On Sunday my TrailTrekker team “The Long and the Short of It” took our first steps on the course itself. We chose a fantastically rainy and windy day to do some of the route from Malham over Fountains Fell.
We met up at the Malham visitor’s centre at 9am and spent half an hour getting all our waterproofs and gaiters sorted out. After a brief accidental detour through Malham we were off to the Cove. It started to rain as soon as we reached the top, but the view was spectacular as always. It didn’t take us long to get to Malham Tarn from there, where we had a quick pit-stop at the wildlife sanctuary.
The top of Fountains Fell was not visible through all the mist and rain, but we soldiered on anyway. Fortunately we all had good gear so we did not get too miserable. We were cursing our decision to leave the walking poles in the car after nearly falling in the mud a few times though.
Halfway up the hill Wendy felt a bit ill so she and Helen went back and got a cab back to the car. James and I carried on to the top where we were nearly blown off our feet by the howling wind.
James at the top of Fountains Fell
It wasn’t really picnic weather so we wolfed down our lunch on the way back down, where the wind wasn’t so fierce. We took the road route back to Malham. This was isn’t quite aas interesting as the route out, but I thought it would be safer given the conditions. It also provided a nice view of Malham Village and the Cove as we got nearer to the end.
The round trip was about 15 miles and took around 7 hours, and was a great day out despite the slightly bad weather.
Today was the first of our team training walks for the next year’s TrailTrekker. We wanted somewhere not too far from York and that was a little hilly. I found a good route suggestion for a walk starting in Bishop Wilton, Garrowby Circular. Our intrepid band met up in Bishop Wilton early in the morning. We also had a couple of happy and enthusiastic dogs along for the ride. I had used ViewRanger to prepare the map and put it on my iPhone. As it was a short walk I didn’t bother with paper maps and a compass, and I didn’t take any food.
The weather was chilly but sunny, and we were lucky enough that it remained like that for the whole trip. We started off from outside the Fleece Inn and started up the steep hill out of the village. It was pretty muddy on the climb and I almost slipped over more than once. At the top the going got a lot easier and it was nice walk north to Kirby Underdale.
After taking a few photos at the church we continued to Bugthorpe where we encountered the local hunt. There were a few followers that we chatted to on our way past; they seemed pretty friendly. The church was quite photogenic as well. After a quick break to grab some snacks from the local shop we continued on our way.
The road took us to the turning south along the Chalkland Way and back to Bishop Wilton. We had walked about ten miles in around three and a half hours, so we felt we had earned our lunch at the Fleece Inn.
After walking 100km in one day earlier this summer, I thought that I would never want to lace on another pair of hiking boots again. Fortunately, that feeling quickly passed and Wendy and I have had a few enjoyable hikes over the summer.
We obviously enjoyed them a bit too much, as we found ourselves signing up for another bash at the Oxfam TrailTrekker. It’s a massive commitment in time and effort, with the main aim to raise as much money as possible. As it’s traditionally a “giving” season at this time of year, I hope that quite a few people will consider donating at our Justgiving page.
We will be doing plenty of hikes as preparation for our adventure. I will of course be posting photos and maps of our outings, as well as begging for cash.