Thursday, December 31, 2009

A crunchy stroll at Frogatt

A change of plan from a walk at Longshaw due to the snow and steep drive down to the car park. we decided to carry on and park up near the Grouse Inn. We enjoyed scrunching across the fields past a snow castle with turrets and made our way down a icy path to Froggatt Edge searching for polar bears, Keisha enjoyed posing for photos and then took over as the photographer. We made our way back to the car and went to the Moorlands for lunch before returning for an afternoon of watching sleeping beauty. Happy New Year

Chatsworth - Far from the Madding Crowd

It was a joy at Chatsworth today, to see it in the icy snow with the sun gleaming on it with no crowds. A refreshing change from the crowds of people and cars that litter the place in the summer. We met up with some friends in the car park at Baslow and walked up through the gate to Chatsworth. This caused great excitment as it was a large round metal cage which whirled round. We took a meander over to the house,Post Optionsthe children running and climbing on various tree trunks and wooden showjumps. We stopped at the bolted gates and shared some christmas chocolate treats before heading back home to share a meal with friends.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Waxing Moon at Linacre

Enjoyed this view of the moon whilst out for a stroll at Linacre it was quite blustery and the wind chill made it most shiverous! That did not stop us from having a good time.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Boxing Day at Birchens

Boxing day saw us shaking off the cobwebs and our christmas lunch. We met some friends at the carpark next to the Robin Hood Pub and greeted them with mulled wine and had some lovely homemade sausage rolls. Cameron and Keisha led the way and did some grand footwork making their way up to Nelson's monument, they enjoyed the obligatory climbing when we got to the top and then we made our way down the crag and back to the car. We all enjoyed getting a breath of fresh air with great company.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Fairholmes and Stumbling on Aircraft Wrecks

I've made a lot of visits to the Fairholmes area and I'd contemplated walking in the White Peak this weekend. I received a text from Gavin suggesting meeing up at Fairholmes at 0955. There has been a lot of rain and the weaher this sunday much brighter and clearer .

We caught the 0910 bus and started our walk from Kings Tree. After the bridge at slippery stones we headed north east up broadhead clough (SK171962 ) . We were both surprised to find aircraft wreckage from a Consul TR-RPM, Icelandic Airline, which crashed near Crow Stone Edge,12th April 1951.

Aircraft wrecks web site - with information about consul

Peakwreck hunters blog entry

Crowstones edge Consul aircraft wreck location

Crosses have been placed to remember the 2 crew and 1 passenger killed by this accident. Built by Armstrong-Siddley we saw the remains of one of the twin engines as well as evidence of the timber airframe (shown in the pictures below) . Information on the AS Consul at Wikipedia

We made quick progress on to Crow stones edge.

Progress from Crow Stones edge was slower as we headed across boggy ground to horse stone naze at points sinking above our knees into the quagmire!
We dropped down from the horse stone in the direction of Coldwell clough. After an exciting leap of faith across the river Derwent we headed up Fairbanks and stopped for lunch at a suitably dry spot.

Time had marched on remarkably quickly we reluctantly decided to head upto Round Hill and drop down directly to the excellent "West End" track which starts at SK140955. Our talk of Munro bagging trips and a White Peak extravaganza meant that we rejected the returning bus from Fairholmes (we need to get fit). It was good to see the Howden Dam, the Derwent dam
and walk through Birchenlee village. (known as tin town the town constructed to house the builders of the derwent dams).

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween Exploration of the Burbage Valley

Halloween provided an excellent theme for a walk along the Burbage valley. We started out from the fiddlers elbow car park at SK260829. On our arrival visibility was poor and mist was hanging in the valley in suitably spooky style for the days walk.

