Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019

Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019
On the Archduke's Path in Mallorca

Saturday 1 August 2020

TGO Challenge - Wild Camps (No 24: 14 May 2010)

Well, that wild camp to the west of the Spittal of Glenshee in the previous 'Wild Camp' posting turned out to be the last wild camp of our 2009 crossing.
2010 saw me on my own with the Phoenix Phreerunner tent, on what was to be an award winning route. I set off from Lochailort into the wilds of Moidart, the only one of the 44 starters from that point to head south, where I climbed three Corbett summits between Lochailort and Glenfinnan before setting up camp at NM814789, about a kilometre from Lochan Feith Easain.
It was a fine spot at about 360 metres, with a good view to my first summit of the following day, Beinn Mhic Cedidh (783 metres).
I'm pictured in the top picture at camp after descending from my final hill of the day, Druim Fiaclach.

Friday 31 July 2020

31 July 2020 - Hanging Stone and Lud's Church

This is a familiar walk, referred to on these pages numerous times, with a history of the places we pass, notably Lud's Church, if you scroll down this link.
I was joined by Paul S and Graeme, on what turned out to be a perfect day. You might surmise that from the colour of the sky. I'll just go through a few photos in this posting - you may prefer to click on an image and scroll through the slideshow.
We strolled up to Hanging Stone via the erratic in the field below Hangingstone Farm.
There are fine views back past Wincle.
It's a steep but short pull up to Hanging Stone.
There are good views over the Cheshire/Staffordshire countryside.

The panorama to the north encompasses the distinct summit of Shutlingsloe.
We enjoyed elevenses above High Forest.
Approaching Roach End, we admired the view across to the Roaches, that we didn't visit today.
Mr Whippy served us from his usual position at Roach End. Sadly the 'Mr Whippy' who served folk here for many years died recently (you can see some of the wreaths behind the van), so it's a new chap at the window.
From Roach End, a good path leads to and through Back Forest, where the trees were dappled with sunlight today.
Lud's Church was, like most of today's paths, quite busy, but we managed to keep a good distance from people at all times, being conscious that the 'release' of Lockdown went into reverse gear overnight for those of us who live in Greater Manchester.
A stop in an idyllic spot beside the River Dane was followed by the delightful walk beside the river all the way back to Danebridge.
You can hardly see that this is the site of a landslide pictured in other reports on this walking route.
The Covid virus will have put paid, for the time being, to any letting out of this beautifully restored house.
As we neared the eponymous bridge, we encountered a few family groups picnicking and playing in the river.
This tree is just about clinging on to the side of the path, near the bridge.
The brewery, pictured below, was doing a good trade, and we relished a cold beer or three in the sunshine before heading off home.
Thanks for your company, Graeme and Paul. We won't get much better conditions for this walk, which today displayed the English countryside at its very best. A beautiful route.
Allow four hours for the 11 km route - it's pictured in this link. We didn't go over the Roaches today - that makes it more of a full day's walk.
Later: here are three more pictures from Graeme, featuring ice creams and a most welcome socially distanced beer outside the wonderful Danebridge Brewery.

Thursday 30 July 2020

4 February 1996 - A Birthday Walk, and an Anniversary

I was reminded today (I would have spotted it in the diary later) that Sue and I first met (encountered?) at a luggage carousel exactly 25 years ago today.
Our respective luggages had not reached our flight to Toulouse, so whilst Dave, Martin W and I went off for a pizza, Sue and Caroline festered, penniless, somewhere near the airport.
Once our luggage had arrived, we tried but failed to fit into their Peugeot 106, so off we went by train to Pau, with the girls going to Luchon.
Several months later, on the day of a slideshow I was presenting of our Pyrenees trip, I bumped into Sue in the street. It turned out we lived close to each other. We were also on the same page of the vast South Manchester phone directory!
She came to the slideshow, and a few weeks later joined Laurie, Dave and I on our Xmas planning amble in Silverdale. The first proper walk she joined us on was my birthday walk in 1996. It was a perfect day, and I must have taken far more photos than the seven found in an album today. The others must be around somewhere, but the following diary entry and those seven pictures give a fair impression of the day.

4 February 1996 - Martin's Birthday Walk to the Glyders 

An 8am start from Laurie's house, via Ellesmere Road (to pick up Sue), with Martin W already on board from the previous night - the second Saturday running for the Tandoori Kitchen (last week with Pete Hill) which was very full due to recent press on Rusholme. Dave and Laurie both keep us waiting.

Peering into Laurie's living room confirmed to Sue that the information 'she has been fed' did not contain the alleged 'lies and distortions'. Laurie's abode is full of debris, newspapers and pianos as always. Off to Chester to pick up Sue's friend Neil, a rugged manager at a bubble bath factory, and load Laurie in his 'free passage' compartment in the boot.

Breakfast at Ruthin in leisurely style, then on to Llyn Ogwen for a 10:45 start. The weather has gradually improved from good to excellent, the clouds having cleared from the west (they remained intermittent all day).

