Category Archives: pictures & trips

Stormy Dartmoor

Last week I was on Dartmoor for four nights. Things didn’t quite work out as expected. I had planned a decent walk around the North Moor, but I had to delay leaving by a day which messed up the coordination with the firing schedule as the Okehampton Range was due to be used, so I rearranged to stay on the eastern side of the moor. My original intention was to walk to from Taw Marsh to Hameldown to camp somewhere around there. I would then have a leisurely two day walk back, probably camping at South Teign Head for one night before returning to Taw Marsh.

However, the weather forecast worsened just before the trip. While the first night was fine and the next day was good, when I checked the forecast midway through the first day, the overnight forecast was rain and high winds with the next day low cloud and still windy. I decided Hameldown was too exposed and shortend my day to camp at South Teign Head near Fernworthy Forest. The forecast for the following day was even worse with heavy rain due until late morning, so the most sensible thing seemed to be to stay put until it cleared.

In the end the rain was very heavy (as well as high winds, although it was quite sheltered in my camp spot). It didn’t clear until midday, which left me just enough time to get back to Taw Marsh before sunset. The walk back was pretty wet underfoot. I decided not to go back via Watern Tor as Walla Brook can be tricky to cross so I rerouted via Scorhill where there is a clapper bridge.

It was a good walk although the wind at times was ferocious. Just after Scorhill I encountered two low flying helicopters on manouevres which was fun to watch. The track up to Hound Tor was pretty rough as was the first part of the descent down to Taw Marsh but I made it back with about an hour’s daylight to spare.

It was great to do a multiday trip even if it didn’t work out quite as planned. Unfortunately I did pick up a couple of minor injuries to my knee and my foot, but hopefully they will sort themselves out with some rest. That’s basically the backpacking season over for me this year. Hopefully next year will be a bit more productive. I’m going to work hard on leg strengthening exercises as I seem to be picking up some niggling injuries. Here’s a few pictures.

Taw Marsh
Taw Marsh
Wild Tor
Watern Tor
Teignhead Farm
South Teign Head and Fernworthy Forest
View south from White Ridge
Fernworthy near Teignhead Farm looking north
Shovel Down looking towards Scorhill
Scorhill Clapper Bridge
Helicopters
Taw Marsh
Taw Marsh
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Kinder Circuit from Glossop

It’s been a while since I’ve done a trip report. Recently I was up in the Peak District and had the opportunity to do a circuit of Kinder Scout, which is something I’ve wanted to do for a while. On a previous walk, I had found a good place to park just outside Glossop. Overnight parking can be a bit awkward in the Peak District, but this spot was ideal as it is discreet and gets you out on to the moors quickly. After parking and checking my gear, I was on my way, walking down a green lane leading to Bray Clough.

Lane leading to Bray Clough

Soon I was out on to the moor and passing a shooting hut (which had a rather unsavoury insult scratched onto the door). I followed a track south east along side a series of grouse butts up to a flagstone path, making a note that there was a small cairn at the junction, so I wouldn’t miss the turn off on my return, unlike last time I was here! Looking back, there were some fine views back over Glossop and out to Manchester.

Glossop

Just before I reached the junction with The Pennine Way, I passed the wreckage of a crashed plane. Looking on the internet, it might be a B-24 Liberator that crashed in 1944. If so, fortunately, the two man crew survived. The path at Mill Hill is rather different from the one I encountered in 1978 on my Pennine Way walk. Back then it was appallingly wet mossy bog. Now it’s a flagstone path most of the way.

Kinder Scout

The views opened out to the imposing mass of Kinder Scout and the valley of the River Ashop, another place I want to explore if I can. It’s a good path to Kinder Scout. Although the path up is quite steep, it’s easy and I was at the top quickly. I could now see down to the Kinder Reservoir and as far as Axe Edge, near Buxton. The reservoir level was quite low reflecting the recent drought.

Kinder Reservoir

Not surprisingly, I started to encounter more walkers as I neared Kinder Downfall. As I was getting hungry, I stopped for five minutes to have a snack and take in the views. I didn’t hang around too long as my target was to get to Seal Stones to camp that night, which was another nine or so miles. Kinder Downfall was a little bit of a disappointment as there was hardly any water, not surprising I guess after the dry summer we’ve had.

Kinder Downfall

At the Downfall, I filled up my spare water bottle despite the water looking brown and unsavoury, in case water was difficult to find later in the day. The next point of interest was the trig point at Kinder Low where there were quite a number of people. I didn’t bother to go to Edale Rocks but cut the corner off to Noe Stool. The ground was quite dry, so there was no bog trotting.

Pym Chair

I soon hit another flagstone path that led to the impressive tor of Pym Chair. Unfortunately it was here that I was followed by a rather loud American lady but I was soon into the almost alien landscape of the Woolpacks. I was starting to get hungry so I decided to rest and have the lunch, which had the bonus of losing the aforementioned lady. The rocks provided a useful seat and shelter from the cool breeze.

Wool Packs

After lunch I continued around the impressive amphitheatres of Crowden Brook and Grindsbrook Clough.

Grindsbrook Clough

Once I reached Ringing Roger the day walkers disappeared. On reaching Crookstone Knoll, I could see the end of the Derwent Reservoir where the water level looked quite low like the Kinder Reservoir .

Win Hill and Derwent Reservoir

After Crookstone Knoll the path became a little sketchy in places. Even though the Snake Pass road was down in the valley, it felt more remote and wilder. In the distance, I could see Seal Stones, my intended camp spot and Fairbrook Naize.

