When will Spring Spring?
Sunday March 4th. Around Edale. 16 miles from Mam Tor c.p.
Leader: John Jocys. 11 Walkers.
Around Edale, 4th March 2012
16 miles, 3800 ft of ascent
The Mountain Weather Information Service (MWIS) forecast for the Peak District wasn’t good, sadly it was quite accurate.
At 9am, 11 walkers + no dogs, all wrapped up and ready to face the elements, headed up from the NT car-park on Rushup Edge to the top of Mam Tor for the obligatory photo-shoot.
Bet you can’’t guess which way the wind was blowing!
Sleet and snow made their appearance virtually from the start of the expedition as we headed north-east along the ridge to Hollins Cross where there were no views, despite what the O.S. map suggested.
The pull up to Back Tor
The sleet and snow were both sleeting and snowing. And it was cold. And muddy.
After Lose Hill the party descended towards the outskirts of Hope and thence uphill in the direction of Win Hill. The weather was so poor that it was decided to give the top a miss. In consideration of this a tea-break was called in the relative shelter of what can only be described as a hole in the ground. An unhealthily enormous scone was spotted at this point…..although it soon disappeared.
On top of Lose Hill
Hope in the distance
Continuing along Hope Brink to an anticipated brew-stop at the guide post at Hope Cross we decided the bad weather would make any ‘rest’ stop very uncomfortable. We carried on for a couple of miles to Edale Youth Hostel where we managed to get a little shelter in the lee of the building.
Scone demolition at Edale YHA
It was still sleeting and snowing. And it was still cold…..and by this time all the members of the expedition were coated in layers of glutinous mud in varying degrees.
Passing the Nags Head in Edale, our party followed what used to be regarded as the Pennine Way Bad Weather route, but now seems to be the standard route.
At Upper Booth we headed (muddily) south (ish) to pick up Chapel Gate, a reasonably well-surfaced track that eventually took us to the ridge above Rushup Edge. Before our ascent began, yet another enormous scone was spotted – but disappeared almost as quickly as it had appeared. Very strange.
On the ridge the group turned east on the final leg of the walk. Fortunately the sleet, snow and biting cold wind attacked us from behind but it was rather uncomfortable. The ground was still muddy.
And then we were back at the car park.
As I write this report the day after the walk, the sun is shining and a pleasant day is promised.
Wednesday March 7th. Geoff's Last Drop Tromp. 14 miles from The Last Drop.
Leader: Geoff Halliwell. 20 Walkers and 4 Dogs.
We continued to Entwistle Reservoir for a stop at the camping barn. The climb up onto Wet Moss was boggy as usual so a good couple of weeks weather will help. Once on Holcombe Moor the sun started to shine and lunch was taken below Peel Tower where a crowd were watching people abseil down it for charity. We were back at Laurel St for just after 2.00pm. Everyone enjoyed the walk. Spring has definately sprung.
Despite the final destination of this walk being shrouded in mystery,at least we knew this particular section would be finishing in Affetside where we had to leave our cars and travel to the start at Castle Drive , Adlington in some luxury (a Coach).
The first stretch of the walk – from Adlington to the lower barn at Rivington – held the attractive prospect of a short stop and a cup of coffee at the cafe there. It must be reported however,that 2 of our number, who shall remain nameless, succumbed to bacon barm cakes eaten brazenly in front of the rest of us – much to our disgust (ie envy!)
After our refreshments marching speed was achieved as we headed off through Rivington towards and across Georges Lane and on to Winter Hill. We assumed we were going over the top. John,our leader (who is keeping his cards very close to his chest on these walks) had other plans and we turned right off the road leading to the mast and made our way down to Walker Fold. Our route from here took us across Walker Fold Road, Smithills Dean Road and on to Horrocks Fold with a brief stop for lunch.
We had all noticed that we were maintaining a fairly brisk pace (we subsequently finished the walk 30 mins earlier than anticipated) but then discovered that Sgt-Major Norman Thomas was putting young Bernard “the milky bar kid” through his paces in preparation for the forthcoming 2 Crosses challenge. Poor Bernard, his training regime is so strict that he had to furtively eat his Mars Bar when Sgt Norm had his back turned !
At Horrocks Fold we crossed Belmont Road, over the fields to Dunscar then followed Eagley Brook down to Bromley Cross – where we surfaced not far from the railway station.
We were now on our last legs,oops - on the last leg – of our walk which took us down Shady Lane,across Bradshaw Brook at the south end of Jumbles Reservoir, over the Bolton-Ramsbottom Rd and across the fields to Affetside.
We all piled in to the Pack Horse for a welcome pint and chat about the days walk and there was definetely a feeling of well-being. Indeed we were moved to compliment Jim on his healthy rosy glow – after all it had been a fine and (latterly) sunny day. Alas,it soon became obvious that his glow was as a result of his seat next to the open fire and not the exertions of the walk !
Thanks to John for a smashing walk.