Sunday, November 18, 2012

Eastern Edges

Rain was forecast today, fortunately it was wrong the forecast rain had passed early this morning and the darkened skies were the final vestiges were passing through. We started from the Moscar end of Stanage SK231878. Our objective was the Robin Hood Inn SK281721 near Birchen edge. The route we planned to take followed the eastern edges. Starting with Stanage, Burbage, White Edge, Froggatt Edge, Curbar dge, Baslow Edge and Gardoms edge.


The walk along Stanage was thoroughly enjoyable a few climbers were out, it was fairly nippy and the rock looked as though it might be somewhat damp, but Stanage gritstone has great friction.  By the time we had reached the Cowper stone end of Stanage it was time for something to eat.
We continued onto Burbage and walked  below Burbage along the Green drive. Continuing to Longshaw house we stopped for a cup of tea, this was turning out to be a rather pleasurable excursion! Walking through the Longshaw estate the skies cleared giving way to  blue skies and a pleasent evening.
Well time was marching on and we were definitely not marching! We decided that rather than follow the top of Froggatt and Curbar edges we'd walk over the top of White edge and green edge, a favourite running route of mine.

As we walked on the track over Baslow edge the sun disappeared below the horizon there was just enough light to get good shots of the Eagle Stone and the Wellington monument. The Wellington monument is interesting it's said that it was built in 1866 to commemorate a visit to the area by the Iron Duke. It's also claimed that it was built to match Nelsons monument.

The final section of the walk was quite tricky, we walked from the road junction with the Sheffield Road to the start of Gardoms edge. At this point there was still just enough light to cross the quagmire with the aid of the odd branch used to provide a convenient crossing. It was n't long before it became completely dark with our way lit only by the light of the waxing crescent of the 5 day old moon. Following Gardoms edge and the drystone wall near its top was easy, it became tricky as we got closer to the road. We were very pleased with our 16.6 mile walk.








Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Rockets, Stars and Dark Skies

Amandas knee seems to be recovering after the recent surgery that she received. It was nice that we were all able to walk to the teashop on the Longshaw estate, this does not seem so adventurous. I cannot underestimate how pleasant it was for all of us to get out for a walk in such a nice place. I'm looking forward to a future visit when we might collect a Christmas tree!

For bonfire night the request came that we should all attend a fireworks display and bonfire. I suggested that we might visit Hathersage..... I had an ulterior motive! Garbed with glow sticks we enjoyed the bonfire and right on time the fire brigade started the firework show.

photographs from http://hopevalleyonline.co.uk/whats-on/events/156-bonfire-night
photographs from http://hopevalleyonline.co.uk/whats-on/events/156-bonfire-night
The fireworks were splendid. After briefly arguing over who should sit on my shoulders, Keisha and Louis enjoyed making up all sorts of names for the different fireworks. We thoroughly enjoyed the display at Hathersage it is worthwhile making the journey from Chesterfield.

On our return we stopped at Surprise view which is a dark sky discovery site. Louis thought it quire funny that I wanted to switch off all of the lights he was happier when I armed with a torch. The torch  was a wicked "Darth Mull" red so that went down well. Oh... the red light did n't destroy our night vision! Apparently here the skies are 15x darker than the centre of Sheffield. Jupiter looked excellent but the view is a marvel as you can make out the band of stars comprising the Milky Way.

The peak district is a great location to view the stars and this brief visage of our view of the universe
has sufficiently motivated me to make a return visit. This time armed with telescope! The forecast had indicated that we should get a few hours of clear skies. On my arrival the sky looked good but my observation of the horizon did not make me optimistic. As it turned out, by the time I had got the telescope set up the cloud had covered the skies.

It's quite funny because my view on that second cloudy evening was still rather inspiring and I strongly suspect I'll make another attempt to take my telescope to the dark sky site. I have even thought of a location closer to home which will be similarly dark.

All we need is a reliable weather service!