A light covering of snow from last weekend has partly evaporated, but the remnants remain solidly frozen, and the ascent of Y Garn soon became slippery enough for me to don crampons on this northern slope. Lots of people on the summit.
Brilliant views towards Tryfan, and over to Anglesey.
Calm but cold, not bitter. We continued down the south slope to the Devil's Kitchen bealach. I was reprimanded for making excruciating crampon rock bashing noises - my feet must have shrunk since I adjusted the crampons.

Sue put on some sparkling new flashy crampons and proceeded up a frozen river, followed by Laurie in his rather more worn and flimsy ironmongery. Lots of photos in this scenic spot.

Glyder Fawr, 3279', was eventually reached, where Dave and Neil had been in residence for some time, the rest of us having very much idled up.

Lunch noshed, we continued east, no crampons needed now, with excellent views of Snowdon and down to Porthmadog.
Castle of the Winds
Reach an icy Glyder Fawr, 3262' - there is no trig point bolt in sight for Laurie to 'bag' today - by a direct route over icy boulders. We then all dashed off to the cantilever rock except Sue, who despite being probably the only climber amongst us, got a bit stuck. She blamed a broken finger from a 'trip' on Blencathra two weeks earlier.
It was too slippery for self timed photos on the cantilever, but quite a few poses were taken by Sue, who didn't venture onto the rock.
We are almost last on the mountain, there's only one other group in sight, and we now amble down to the Miners Track junction, where Sue and Neil decide to yomp it to the café in Capel Curig, whereas the rest of us head to the Bristly Ridge bealach and down slippery slopes to Ogwen.

I nearly have a mishap crossing a steep frozen stream, and spend five minutes on a sharp pointed rock trying to fit crampons on to enable further movement, which is further inhibited by a bout of cramp. (Hence 'cramp-on'?)

The exercise proved useful for the lower slopes, which were very slippery due to frozen streams. Beautiful late afternoon colours.
Llyn Bochlwyd, west of Tryfan, with sunset over Y Garn
Reach the car by 5:15 - nearly dusk - the rest arrive (cramponless so slower) ten minutes later, and we re-join the dishy pharmacist and Neil in the café.
Coastal route for an uneventful return via Neil's house for tea, etc, then a dash to Piccadilly Station where Martin W reportedly catches an unadvertised bus to Sheffield.
(This was Neil's only trip with us. He emigrated to Toronto in May 1996.)
Here's a more recent report on the same walk, from which the following route map is taken - about 13 km and 1000 metres ascent.
Happy Anniversary, Sue!

Wednesday 29 July 2020

Wednesday 29 July 2020 - Great Knoutberry Hill

I waited for this week's fine weather and today managed another successful trip to the Yorkshire Dales, where I was discouraged from parking at Dent Station due to extensive road and building works.
The actual railway seemed intact, though I saw no trains.
I parked a little up the road, keeping all the loose car parking change I'd got from the bank yesterday for another occasion. You can see the car in this next view back into Dentdale. (Click on the pictures, as usual.)
A little way up the road, past fading orchids in the verges, I crossed the Pennine Bridleway and headed directly up the hill.
It was pathless, but dryer under foot than last week's venture up nearby Aye Gill Pike.
The 672 metre summit, where I'm pictured above, offered good views towards the Three Peaks whilst I enjoyed some elevenses behind a substantial stone windbreak. There was a cool breeze up here, but two layers were sufficient.
A vague path led down beside a wall, rather damper than my pathless route of ascent. At the bottom, I turned right onto a good track that I would stay with all the way to the hamlet of Stone House.
I soon crossed the route of the Pennine Bridleway that contours around the hill that I'd just climbed. Whernside is in quite close attendance.
Continuing down beside Artengill Beck, the Arten Gill Viaduct, made from local 'Dent Marble' - a dark limestone with a high fossil content, seems to fill the end of the valley, with Crag Hill and Calf Top behind. 
This was once a scene of great industry, Dent Marble being a valuable product in high demand, and much of the cobbled surface has been preserved.
There are large clumps of Bugle Self Heal, according to 'Buryman' Stewart, beside the track just now.
And the heather (Ling) is coming in to flower.
Beyond the viaduct, the hamlet of Stone House came into view.
I lunched in a spot with a good view back to the silhouetted viaduct.
Nearby, there's some information about the area's industrial past.
Here, a couple a walkers passed me, and the farmer was removing his sheep from a field to some pens.
The fine looking Sportsmans Inn was eerily quiet. Shut due to the Corona virus.
The rest of my walk was along the quiet road, first to Cowgill, passing en route this quaint bridge at Harber Gill.

I crossed the River Dee, and duplicated a very short section of last week's walk, before heading up the steep hill to Dent Station.
There are lots of tiny Eyebright flowers to be seen at present.
As well as the nearly spent orchids.
Pleasant views stretch back into Dentdale and its surrounding hills.
Here's today's route - just under 10 km, with 480 metres ascent, taking rather less than three hours, including breaks.