A Walk Below Penhill 23 June 2011

Posted by Swaledale Outdoor Club on 2011-06-23

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An alluring moment might include waking to rays of sunshine bursting through the bedroom curtains, the enticing sound of a blackbird's morning serenade and the prospect of a walk on the sunbaked uplands of Penhill.

The morning of Thursday 23 June was nothing like that.

Instead, the pain of rain against the pane is an invitation to dive beneath the duvee.

However, ten hardy souls, who perhaps had nothing better to do, met at West Burton with the intention of climbing Penhill. The journey to our meeting place took place beneath a deluge.  Penhill was a point on the map rather than a visual reference. What is the collective noun for a gathering of insane hikers? Nevertheless, I am always struck by the unswerving optimism of hikers for whom things will always get better. My glass is always half-full at some point too but it always continues towards diminishing returns.

Be that as it may, Glenys had mapped out an alternative route before leaving home. Perhaps fortune smiles on the good and the mad but weather prospects improved and we enjoyed a brisk walk along the river to Wensley Bridge and a short climb above Bolton Hall as far as Preston-under-Scar; then a descent back down to the river and a return to West Burton - seven and a half miles of pleasant, occasionally soggy walking in good company and celebrated by passable ale in the Fox and Hounds. Not bad; glad I didn't stay in bed after all.

Graham Rogers

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