9th April – Heptonstall to Ickornshaw

20190409 Cross Inn Heptonstall
The Cross Inn, Heptonstall

Unfortunately Wyn had twisted his knee yesterday so we set out knowing that we had a long and difficult day ahead of us.

20190409 May's Alladdin's Cave
May’s Aladdin’s Cave

We left the Cross Inn (recommended) at 7.50 with no lunch.  Fortunately May’s Aladdin’s Cave at High Gate opens at 7.00 so we could load up with food.

20190409 Wyn crossing Heptonstall Moor
Wyn crossing Heptonstall Moor

Suitably weighed down we crossed Heptonstall Moor and dropped down to Gorple Lower Reservoir, quickly followed by the Walshaw Reservoirs.  Well – maybe not quickly – but we got past them.

20190409 Walshaw Dean Middle Reservoir
Neil at Walshaw Dean Middle Reservoir

Then came a long slog over Withins Height End to drop down to Top Withins, which is supposedly associated with Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights.  We stopped briefly for lunch.

20190409 Top Withins - Wuthering Heights
Top Withins – Wuthering Heights?

Returning to the fray, we descended to Ponden Reservoir and began the interminable climb over Ickornshaw Moor.

20190409 Canoe rescues in Ponden Reservoir
Canoe rescues on Ponden Reservoir

By now Wyn was finding the rough trail very tough in both ascent and descent.  Steep slopes were encountered at Further Dean Hole and Eller Hill before finally we could drop down to Ickornshaw arriving at 6.50.

20190409 Steep climb above Ponden Reservoir
Yet another steep climb…

Winterhouse Barn B&B was a very welcome sight and I had volunteered to go on to Cowling and get fish and chips for dinner.  Disaster: the shop closed at 7.00!   Our wonderful hosts immediately volunteered to take us to a local pub and collect us when we were ready.  By 7.30 we were in the pub rehydrating on the local ales and trying the local delicacies.

Once back at Winterhouse Barn, we basically collapsed after a very long day.  Wyn had been a trooper all day, never complaining but just keeping on going.  A gutsy performance.

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