We headed from the car park and attempted to find a path that closely follows the Burbage valley. We ended up walking across a lot of rough ground, which for K was a lot of fun, she was eagar to lead the way. Her foot work was excellent particularly when we had to do two river crossings which added to our fun. Following a theme similar to Dora the Explorer we focused on three features of our walk spooky forest, troll bridge and haunted castle (Carl Wark iron age hill fort). We all enjoyed scrambling over the rocks on Higger Tor both K and Amanda let out a cheer when they reached the top of Higger Tor.We had a quick snack near the bridge, we didn't find any trolls! However, we found something for the Halloween pot! Fortunately for this frog it hopped off fairly quickly. K enjoyed shouting "Happy Halloween" and other things and listening to the echo which had probably bounced off Burbage edge.

The walk was very satisfying. L enjoyed wobbling around in his back carrier and grabbing branches as we wandered through the wooded Burbage valley. Keisha enjoyed so many aspects travelling cross country, river crossings and scrambling over the rocks. Her treat for completing a 3 mile trail will be a new rucksack. K will certainly benefit from this as she enjoys packing her snacks and appreciates the need for suitable clothing in the outdoor environment.

It took a while to cover our 2.25 mile route but we had time for some Halloween preparations after pumpkin carving and a trick or treating we met our friends at the Ogden water sailing club for a fun packed Halloween party with fireworks and lots of games including bandaging the mummy. Millie provided an execellent mummy candidate.

The Halloween party at the Ogden reservoir sailing club was great fun unfortunately the new beer they have on goes to your head... just take a look at Bryce!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Adventurers at Birchens

Three young adventurers went for a scramble at Birchen edge. Liam and Keisha were jogging along the path in their eagerness to scramble on the rocks at Birchens. At a suitable point, not far from the routes known as the Emma's we all ascended the crag and with great elation we arrived at the top in sight of nelsons monument. It was great to see that my two young adventurers were so happy with their achievement. Excellent scrambling by all.
We clambered on to the top of the rock named royal sovreign and at the top shouted victory. It was excellent to enjoy see my sister and my nephew Liam. We have plans to return with a rope and attempt some of the routes at Birchens. Its encouraging to see that young Liam is developing a wonderful level of competency with his information technology skills, he showed me his web site and his newspaper which I'm looking forward to seeing. We also had a good chat about doctor who and Liam showed us the Dr Who trailer maker web site.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A very late indian summer in North Yorkshire

We decided we needed a late break away and so booked a cottage on keldlands farm with a lovely hot tub on the decking. On the website it looked great in reality it was even better. It was fantastic, very comfortable with great facilities and was a real working farm with horses and cows much to the children's and our delight. The first day we visited Pickering and went to a lovely restaurant for lunch.
Tuesday saw us wake up to the pouring rain and after considering quite a few wet weather options we all decided we wanted to go on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, we arrived at the Pickering Station to be great site of the steam engines puffing out smoke. We travelled to Grosmont and return. At Grosmont, we visited the engine sheds and Mike got very excited about the art of steam engineering, must get that from his Grandpa Frank. On the return, they made friends with some other children and had great fun, with Louis walking up and down the train. It was a great day and the weather made no difference to the day. We went home and climbed in the hot tub and it was thoroughly enjoyed by all.
We woke up Wednesday to brilliant sunshine and went to Whitby, enjoyed visiting the old port and the shamble lanes. There was a man singing shanties with a clever contraption working a pupppet called Naughty Nelly. There was a grand tall ship in called the Grand Turk. Whitby was very crowded and busy and so we headed south past Robin Hood Bay (saving for a day when we can have a great walk in to it) and went down to Scarborough, once on the beach with the sun shining we proceeded to build sandcastles and they both had great fun paddling in the waves.
Thursday the birthday girl was treated to a day out at Flamingoland, she still remains an adrenaline junkie and wanted to go on all the rides, even those that went upside down and she was too small for. Highlights of the day included the runaway train, the sealion show and the Postman Pat show. It was great, lovely sunshine and very few people there so no queuing and rides to ourselves. We got back to our cottage and Keisha was treated to a bareback horseride on Raffles which was fantastic fun. We then had a birthday bbq on the decking, birthday cake and another soak in the hot tub.
Sadly Friday saw us going home, with a last goodbye to the horses, we stopped at the visitors centre at Sutton Bank sadly we had to leave a walk down to the fairy cave for another day. We stopped in an old village pub on the way back for a lovely lunch with the dogs curled up singeing their fur on the lovely fire.
A great holiday we will be back for more

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Wander Around Bleaklow

Bleaklow hill is a wonderful area of the peak district moorland I started a walk from where the doctors gate path meets the Snake pass GR SK096928. Its approximately 2.5 miles to Bleaklow hill from here. Heading northeast across the moor to Grains in the Water I headed onto Bleaklow hill walking north along the side of alport head.

