Saturday, April 14, 2012

Bleaklow Blizzard

Its a while since since I've been on bleaklow, hard to believe it's almost three years. 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 (plagiarising an earlier post).

The day had started bright, but the skies were now significantly darker. Earlier, I'd been lulled into a false sense of fine weather the conditions here sending me a reminder that I was approximately 1680feet above sea level. My route took me along the course of the old roman road towards Glossop.

There is so much history in this area. The roman fort near Glossop known as Ardotalia (Melandra) castle, the prehistoric Torside castle on Bleaklow and the bronze age burial site on shire hill (also near Glossop). The dominant tribe around 70AD was the Brigantes tribe the Romans, supported their legions by the provision of roads one of which joined with the roman road between Buxton and Sheffield. This route known by the name Doctors gate was still use in the 18th Century drains were built on either side and it was supplemented with a course of large stones. The Snake path road between Glossop and Sheffield has superseded it. To add to the excitement the haunted britain web site claims that whole spectral legions have been witnessed along here! Apparently the best time is the night of the full moon after the spring equinox. Is this a good plan for a Castle Climbing club meet?

I walked along the track for about a mile and half losing a lot of height but enjoying the surroundings with patches of snow high lighted with the darkened skies. At SK067943 I followed the dry stone wall toward the rock outcrops known as Shelf benches, walking along Wigan clough I enjoyed a mini scramble over rocks to the top of the The Pike, there were lots of hares, I counted 12 and I managed to catch a couple on camera.

From the Pike I donned my waterproofs and enjoyed the mini blizzard and the drop in visibility from the top of Yellowslacks brook the wander took me to the Hern Stones. Finding a suitable position around the boulders I stopped for a snack.

The Hern Stones are shown above, I couldn't resist a view of the Wain stones so I headed north for approximately 500m.
The route naturally took me to the site of the B29 stratofortress aircraft wreck on Higher Shelf stones, with its wreathes, crosses,memorial and history there is an air of solemnity here.



Above is a picture showing the view looking west from the trig point on Higher shelf stones. The following pictures show pictures of some of the boulders here littered with curious array of graffiti.



After visiting the waterfall (above) at SK093942 I headed roughly south across the moor to join up once again with the Doctors Gate path. This was an excellent quick route, I'd almost been tempted with the sunshine of Australia by the recent program "Poms in Paradise" but changed my mind after this walk!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

White Peak Walk

It was great to meet up with some friends of Amanda's we met for lunch in the Bulls Head at Monyash. Amongst our discussions we came up with the idea of attempting the White Peak walk. This 25 mile circular route starting from Monyash takes place annually around the 14th July. Priority is always given to the walkers who have attempted the walk in the past. Apparently it is already fully booked! Well we're not put off and I've considered doing another walk of a similar length. Maps and details for the White Peak walk are at http://www.whitepeakwalk.co.uk/

On a rather fine day I decided to attempt part of the walk. I didn't want to return too late so I did half of the walk. Starting the route from Monyash I walked as far Bakewell and returned to Monyash. The return route took me through some steep back streets of Bakewell and a eventually I arrived at Conksbury bridge. It was getting later and I made a rather rapid walk/run along the beautiful Lathkill dale. I'm looking forward to attempting the full circuit and may even put an entry in for next years event extra early!

Lambs in the field near Priestcliffe ditch.

The old school at the village of Brushfield.


The view south west looking along the river Wye from Monsal head viaduct.

Hassop station is a good place to stop and for bike hire too. Unfortunately I wandered too far along the old railway track. The path turns off just before this!



People having fun in the river at Lathkill dale

The full route of the White Peak walk is outlined on the maps below.