Forum WALK - Todmorden to Stoodley Pike (plus optional second hill) - Sat, 22nd May, 2021

ColinJ

Puzzle game developer
I've just been reminded by @potsy that I promised to organise a post-lockdown forum walk, so this is what I have come up with...

Lockdown restrictions in England are planned to be eased on 17th May. Let's make it the Saturday following that... Assuming all is well then, the walk will take place on Saturday, 22nd May. Let's pencil in Saturday, 29th May as a reserve date in case of crappy weather on the 22nd. Stoodley Pike is at 400 metres above sea level and very exposed, so you don't want to be walking up there in foul conditions. Well, even if you are mad enough to want to, I don't! :laugh:

We did something similar in 2013 but that was from Hebden Bridge. I have moved, so this one will start and finish in Todmorden, very close to the railway station, bus station, and car parking. I don't know how long the walk will take us. The longest variation of the route is 15 km (9.5 miles) with 2 big hills so I could easily see it being, say, 6+ hours?

Details of Todmorden car parks HERE. You may be able to find somewhere to park free if you can be bothered to drive around checking for spaces but that is up to you. The Halifax Rd car park is right behind the meeting place, usually has empty spaces, and would cost you £5.40 to get you through to 18:00, after which time it is free. We shouldn't be getting back that late, but why risk a parking fine for a couple of quid difference?

Meet at these benches on the Halifax Rd in the centre of Todmorden at about 09:50, and aiming to set off at 10:00.

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We will start with an 8.3 km (5-and-a-bit miles) walk up to Stoodley Pike and thenceforth down to the valley bottom. The Pike is a splendid monument built to commemorate the defeat of Napoleon in 1814/1815. There are fantastic views from its viewing platform, accessible by an enclosed spiral stone staircase. It is very dark in there, so I suggest that you bring a small torch since we will definitely be having a photo-opportunity up there.

Here's a map (and elevation profile) of the first half of the route.

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From there I will give you a choice of 3 routes back into the centre of town...

The easiest of the 3 choices (in case of the weather turning bad or legs packing up) is to simply walk 3 km (2 miles) back along the Rochdale canal towpath. I haven't bothered with including that on the map, because if you can't follow a towpath, then you definitely wouldn't understand the map! :laugh:

The return leg options:
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The energetic option (highlighted in purple) is to walk up to Great Rock on the opposite side of the valley. That is in another commanding position, with fantastic views. By the time we get up there we would have done most of the climbing. We would then continue on a gentle climb to the second summit, before a rapid descent to the town centre. That option is 7 km (4.5 miles) in length.

The final, 'intermediate' option for the return leg (highlighted in blue) is via Cross Stone - somewhere between the other 2 options in length and ascent. It is still very nice and has great views, but it would be quicker and easier than going via Great Rock. This option is 4.8 km (3 miles) in length

So...15.3 kms (9.5 miles) with 2 big hills, 13.1 km (8 miles) with 1.5 big hills, or 11.3 kms (7 miles) with just 1 hill.

You need to be hill-walking fit but don't need to be super-fit - we will not be fell-running!

There is absolutely nowhere en route to buy food or drink, so make sure that you carry enough to last you all day.

If anyone wants to hang about for a while afterwards to refuel we can buy goodies from Lidl (or one of the takeaways) on the Halifax Road and go and sit on a grassy area behind the car park by the meeting place.

If you are interested, post below!
 
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potsy

Rambler
Location
My Armchair
Go on then, I suppose I should show some interest :okay:
I can only do the Saturday though, back in work after a 12 day break on the Sunday...
 
OP
ColinJ

ColinJ

Puzzle game developer
I could do other dates too, but the trouble is once you give 10 or 15 people 5 or 6 choices you end up with a nightmare!

PS Backup date now Saturday, 29th May.
 
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OP
ColinJ

ColinJ

Puzzle game developer
I can only do the Saturday though, back in work after a 12 day break on the Sunday...
The following Saturday (29th May) is now the backup date.

If we started the walk but the weather then turned nasty we could all walk back along the canal after coming down from Stoodley Pike. It would still be a good stroll, but it would be nice to get the second hill in too if we can.
 
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ColinJ

ColinJ

Puzzle game developer
Going to take in Cornholme on the walk
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leeds-56948184
nudge, nudge, wink,wink ....
Ha ha - we were discussing that in another thread a couple of days ago!

We won't be going over that way though the second hilly bit heads in that direction for a while before dropping back down into Tod.

