13-Jan-2009 -- After the successful visit to 54°N 1°W two days ago I had some free time before the training course would start for the day: By leaving the hotel at 07:00 I calculated I would have enough time to visit this point.
The morning drive along A59 to Embsay reservoir was supposed to take 55 minutes according to my Garmin, but with all the traffic, particularly the many large trucks, it took closer to 90, so it was 08:33 before I got out of the car.
From the car park most visitors seems to have used several hours on the round trip, but with a possible 90 minutes for the return drive, I could only afford to spend an hour on the hike, so I left my big camera behind and started running with just GPS and Nokia cell phone camera.
I had looked very closely at Gordon and Dave's (two of my fellow project coordinators) visit to this point, and realized that I had to try to follow the most efficient route, but that the direct line would not be the fastest due to all the dead groundcover: Instead I found some trails that seemed to have been made by people on mountain bikes going down the hillside, and this lead me quickly up to the moor proper.
Up here most of the bracken and heather had been grazed down by all the sheep, but the last 500 m, after climbing a steep but relatively short hillside was still quite strenuous since the sheep had stayed away from this area.
As noted by the previous visitors, the actual point is in the middle of some pretty wet marshland, and since it had rained steadily for my entire trip, I was very glad that I was wearing studded orienteering shoes that don't suck up too much water, and don't tend to get stuck in mud either.
I had really excellent GPS reception, with 12 sats including full EGNOS coverage, so except for the fog that was covering everything it was quite a nice trip actually!
Total roundtrip time was just 44 minutes (25 min up, 4 at the point and 15 to get down again), so I got back in the car and made it back to York with time to spare.
When we went out for lunch half an hour later we could see the results of the recent rain: The river had flooded, rising about 2 m in a few hours, so it was already overflowing the riverside restaurant tables!