Seal Stones and Fairbrook Naize

Despite rain earlier in the week, everywhere was fairly dry, so I was a bit concerned about getting water for camp. I was relieved that there was still a bit of water flowing at Blackden Brook. It was brown with peat but it would have to do, so I filled up my water carrier and carried on to Seal Stones.

Seal Stones camp

I couldn’t see any decent spots by the path at Seal Stones. Before moving on, I thought I’d have a little explore away from the path. I was glad I did as I found a nice level spot, clear of most of vegetation, and slightly sheltered behind a mound. It turned out to be an almost perfect spot as the clouds broke to let through some evening sunshine.

Seal Stones at sunrise

I had a good night’s sleep and woke just before sunrise. There was a brief 15 seconds of very light rain, then the clouds broke and a glorious red sunrise flooded the landscape. After breakfast, just before I packed, there was a squawking noise in the distance. I looked up and there was the V of a flock of geese flying high in the sky eastwards. I took a picture but it didn’t come out well.

Fairbrook Naize

I was packed by eight o’clock. By now the clouds had largely cleared although there was a chilly westerly breeze. As usual, distances are deceptive and it took me longer to reach Fairbrook Naize than I anticipated but it didn’t really matter much. There was even less water in Fairbrook than Blackden Brook.

Rock near Nether Red Brook

From here, it was familiar territory as I had been this way about a month before. It was a really nice walk and it was early enough that I didn’t meet anyone.

Northwestern end of Kinder and Mill Hill

On reaching the Pennine Way, I passed a few walkers on the way to Mill Hill. Then I cut West and then North to retrace my steps to the car. However, there was a sting in the tail as about fifteen minutes before I reached the car, I tripped and hit my head on the path really hard. I was lucky not to be knocked out. I had a nose bleed and a cut on my nose as well as a very sore knee. After staunching the blood with my handkerchief, I seemed to be ok and went back to the car. The next day it looked like I’d been in a fight as I had two black eyes! Fortunately I didn’t have any symptoms of concussion. The moral is to concentrate even when you’re on an easy path.

Hey, ho!

This year is turning into a bit of a disappointment. A couple of weeks ago I had been planning to do a trip to Dartmoor for four nights, then I got covid. It was like a bad cold but I recovered quite quickly. Then I thought I’d go up to the Peak District this weekend. Now the Peak District National Park has closed Access Land due to fire risk. It looks like it’s going to be another disappointing year for backpacking trips.

Sneaky camp

I managed to get out for a sneaky camp on Monday night. The forecast was some heavy rain. I managed to pitch before the rain but in the event there were only a few light showers. Looking at the rain radar, it passed further south. However, I was able to take some moody cloud photos. It was good to use the Notch Li again. I’ve done a couple of things to it which I will share in another post.

Dales Daunder

As some readers will be aware, TGO Challenge legend, Alan Sloman, arranges a pre-TGOC walk every year as a warm up to the Challenge itself. Covid interrupted these for a couple of years, but things have now got back to normal, so the Daunder as it is known was revived. There’s not much of a story to tell, so I’ll just post some pictures. This year we went to the Yorkshire Dales starting at Dent then walking to Ingleton via Whernside. On the second day we walked back to Dent via Ingleborough.

Day 1: Dent to Ingleton via Whernside (19.7km, 669m ascent)

Second breakfast at Dent and a late start

Picturesque Dent

Walking up from Dent

View north on the ascent of Whernside

Whernside Tarns

Ingleborough from Whernside

Sink hole on Whernside

Lambs near Ingleton

Day 2: Ingleton to Dent via Ingleborough (25.8km, 1,041 ascent)

Ingleton

Path up to Ingleborough

Whernside from the top of Ingleborough

Looking back to Ingleborough

Pot hole on western side of Ingleborough

Winterscales Beck

Ribblehead Viaduct

More lambs

Little Dale

Waterfall near Greensett Craggs

A last look at Ingleborough

All in all a fine trip. The second day was quite taxing, but enjoyable. We were lucky with with the weather althought there was a strong cold wind, which is why we skipped a wild camp. It’s a long time since I’ve walked in the Yorkshire Dales. I think I’ll go back and do a bit more exploring.

Hooray!

The last time I went on a backpacking trip was July last year in the Lakes. I’ve done some quick overnighters since but not proper backpacking. Next week I’m going with friends to the Yorkshire Dales for a three night trip. We are going to start at Dent, staying overnight at the camp site. The last time I was in Dent was in 1979 doing the Centurion Walk!

The next day we go over Whernside to camp at Ingleton. The following day we head back north over Ingleborough, which I’m looking forward to as I’ve never been there. We will probably do a wild camp on the northern side of Whernside, before returning to Dent the next day. Let’s hope the weather plays ball!

Around Haweswater

Last week I managed to get away for a three night trip around the southern end of Haweswater. After parking the car, I headed up the Old Corpse Road to camp near Brown Howe. The next day I climbed Selside Pike and continued to Branstree, then to Harter Fell and down to Small Water to camp. The following day I climbed back up the ridge to Mardale Ill Bell and High Street. From there I followed the ridge to High Raise where I had lunch. It was then an easy walk down to Low Raise and Measand Beck to a lovely camp spot. The next day I followed the western shore of Haweswater back to the car park. Here’s a slide show of my trip:

Secret camp

I managed to get out for another wild camp. A perfect spot. So perfect that I’m not going to reveal where it is. I used my Scarp as I didn’t have far to walk and fancied a bit of luxury. What a great tent. I was treated to a lovely sunset too.