There were no paths on this part of the route and I enjoyed this excellent opportunity to wander aimlessley across the open moor. I was reminded of a night time navigation exercise with a friend practising for mountain leader training. There some good features to locate. Such as the cabin at SK103936 nearby there is a small weather station. Another good feature to locate is the waterfall at crooked clough.

I continued the route from bleaklow hill by heading west to bleaklow head and stopping for lunch at the Wain stones. From the Wain stones the route headed west following the northern edge of the Yellow slacks valley.

I descended almost to Glossop village at GR SK054950 at this point I met a group of people with their dogs cautiously making there way back to Glossop. Their caution was due to a Highland cattle bullock with one slightly damaged horn. I managed to gently and calmy herd the beast with my walking pole it was actually quite placid. Clearly caution is best exercised when dogs are involved.

At this point in the route I had lost a lot of height this had to be regained in my picturesque return rout along the track of the roman road on the path known as doctors gate.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Cressbrook and Water-cum-Jolly

We started at cressbrook mill, this was one of Richard Arkwrights mills built in 1785, today it is converted to residences. We walked along millers dale.
ordance survey map Water-cum-jolly is a most picturesque dale we always have fun today was very dry there were quite a few climbers. However, rubicon wall is so over hung that it's not a bad place for bouldering in the wet. On wet days we've come down in wellies and enjoyed splashing around.

The weather was very sunny and the temperature just right this was a good thing for people participating in a race that was going through the dale Keisha and Louis clapped the runners along the way. We enjoyed munching at blackberries and watching the swans, with some of the cygnets struggling with the miniature wiers across the river Wye.

We finished our walk with a drink at D's teastop.

links with walks and pictures

Friday, September 4, 2009

Winn Hill for adults only bliss!!

Wednesday morning saw us in a unique position, a chance to walk on our own, we quickly got ready and got to the Yorkshire Bridge in Bamford for 0900. We quickly booted up, its amazing how quickly you can exit the car with only the two of you. The sun was hiding as we made our way across to the start of the walk up some wooden steps and then on up the winding steep path alongside the stream up Parkin clough, it was very wet and muddy underfoot. The walk up was amazing as the stream was surrounded by the most lush vegetation looking quite different from other occasions. We then came to the win hill plantation and made our way up through the trees. A great path has been laid beyond taking us onwards and upwards to the triangulation post on the top of win hill. The weather had steadily become bleak as we reached the top. It was lovely to be out on our own. The 360 degree views were stunning marred only by castleton cement works and quarry which always look so ugly on the landscape and are the first thing you view on reaching the top. A real blot on the landscape. The views of the ladybower reservoir more than make up for it and I had forgotten how lovely it was to be so high and looking down on the peak district. The moors are so rich in purple with the heather at the moment which lay like a thick purple carpet beneath us. We wound our way around Winn Hill and down through the thick heather, and picked up the path through the forest which was heavily covered in pines and extremely muddy underfoot which made me glad I had taken my walking sticks. The walk back took us along the side of the reservoir and a good view over towards Bamford edge.The sun began to shine and we remarked on how many different wildflowers there were around. We finished up our walk and visited The Peacock on Owler Bar for some well earned lunch.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Peak District Misadventure?

I enjoyed a run over Gardom and Birchen edges this morning, the Robin Hood car park was already packed. Birchen edge was drying out nicely awaiting the hordes of eager climbers on this August bank holiday monday. I found the run quite easy, the few runs I have been doing are paying off.

