Sunday, April 19, 2009

Brilliant spring adventure to Slippery Stones via Kings Trees Tree

Following Mikes recent visit to this area of the dark peak, we decided that a great adventure for Keisha would be to park up at Fairholmes between Ladybower and Derwent Reservoir and catch the bus up to Kings Tree and walk to Slippery Stones

We started the day early after preparing a picnic and snacks for our intrepid explorer. She has accessorized herself beautifully with pink scarf, fifi baseball cap, pink wellies and gloves.
We parked up as planned at Fairholmes arriving at about 1020 the car parks were pretty congested already. The bus goes from just across the road on Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays every 30 minutes approximately. Keisha was very excited about getting the bus and watched excitedly as we went past the dams (fairy castles), we departed the bus at journeys end, Kings
Tree, an oak was planted here by George VI and there is an engraved stone by the tree commerating this.

The sun was sparkling across the reservoir and I had forgotten just how spectacular the scenery was at this end of the reservoir. We proceeded through the gate and followed the cycle track along, a wide path suitable for a robust pushchair but we chose to take Louis in his backpack. The path quickly left Howden Reservoir edge and went gently uphill between the tall trees, we followed this path along dodging mountain bikers and chasing our shadows. We soon came upon slippery stones with a lovely stone bridge going over the slippery stones and the stream.
We picniced on a log with a very friendly sheep trying to join in. Keisha enjoyed playing down by the stream and going on the stones. Louis stayed awake the whole time and just enjoyed the whole experience and giggled his way along.

After this pleasant interlude we wandered back along the path, jumping off tree trunks and balancing on logs, looking at beetles. With the promise of icecream,
Keisha sped on to catch the bus. A great day.

On returning to Fairholmes we looked at the bike hire shop, all types of bikes can be hired, singles, tandems, bikes with trailers and seats for children and so we will return soon.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wood carvings at Linacre

We went to Linacre for a short wander.  Louis in his backpack.  The bluebells appearing early and cannot wait to return in a few weeks to see them in full bloom.  We walked along the side of the middle reservoir and were hunting bears in the forest and crocodiles in the water.  Fearlessly we searched.  We came across a small clearing where they have added to their wood carvings, including an apple, acorn, a leaf seat and a door with steps cut in the tree, a little further along Keisha laid down on the wooden leaf and pretended to sleep.  We returned via the water and saw some coots and headed back to the care

Monday, April 13, 2009

High Level Circuit around Derwent and Howden Resrvoir

Today I started from the car park at Fairholmes in the Derwent valley.
The walk is not a full high level circuit, but certainly a big chunk of it, also,
it is not the same as the classic Derwent watershed walk.
The walk proposed is similar to the Derwent Valley skyline.

Heading northwards along the track the runs along the eastern shore of the Derwent reservoir.
I headed off along the path that runs above Abbey Brook (GR SK171919).
Abbey brook was followed to its source called cartledge bents, here I had a spot of lunch.
Now that I was out of the valley I got signal so I posted a picture using twitter.
Walking across the moors I saw quite a few hares (tweet), many of them still had their white coats.

I headed towards Margery hill (GR SK189957). Continuing on I finally made it to outer edge at 1404. The walking here is great its peaceful the only aircraft overhead are light aircraft. The big passenger aircraft seem to fly over the Kinder plateau (GR SK177969).

I followed the route of the derwent watershed staying high conditions under foot were excellent so I was moving fairly quickly. I dropped down to the Shepherds meeting stones at GR SK143981. I followed hoar clough down to the trickling river Derwent.

At 1540 I walked in a south westerly direction up fairbanks and at the top of Round hill stopped for a much needed sandwich and cup of coffee (tweet). From Round hill there is a bog trot to the grouse butts quite a good track (boggy in places) may be followed that takes you all the way down to the reservoir.

I was amazed by the contrast with yesterdays walk in Lathkill dale. I ignored the bus and walked past Birchinlee and the site of tin town, this is the town for the construction workers for the Derwent and Howden dams. I'm tempted to start a walk from Kings tree by catching the 222 bus which runs on summer weekends

Saturdays, Sundays, Bank Holiday Mondays and Good Friday
from 29 March to 24 October 2009
Also Winter Sundays 25 October 2009 to 21 March 2010

The times from Derwent fairholmes are as follows
0935 1005 1040 1112 1140 1210 1310 1340 1410 1440 1510 1540 1610 1700 1740

The times from Kings tree are
0950 1020 1100 1130 1200 1230 1330 1400 1430 1500 1530 1600 1630 1720 1800

(The last two times, green, in the lists above Summer only (until 24 October 2009)Full details may be found here

Peak connections provide useful information about bus travel information across Derbyshire and the peak district.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Twitter and Twibble walk along Lathkill dale

Started early again at Conksbury bridge. Here's the tweet!
I'm trying to build up some fitness for a climbing trip to Scotland in early June.
Today I thought I'd test this new LG viewty mobile phone and see how useful it is. Did I get value for money? I'm also using twitter a social networking tool. Basically twitter is used for making small blog entries. I can update my twitter blog using an SMS message from my mobile an update is called a tweet.

Tweeted at Over Haddon before treking across to the Magpie mine. I'm heading north east towards a farm called Melbourne farm. At the very least tweeting ind
icates my grid reference (which I read from the map when I twittered) and my time of arrival. Perhaps a GPS would be useful, that would be cheating and is far too technologically advanced!

