Gayle kindly provided the impetus for today’s little excursion. We met her at 9.30 at Standedge and left her around 3 pm at Crowden, to return home whilst she continued towards Bleaklow to enjoy a wild camp by Torside Brook.
At Black Moss Reservoir we chose an easy route across White Moss and Wessenden Head Moor, rather than the more undulating Pennine Way route.
New flagstones across White Moss are giving the previously heavily eroded moorland a chance to recover. Gayle was puzzled by the vocal opposition she had heard to such flagged paths; but I’m convinced that the majority of us are in favour of properly constructed pathways across such moorland, enabling the eroded vegetation to recover.
The white bags on White Moss contain bundles of heather and seeds, to help with the regeneration of the natural moorland.
The short section across Wessenden Head Moor to join the Pennine Way before Black Hill is little used and would be very boggy in wet weather. But with the current paucity of Pennine Rain, Sue and I found it quite easy to hop across any damp patches in our trail shoes, though Gayle got slight ingression due to wearing Flip8s (which she likes, but which do at all times attempt to act as sponges).
An anxious curlew wheeled around us.
We spotted this prone object beside the path, and realised the cause for concern, before hurrying on.
The summit of Black Hill was a sun trap today.
Norman, doing the Pennine Way on a B&B basis, but with a bigger rucksack than Gayle, kindly took this photo for us.
Gayle was astounded by how much the area, which used to be a 365 days a year quagmire, had recovered since her previous visit two years ago. Her observations are here.
The sceptics would have us walking through deep bog in a 100 metre wide section of eroded moorland. I like this newish path towards Dun Hill.
A long lunch stop in the sunshine followed, and then a buzzing helicopter dropped a team to attend to a lady with a twisted ankle.
As we descended past Laddow Rocks towards Crowden, numerous Mountain Rescue personnel rushed past, in various states of breathlessness. We half expected a medic to be following them up in case they collapsed themselves.
A busy aircraft ‘motorway’ was in operation above us – obviously no volcanic ash problem today!
Eventually, at around 3pm, the path to Polly (our car) led down past the ice-cream haven called Crowden, whilst Gayle’s route to Glossop (she never did get there) headed off in the other direction.
So sadly our ways parted, but it had been an excellent little outing.
Gayle’s report is here, and her Black Hill observations are here.
Our 15 km route (see below), with 350 metres of ascent, took a leisurely 5.5 hours, though Mr
Slowman Naismith would have cut nearly two hours of that time!
The full slideshow (29 images) is here.