On returning home we got ready fairly quickly and Keisha had time to make cookies
we left the house with the intention of heading to Lathkill dale. Our departure from home was late and there was the usual bank holiday volume of visitors, enjoying the Peak District, on a day off from work. We decided that this little trip was poorly planned and re-thought our ideas. This was somewhat disappointing as we were all looking forward to getting out.

We decided to return home and do some jobs around the garden, our first stop was the Pump Inn (photograph on geograph) at Barlow. Barlow is a lively Derbyshire village on the edge of the Peak district a focal annual event is the well dressing and carnival dring August. This turned out to be a great idea we enjoyed a excellent food in a most relaxing environment.

Afterwards Keisha and Louis enjoyed playing outside in the beer garden with it's playground.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Linacre woodland festival

The Linacre woodland festival was a day of fun for both adults and children. We enjoy the carvings on our regular visits and its great to see them being produced. There we were some excellent demonstrations of modern forestry techniques from plank making, chainsaw and tree management. It was good to see all of the crafts many of the stool holders are passionate about their crafts and encourage you to be interested.

We were all entranced by the songs, stories, jokes and wisdom of the Greenman. As well as teaching recognition of the different trees in the woods. He was talking about the benefits of rowan berry juice and the use of sloe berries. For those like ourselves who are curious about the Green man here are some interesting leads.

There was plenty to try and see from Harry Potter magic wands to making your own stick creatures. There is also the opportunity to try wood turning using a pole lathe.
The photograph above shows someone making a Besom. Besom making this is basically the art of broom stick making. An excellent account is provided by one of the stall holders a traditional wood turner from Edale. As a result of writing this entry I found some interesting discussion forums covering a range of outdoor and bushcraft topics for example food, crafts and survival skills. Linacre forest
has excellent walks and provides a great location for a run.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Fungi fun at Birchen Edge

An evening walk to Birchen edge included finding an abundance of interesting fungi, watching the climbing at Birchen edge and enjoying a short scramble up an easier section of the edge.

The evening was bright and warm, a refreshing change after days of rain. K was particularly excited and full of energy. L on Mikes back looked on curiously as we clambered over the rocks and on up over the edge. K is developing both confidence and competence with scrambling. Something that we should perhaps continue to develop. Once on the top of the edge we clambered over the three boulders known as the three ships (a previous blog entry provides some information about the three ships and Nelsons monument).

On our return to the Robin Hood Inn K kept telling me to stop if I walked too fast. K told me to hold my hands in the air and say "barp ..... barp...... barp.... barp.....".
Below are some pictures of some the fungi that we found including the names. These were determined from the following guides.

First nature fungi identity guide
Fungi photolibrary
Wild about britain fungi section

Macrolepiota procera Parasol mushroom
Amanita muscaria Fly Agaric
Stropharia aurantiaca Redlead roundhead

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Bakewell show reveals an adrenaline junkie in the making

We woke up to blue skies, an ideal day for the show. The bakewell show has been running for nearly 180 years, ironically the first show was held in Chesterfield in 1819. The show has only been cancelled three times once due to foot and mouth disease back in 1888 and then for during both of the first and second world wars. It became a two day event in 1980 ( We arrived early to beat the crowds and to park close to the show in one of the official car parks.
However people were already pouring into the ground, we passed a lone piper and went in. Firstly making our way along the many stalls selling their goods, there were stalls selling anything from handbags to bulbs. K had her own agenda and was eyeing up toys, sweets, bouncy castles and fairground rides. We stopped at a food tent where we tasted toffee vodka (yum), wild boar sausage, organic white balsamic vinegar and K chose a very fancy cupcake with a flake in it.

Onwards we came across a sand tent but K was attracted to the sand stall and filled a teddy bear with different sands, very efficiently.
She then proceeded her way through the different rides, large bouncy slides (friction burns gained), big wheel (great fun) and led her daddy back in the afternoon for another another ride on the big wheel and the waltzer and wanted another another another ride. Proud of her ability to count ride, she is becoming quite an adrenaline junky.
She was entertained on the fire engine and thoroughly explored the front and back, whilst I was amused by the pig ladies promoting british pork and singing, we saw shire horses close up, the medieval jousting from a distance and k sat on a haystack and got hay in her hair.