 My walk across the fields took me to the magpie mine
There's a fair amount to see at this outdoor museum. This lead mine dates back to 1740 and was closed in 1954. At the magpie mine is a replica horse gin winding engine.   I attempted to tweet a picture, failed and just tweeted this. Problem with the phone was the amount of time it took to open a page I almost gave up, however I've found an app called twibble that allows the viewty to upload pictures to twit pic.

I've just installed twibble and tested it here's the resulting tweet the picture is the gin winding engine model. It was not too expensive to upload and twibble is not too difficult to use.

Next stop was Monyash. I was impressed by the childrens playground there appears to be a lot of equipment there (to get to it head out of Monyash away from Bakewell and turn right just past the Bull's head it's on the RHS of that road...   oh... here's the grid ref SK150667. I had quick pint in the pub my tweets have been somewhat bland but the beer improved this tweet! I tweeted twice, the first time mentioning the easter bank holiday Monday Morris dancing at the Bull's Head.

I carried on to Lathkill dale and with little success tried the nature bytes blue tooth guide the instructions were very good I seemed unable to get the download I nearly accessed someone elses blue tooth session... yes very sociable. I kept quiet.

Further on I arrived at a spot where Keisha and I sat for a sandwich. I sat there again the view was really stunning near Ricklow quarry (GR SK 165661). I felt really proud of Keisha the walking here is quite rough and she does really well. A little further on is the place where the river lathkill magically bubbles out of the ground. This placeis absolutely staggering.

I found out that the set of pillars that stand in lath kill dale are the remains of mandale mine aqueduct. Other pictures of mandale mine provided by the mine exporers are at mandale mine ictures.

I arrived at another nature bytes sign this time I was successful and downloaded 6 bird songs and pictures. There were lots of birds singing in the trees and the downloaded bird songs were actually quite useful for tryng to identify some of the songs. 

Not surprisingly I was unable to tweet in the dale itself my final tweet was back at Conksbury bridge.

Twittering whilst on the walk has been quite good fun. The memo was quite useful for recording stuff I would have forgotten. I'm pleased with the phone and I think I'm going to try the twibble app, got to work out how to install it on the phone first!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Grouse Catcher

The weather forecast predicted an east west split in the weather with the best of the weather in the west. I had an early start headed up the snake pass and stopped 1 mile from the Snake Inn at Blackden barn

I headed along Blackden brook it was quite scrambly up here. I thought I missed the main path turning off but the map clearly indicates it follows the main stream. Scrambling was great fun.

Further along I managed to stop clomping along and steathily approached a couple of grouse you can see quite clearly the colourful red plumage.

It was quite calm on the top and I enjoyed watching the mists roll over the moors. I stopped for a coffee and sandwich at  Fairbrook naze.

I followed the northern edges along occasionally dropping down to look the crags. On the map this marked the edge. The UK climbing  web site has qite a long list of routes, not many of them have been marked off members. I have a copy of the 1990 Guide  this has a picture of climbers on Punch's nose, which I photgraphed its shapel and distinctive.
I could not find Punchs nose in the UK climbing guide however comparing it with the UK climbing web site Punch's nose is located between   harlequin   and     act of faith .

I continued along the northern edges until I reached the Pennine way at which point I returned along  the Snake path. Returning through the valley was nice and warm but the air was cool and fresh like the air from a glacial tyrolean breeze.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Rock around the Burbage Rocks

Went for a swim at Sheffield University pool this morning and decided on a short walk around the Burbage valley. I walked over Higgar Tor andCarl Wark. Carl Wark is an Iron Age hill fort 2000-2500 yrs old and may have been refortified in Roman times (according to the plaque nearby). It's definitely old look at those chunky walls!The walls are amazingly quite complete the fort takes advantage of the natural crag at the north eastern edge. I followed the walls around and found this curious trough.

Useful links

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Short Walk around Lawrencefield Quarries

Today was bright and sunny but the wind had a cold chill so we decided to walk somewhere quite sheltered. So we parked at Surprise and walked over Lawrencefield to the old quarries. Keisha's footwork was very good over difficult ground. After looking at the pool and the climbing routes in the quarry, Keisha decided to stop for a snack at a convenient and fascinating millstone which had a bright metal stud in the middle.

The photograph above shows the main climbing area in the quarry to the left of the picture is thelefthand arete of Ginger bread slab.

The quarry at millstone is called bolehill quarry it has been quarried since the 1880's. In the earl 1900's   it was used to quarry the stone for the Ladybower and Derwent dams. This was once a hive of activity  with around 400-500 people working in the quarry. There is a more detailed history at the following link.

Louis was fast asleep in the carrier and we carried on walking along the edge through the silver birches. Keisha discovered a wriggling mass of ants,  I explained that this was a nest and these blighters develop wings and become quite numerous in the summer.
We found another suitable spot below the  edge for a snack stop.  Keisha's friend mousy decided to do some bouldering, see below! 
We carried on to the top of the edge  and found the end of a house and it remaining hearth. At this point Keisha becam quite tired and asked to be carried and we returned to Surprise view.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

First Evening Climbing Meet of 2009 at Lawrencefield

Hooray,  the clocks have gone forward and we've gained an extra hour of
daylight. I've made back 
from Manchester with sufficient time to meet up with the Castle Mountaineering 
club at Lawrencefield. This evening it looks perfect for an evening climb as demonstrated 
by the pictures on the UK climbing web site it's cool climbing by the pool.

I cimbed three tree and snail crack my first leads of the year going fairly steady and 
I can feel the excitement rising. We have plans to climb in Scotland at Applecross in early
June. Apart from the first climb of the year we are looking forward to the seasons climbing.

Great Peter and Lawrencefield ordinary were also climbed by a couple of the other climbing club members.