Roseberry Topping

RoseberryI’m sitting with a few chums on the outside of half a gallon of Golden Pippin discussing the week. I’m being congratulated on my ascent of the Yorkshire Matterhorn when George Renwick says he’s been thinking of ‘doing’ Roseberry himself. Before you know it we’re checking respective diaries for Monday and get 6 positives. So that’s why I’m sitting on the drive picking Tony Malone up and phoning Pete Hymer to let him know we’ll be with him in 20 minutes.

We arrive at the car park and quickly check the route that George has planned, a far more sensible one than the one that I used last week which very nearly required crampons!

The weather has improved and we see glimpses of blue as the sun burns the cloud and we set off along the lane that leads us directly to the woods. The length and slope of the lane is perfect to gently raise our heart rate and by the time we reach the woods everything is ticking along nicely.

We pass a narrow and winding stream with some still patches between the rapids. There are mallard ducks, or rather, drakes, resplendent in full spring plumage. They always make me smile when they quack and this morning is no different except, at this distance, you see their bills move, then, just a millisecond later, the quack can be heard. It looks and sounds surreal and I mention it to Tony who goes in to full expert ornithologist mode. “Oh yes”, says he, “It’s called premature equackulation, the drakes don’t like to talk about it and the ducks get very frustrated…”

We continue along an ascending track that leads us through the wood across surface roots that anchor huge trees and double their value by holding the clay in place to maintain our path. The wonderful sunshine has triggered the trees into bud and everything is looking fresh and new.

We emerge short of breath but feeling good at the tree line, there’s a seat perfectly placed for us to catch our breath and wait for the others to catch up. Disturbingly, it has a couple of phrases usually read out at funerals but we take a seat there anyway.

This route is decidedly better than the one that I took last week. Although a little longer, it’s not as steep and the lack of wind makes it feel more comfortable still.

We reach the “Folly” and take a few snaps and take the opportunity to admire the view. We really do live in a beautiful part of the world and it costs nothing to walk.

There is little conversation as we ascend, the going is a little more steep than the initial ascent and rather more ‘stepped’ than ‘sloping’. We take a couple of breaks on this more challenging third but this gives us even more chance to take in the views.

At the top there are half a dozen others people taking a break and enjoying the views. We take more pictures and take a break.

A decision is made to go back the way I had come the previous week. It shouldn’t be quite as challenging going down although some parts towards the top are somewhat wet.

I step down and I’m asked what it’s like down there. “Moist”, I replied to the amusement of all.

We make our way down the extremely steep and stepped trail and listen to the reminiscences of our chums at the back which revolve around romances from some time ago from one and regrets about missed opportunities from the other! We’ll say no more 🙂

We return to the car park delighted with the outing. 3.3km (about 2 miles) but ascending about 300metres (1000 feet). We did it in just under two hours and we took our time.


1 thought on “Roseberry Topping”

  1. As always a fantastic recount of the day George, I foresee a book with all the rude bits in.


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