!
22 January 2017
Now completed all the
ascent/descent figures to help assess walking times for the Cumbria and
plus some other popular walks.
7 January 2017
Slowly progressing with the
addition of ascent/descent figures to help assess walking times on my Walking
Ramblers Scotland are mounting a
campaign to get Ordnance Survey to properly map the main footpaths of
Scotland. If you have ever looked at an OS map for Scotland you will know
that marked paths are few and far between yet on the ground there are lots.
You can add your support by visiting http://goo.gl/a6N1MQ
2 January 2017
The New Year got off to a good start with the
following lovely email from James, on 1st January.
Hey John, I wanted to thank you for the
information on your website.
We are here in Lanzarote for the second time and found your website.
It’s a fantastic resource and we have
walked about 4 of the walks.
Thanks very much.
If you are ever up in Scotland drop me a
Although it has been suggested
to me more than once that I should have a "Testemonials" page, I
do not post them, as it smacks too much of conceit. However as this was at
the very begining of the year, I thought I would make an exception. I have
replied directly (as I always do) but thanks again James.
If you recycle your Christmas
Cards at M&S, for every 1000 they get, they will plant a tree, in
partnership with the Woodland Trust.
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.