L enjoyed the day although was complaining about sitting down when everyone else at the show was complaining about constant standing up, the highlight of his day was crawling on an abc mat on a stand selling brainy baby goods and building a tower he would have quite happily stayed there all day. We bought some brainy baby books and a puzzle for a great price and some wedgits which we are all fighting over building.
A great day was had by all although today the lasting memory seems to be the men who were shining peoples shoes

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Manky Climbing Session Near Manchester Buttress

The weather this afternoon looked as though the rain might hold off. With typical tuesday evening tradition we went climbing and arrived at the Manchester buttress area at Stanage popular end. The breeze was good for keeping the midges away and keeping the crag dry, excellent.. we proceeded to climb sociology which was a fun route. By the time we returned to start another route the rain was truly persistent. Listenting to someone slithering on Manchester buttress, the decision was easy.. We sheltered underneath grotto slab a good place to get out of the rain. There was even an opportunity for a further climb called Ill lit by torchlight, named very appropriately! Might come back here with k as she will have fun here.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Colourful Fields and Harness Racing Near Elton

Gratton dale starts near the village of Elton we decided to walk this dale from its southern end near Pikehall, famous for its annual harness racing event. Today was the day of the annual Harness racing event at Pikehall there was a lot of activity.

K has become attached to her baby doll and was intent on taking her walking, we decided that was not such a good idea and this of course caused remonstrations. We decided to head off across the fields to Elton in an attempt to distract her. Fortunately this worked . We enjoyed the great variety of fields of oats, barley and lupins another field of clover.

Walking through the tall fields of oats there was a chirruping sound, speaking to a couple of walkers we wre informed that they were Quail, rather rare migants from Sub Saharan Africa. The fields of wild yellow lupin is fodder crop, Spanish in origin it also has nitrogen fixing properties.

We continued on into Elton through some rather overgrown paths at which point K enjoyed a shoulder ride. We seemed to have had an enjoyable walk across the fields at this point I returned to collect the car. Amanda, K and L sat on a bench near the vilage chapel to eats snacks. Not far from the main village church is a tea shop and the Duke of York pub.

Our start was a good place to start at walk along Gratton dale but today we've had a lot of fun simply walking through the fields in the White Peak.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Climbing Trip To Gairloch and The North West Highlands

azHaving walked over a great majority of the Scottish munros north of the great glen we decidee d on a trip to the west coast of Scotland to go climbing and to walk on classic peaks such as An Theallach and Beinn Eighe. For the visit Gairloch was an ideal choice. Gairloch(grid reference) is on the picturesque and rugged north west coast of Scotland there are excellent beaches in the area and a good place for camping holidays. We all agreed we'd be returning with our families, for our trip we stayed at Gairloch youth hostel

Our trip started with an ambitious first day with a traverse of An Theallach (wikipedia entry) (OS map ). We were very fortunate the weather was clear and hot. We followed a track starting from Corrie Hallie and at a suitable point headed up the south east flank of Sail Liath. Reaching the summit appeared the start of this wonderful traverse ahead was Corrag Bhiudhe after the initial flog we recovered some excitement in anticipation of the scrambling to come. It was just womderful we tried to stick to the crest making the scrambling more interesting we noted easier traversing lines skirting around the main pinnacles. The friction is excellent and on a dry such as this it was most enjoyable. One of the pinnacles near the end of the traverse is called Lord Berkleys seat and is shown below
We finally made it to the main summits of Sgurr Fiona and Bidean a Ghlas Thuil. The An Theallach ridge is shown belowlooking back towards Sgurr Fiona.

The second day started with fine weather once again and we set off with ambitions once again. This time starting from Glen Torridon and walking the 4 miles into Choire Mhic Fhearchair this is a wonderful choire in the heart of the Bheinn Eighe National Nature Reserve. We aimed to climb the eastern buttress (left as you are facing it).

