Thursday, May 31, 1984


We took the riverside path via Syke House Farm to Stonesdale and from there, a walled track onto the moor beyond.

The weather was hot and sweaty but I insisted that we conquer Pinshaw’s summit: I have a fascination for the high, remote places, the lone outcrops of limestone that stand bare at the sky’s edge. So we plunged off the path and trudged uphill, the hillside looking steeper than it actually was. We paused behind a wall to eat dinner.

Near the summit we passed large rabbit warrens, the springy and park-short grass littered with droppings, the summit plateau itself a windswept platform of shale and limestone. We added to the summit cairn and spelled out our initials with rocks like others had done before us, and I picked up a piece of shale as a memento. We didn’t stay for long as the wind whipped fiercely and it was very cold.

On the way down we struck off through heather until the danger of crushing a grouse’s nest forced us to find clearer routes. Our descent towards Acorn Clough was gradual, and we stopped at a remote limekiln and quarry and a spot where the road fords a stream that was thick with trippers who fed and photographed the sheep.

From there it was a short walk along the road—verges alive with tadpoles—towards Kearshaw and Acorn Clough itself. The ruined and forlorn Acorn Smelt Mill was more evidence of Calverdale’s industrial past. It was a leisurely trip back down the road to Kearshaw and Friar Beck.

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