I cycled up the first part of the initial climb out of Tod this afternoon, through a hidden part of the town that I have very rarely been to. It got very steep just before it fizzled out into a bridleway. I nearly got up it but my front wheel lifted twice and I decided that was enough of a warning for me! It's amazing how going just a few hundred metres up a steep hillside can give a completely different feel to a place. You would barely be able to tell that there is a fairly busy A-road below you, and from some positions the rest of the town was not visible either.

I have been tweaking my initial routes. The original descent to the valley floor from Stoodley Pike wasn't bad but emerged at the back of some grotty industrial buildings. I remembered an alternative that I used to do on my mountain bike which goes down through some nice woods instead. That alternative descent brings us out slightly closer to Hebden Bridge so I have chosen an alternative way up the second climb. I took pictures on the way up that a few years ago when testing my CAADX.

We start here for climb #2...
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We'll be ok because we won't be driving. It isn't a public road. Honest, it isn't. Don't believe your SatNav - it is lying to you. FFS, ARE YOU LISTENING? DON'T DRIVE UP THERE!!! :laugh:

2/3 of the way up...
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Ooh, steep! We will have walked right to left along the ridge opposite to Stoodley Pike and then come almost straight down the hillside towards the camera. The base of the Pike is at about 400 m whereas the valley floor below is only at about 125 m.

Then, just below Great Rock...
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The climb convinced me that I needed lower gears so I changed the bike's lowest gear from 36/30 to 34/36.

From Great Rock, at 309 m, there is very gradual rise to the second summit at 364 m.

The route back into town is almost straight down the hillside for a couple of kms, and then there is a flat stroll for just under 1 km to get to the town centre. At the end of the walk we can opt to say our goodbyes there and then OR buy supplies from Lidl and sit by the canal OR try Wetherspoons OR buy supplies from Aldi and go to the park.
 
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ColinJ

ColinJ

Puzzle game developer
A *bump* and a tagging to remind @colly about this walk.

I have decided to change the backup date to the following Saturday (29th May). The train and bus services are comparatively poor on Sundays and somebody might not want to drive over.

Actually, where are the eager hordes of walkers!? At the moment there are only 4 of us, maybe 5 with colly. It would nice to add a few more.

I might try to work out a shorter version of the second hill, though if we go all the way up to Great Rock there isn't much point in cutting out the easy high up bit. We would lose the fantastic views, only reduce the distance by a couple of kms, and hardly reduce the overall ascent.
 
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ColinJ

ColinJ

Puzzle game developer
I just got my appointment for my second Covid jab - it is a couple of days before the walk. I had no ill effects whatsoever from the first jab, so I'm hoping the same will be true this time. I have heard that some people can feel very rough for a few days after the second one though and if that happened to me then we might have to go to the backup date. I'd be surprised though.
 

Julia9054

Guru
Location
Knaresborough
I just got my appointment for my second Covid jab - it is a couple of days before the walk. I had no ill effects whatsoever from the first jab, so I'm hoping the same will be true this time. I have heard that some people can feel very rough for a few days after the second one though and if that happened to me then we might have to go to the backup date. I'd be surprised though.
Al felt rough after his first jab but no ill effects from his second which was last Thursday. We walked a hilly 9 miles on Sunday.
 
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ColinJ

ColinJ

Puzzle game developer
Was talking about this walk today whilst I was out walking with coffejo, she says hi :hello:
I was thinking about her after reading the old walk threads. I thought she lived down in Somerset or somewhere like that? Nice that you two kept in touch... Er, I say 'Hi' back! :okay:

If anybody wants to bring a dog (that is fit enough to cope with the walk!), that would be fine by me, but remember - it is lambing season, so hounds should be kept on leads at all times.

This happened not far from where we will be walking...
A friend was out walking with his girlfriend and her dog. They came to a gate with a large sign on it saying "Lambing season - all dogs must be kept on a lead" He went to put the dog on its lead but his girlfriend said that it wasn't necessary, he was a good dog, blah blah blah, and opened the gate!

The dog started barking and ran straight towards some pregnant ewes. The next minute, a red-faced farmer carrying a shotgun appeared and screamed that he was going to shoot the dog. The girlfriend started crying and my pal risked his life to run after the dog and get it under control while the farmer was loading the shotgun. They dragged the dog away with the farmer threatening to kill it on sight if it happened again.
:eek:

(What I didn't mention in the original 'angry farmer post' was that he shouted at my friend that a dog had ripped the throats out of 2 of his ewes the week before. He wasn't just some rural nutjob!)
 
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