Saddleworth Saunter

A record turnout for our latest walk with 18 walkers arriving from as far afield as Staffordshire and East Yorkshire.

A pleasant mile along the reservoir bank abruptly became a steep ascent up to Ashway Cross, a memorial to a local MP killed in a shooting accident.On the higher ground the mist descended and added an atmospheric feel to the walk.Birchen Clough was followed (at least part of the way) until we went across country on a compass bearing encountering some very rough ground.One of the group almost sank to her waist in some soft ground but continued undeterred.Eventually the Pennine Way was reached slightly North of Laddow Rocks.

Black Hill was our next objective and this was wearing a white coat of snow - not that the ground was frozen of course and we slithered down the route of the old Pennine Way to the county boundary between Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire.By now the mist had cleared and a pleasant stroll followed along the Cotton Famine road to Broadstones Hill.The ridge was then taken to Pots and Pans with extensive views down to the Saddleworth villages on our right.

The route proved a tough moorland challenge (particularly for January) and apart from the first and last mile did not drop below 1000 ft above sea level.Several parts of the route were pathless and all who attended knew they had been on a good challenging walk.

Special thanks are due to leader Dave Gordon who stepped in at short notice to ensure the walk went ahead as planned.

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