Thursday 9 April
The plan of attack this morning was to try to get up and down Hoove and through the Tan Hill Road before the closure kicked in (it’s a one-day closure, for today only). The plan failed, in that we didn’t make it to the road in time, but by 7.45 we had, in the glorious glow of a clear-skied early morning, been up and down Hoove.
“A horrible hill” was Mick’s verdict, which I thought a little harsh. It was one of those completely featureless ones, with a plateau large and flat enough that it’s impossible to discern the highest point with the eye alone. Our approach probably didn’t show off the hill to its best advantage either, as we yomped pathlessly from the North Yorkshire/County Durham border, through tussocks, bog and heather.
Perversely, we probably doubled our total ascent for the outing on our way back to Colin. Having ascended a slightly longer route so as to keep to the higher ground, we returned via a more direct route, taking in the dips and climbs. Even so, it was still a very modest outing, at 2.5 miles with just over 200’ of up.
Having driven around the houses (but not as around the houses as expected as it turned out that yesterday’s road closure at Gunnerside had re-opened), and paused for second breakfast at the top of Butter Tub Pass, off to Gayle, and a little beyond, we trundled, to a place which is probably not a common starting point for an ascent of Dodd Fell Hill.
Another period of pathless yomping through bog and tussock saw us to the top of the hill, where we met a SOTA (amateur radio) chap just reeling away an impressive meterage of wire, whilst he and Mick talked radio frequencies and we chatted about various hills.
With the day being young (it wasn’t even a quarter past eleven yet!), we didn’t do an about turn on the summit, but rather we turned westward to drop down to the Pennine Way before picking up the road above Oughtershaw Side. It’s just a pity that the day, which had started out so clear and sunny had become so hazy, obscuring the views down the valleys.
With no more hills on the agenda today, by twenty past noon we were at leisure to spend the rest of the afternoon with our feet up and reading our books … except for our planned amble into Hawes later to pick up some supplies and eat chips.
(2.5 miles, 200’; 4.8 miles, 500’)