A classic traverse of Bheinn Eighe is described here
The climb on bhein eighe is described here its interesting to read the comments.
By the time we arrived at the start of the route it was 1530 we'd made slow progess on the walk in, it's not to underestimated especially when your carrying climbing. We avoided the climbing on the first sandstone teir and traversed in to the foot of the quartzite buttress. It basically goes up the crest with the good weahter we were both happy to be climbing a quality route with excellent rock. As you can see Gordon is beaming a smile in the photograph below.
The views down the crag and into the choire were breathtaking. A short vertical corner is a fairly good crux. After topping out I walked to the summit of Ruadh Stac Mhor. A view of the triple buttress from Ruadh Stac Mhor is shown below.Various views of the triple buttress from the choire taken in the early evening are shown below.

We returned from our adventure rather late at 1200 we arrived back at the Youth hostel apparently the warde wanted to lock us out but our friend Gavin kept the door until we arrived back. Caked in the days grime and salt we silently went into the bunk room and crashed in our bunks! We'd earn't a rest day so we freshened up and spent time on the beach at Gairloch. We drove around to Badachro for lunch the harbour near the pub is shown below.

The weather outlook indicated that the current good pattern would continue but may break in a couple of days. Today we were walking over the remainder of the peaks of Bheinn Eighe. We wanted to traverse the Bodaich Dubh Beinn Eighe this translates as (Dark Men of Beinn Eighe) it also goes by the name the black Carls.

We started our traverse by walking in along the Coire an Laoigh path this is a much easier way in than the previous walk into Coire Mhic Fearchair. It wasn't long before we arrived at the summit of Spidean Coire nan Clach. The picture below illustrates the traverse to follow along to Sgurr Ban and Sgurr nanFhir Duibhe.

Scrambling along this ridge was good fun but the real excitement started as we descended Sgurr nan Fhir Duibhe to traverse the Black Carls. These dark pinnacles break out of the unusual cambrian basal quartzite of the Beinn Eighe hills. The picture below shows the Sgurr nanFhir Duibhe ridge.

The black carls have quite serious drops, it's possible to scramble the crest directly there is also a traversing path which drops low. As the photograph below shows the pinnacles resemble dark guardians of the ridge.

We finished the traverse and finally sat near to glistening pools before walking into Kinlochewe.

The following day we were moving to Jerry's hostel at Achnasheen we took advantage of the low lying crags, we climbed at Ravens crag near Sheildag lodge just outside Gairloch (GR 796713) its marked creag an Fhithich. The crag guides are provided at the links below. There is a great range of crags in this area and its made me want to revisit the area.

It was good to arrive at Jerry's hostel again, Jerry provided his usual tutorials for using the hostel equipment, he also enquired about transport possibilities for a round of golf in loch carron.

Our final day was to climb the Patey/Bonnington classic rock route
Cioch Nose Sgurr a'Chaorachain. The weather forecast indicated that we should expect light showers by about one oclock. We walked in from the car park at the top of the Bealach na ba a good track leads transmitter station at the top. Instead we dropped into the coire a'chaorachain. It is necessary to walk beyond the corrie lip and walk a further kilometre beyond the lochain. This makes it possible to gain the terrace traversing into the start of the actual climbing route by ascending the gully separating the first pinacle and the nose.

We erroneously found the wrong gully and attempted to traverse all the pinnacles via the terraces as can be seen from the map there is a fair number of pinnacles and anyone attempting the cioch nose and contemplating the remainder of the ridge should remember this as it ands a fair amount of time onto the day.

We started the first pitch just as the showers arrived the friction is still excellent the v groove of the second pitch we found rather awkward. The following pitches were over steep ground on excellent rock at this point Pateys remark about it being just difficult is probably accurate. The best part of the route was sitting at the top of pitch 3 and looking straight down the steep face of the crag, below was the full arc of a rainbow, a beautiful sight. Gordon would be pleased to hear that I concentrated on my belaying and not photography hence there is no photograph of this wonderful sight, just a climbers memory.

The climb was excellent and made a great way to end a trip to Scotland.