Malham trip . . .


While we squeezed into the Workerbus Mr. Taylor, who was leading our small party, fumbled with the gears. After a slow start we began to pick up speed, and were on our way to Malham, the so-called Hiking village of Yorkshire. Among the senior members of the group were myself, Mark Watson. Hugh Kempson, Mark Birkbeck and Ralph Neal, and though there were half a dozen more their names have slipped my memory. We had taken what some people might call a packed lunch from the kitchen, and most of us ended up buying our own fortification at the local cafe. Our object of the day was to climb Malham cove, the easy way, then walk over the moors and eventually finish by going down Goredale Scar, which has claimed so many lives in the past.
Once in Malharn Mr. Taylor, not too successfully, tried to keep us out of the pub, and much to the joy of myself and some of the others Neal succeeded in obtaining a drop of the hard stuff, which came in very handy once it began to get cold. At one o'clock we trudged out of Malharn to the bottom of Malharn cove, where the well known underground river springs to life. This proved to be very interesting to the Geology students in our party.
As we made our way up the slope the surrounding countryside became clearer. It was decided to stop for lunch on the top. Some of us, lucky ones who had brought a thermos of coffee, ended up by handing it round to the others, who were starting to feel the cold. To make it clear I will state now that it had snowed the night before and on top of the hills was an inch of snow. We started off over the hills in two or three parties. I stayed by Neal and the bottle. It turned out to be a long walk to the top of Goredale Scar but by mid-afternoon our small party reached the point of descent. We heard distant cries from below, and found that Birkbeck and Kempson were already at the bottom.

So we started to descend. It was then that it happened.
As we made our way down the narrow track to the hardest part of the descent I waited at the top to let a climber coming up pass me. On reaching me, he stopped and started to talk about various things. After a few minutes of chatting, he said, "Those aren't the things to wear when you come climbing, you slip dead easy on them. If you slip here, you roll down the bank then go over the edge and finally end up by landing on the rocks, two hundred feet below." He then went on to say that if I tripped when I was further down, it would be just straight forward over the edge into the stream below. Well, that was it for me. As a person who doesn't like heights anyhow I turned back and struck across the hills to the road. I managed to thumb a lift in a bubble car to Malham.
After about an hour's wait the others turned up at the cafe, cold and hungry. We stayed for half an hour while Mr. Taylor tucked into poached eggs. We arrived back at school in time for second tea after spending our drive back singing the well known folk songs. In all a very enjoyable and mixed day.