Sunday, April 29, 2007

When a tresspass becmos not a tresspass...

Seem quite a silly statement at first doesnt it? If you are tresspassing, them it technicaly only becomes legal when one is back on a 'right of way'. Not so. What happens if you are on a hill path open to the public, marked and clear on the ground, but unarked on the latest maps? To anyone without knowedlge of the path, you are tressapssing, but in reality you are not. Of course, any farmer could boot you off, as the map shows no path and claim you are doing wrong. But as the path is a known 'right of way', he has no right to do so, whilst you equally have no evidence against him. Confusing isnt it?
This was the situation me and a freind came up against today. We were out in the Dove- Mainfold rregion of the Peak District climbing a few hills, and set our sights on Sheen Hill, a prominent hill that we'd not yet climbed. However, not even the new OS maps showed any path or access land going over the summit of the hill, but we'd been told by locals that there was access. Luckily we found this- a stile, discretley tucked away on the NE corner of the hill- which we followed to the summit. To anyone without the knowledge we were tresspassing, but in reaility we werent. Even better, Sheen Hill's summit was superb- a high, narrow rocky ridge jutting of the main bulk of the hill, with incredible views in all directions.
Anyways, just remember that if you see a path or stile not marked on a map, them folllow it. Thereas nothing a fuckwit farmer can do if you clim you though it was a 'right of way'. Anyhow, as a walker, tresspassing should always be done- there's too little access in parts of England, and telling a few backwards farmers t fuck off by tramping over their land to bag a hill is something any respectable walker shuld never be afraid to do.

Friday, April 13, 2007

A fortnight on the fells- its easter bank holliday and it's not raining!!!!

Unbelieveable i know, but unlike every other bank holliday, this Easter it has been glorious and sunny. Even nicer is that i've had the last fortnight off school, so i've been out walking on most days. Fuck all the religious crap (Easter is a pagan festival that the hateful intolerant catholics overrid anyway), Easter is all about getting out on the fells and noshing on loads of chocolate.
On Good Friday (good, as in its quiet due to all the bible-bashers being in church) i met up with a load of mates for a nice picnic walk down the slopes of Barlow Dale. Had a plesent chill out on a ridge in the warm sunshine, chatting and enjoying the sun. One of my more wierder, exerzise-nut freinds buggered off as she wanted a 'walk'. We let her go- it was meant to be a nice get together, not a race around the hill. Ended up at Hill Top, fooling around at the park untill 16:30. Despite it supposedly being a short picnic walk, when i got home i found out i'd actually done 10.5 miles- probably due to me having to walk over town to meet everyone, and takng a freind back over some fields with Jake and Shell (she doesnt like walking through them alone).
However, Saturday was the best part of the weekend- Kinder Scout, the hghest of Peakland's 3 mountains. As there aint any busses out to Edale at the foot of Kinder and its a 20 mile drive from home, we dont often get to go on it. Luckily, Dobbo and Jake secured lifts out and by 9:45 we were walking in the glorious Edale Valley. The weather was perfect- bright sunshine, no clouds, a light breeze- and the fells unusualy quiet, adding to the charm as we walked up the valley. We decided to do the 'tourist route' up Kinder- Jacob's Ladder-, which, though easy, offeres stunning views as one climbs up onto the Kinder Col at 533m. I love this part of the Pennines, high up amongst the big hills of Peakland, the yellow grass and brown peat covering the fells, open skies and just the squarkng of grouse to be heard.
Our route was my favourite- up to the summit and over Kinder's wonderous central plateau- the highest ground in the Pennines and England south of the Yorkshire Dales- to Crowden Head, before heading over to Grindslow Knoll (the 4th highest hill in Peakland) and down to Edale. It was a glorious walk, jumping over groughs, crossing the bogs, chilling out for an hour on the summit (636m/ 2088ft- the highest in Peakland) and laughing as Jake and Dobbo had a peat fight at Crwden Head. For 3 1/2 hours we were above 2000ft on the plateau, seeng few people (some were a bunch of townies struggling over the bogs- they looked riduculous and should have stayed in the towns where they belong), enjoying what it the very best part of Kinder Scout.
We ended up on Grindslow Knoll (601m/ 1971ft), a satelite peak of Kinder where we spent 45 minutes veging and savouring the views. Eventualy made the horrible 1300ft descent down to Edale to get a lift home. Walking down through the village we passes a bunch of scousers who made loud comments on us being scruffy, odd looking and smelly. Haha, stupid scousers for you- out in thier scummy chav clothes- they should have been back in Liverpool steeling hupcaps, not polluting the countryside with thier thick heads.
Sunday was fun, ended up walking 14 miles due to a cold, strong wind blowing over the hills, finishing with a bbq at home. On Monday we met up some folk we go to Cornwall with on holliday for a slow wander up Stanton Moor. Despite it being cooler, the walk was fun with a good climb on the Cork Stone on the way down.
This last week of the hollidays has followed a similar pattern- short afternoon or evening dog walks with mum on tuesday and wednesday, a delightful walk over my local hills with grandma on thurday, veging on friday (should have done homework, but still...) and a big walk on saturday. Thursday was interesting, heading over Lenny Hill and Flask Edge from Totley, finishing off by going over the fields home. Mostly, on hot, sunny days i lothe to be on my local fells, wanting to be out in the heart of the Peak District Pennines. However, thursday's walk rekindled my fondness for them, all deserted and tranquil, the open heather moors dominating the pastoral fields of the Totley Valey as it heads towards Sheffield, away from the Pennines, reminding me how lucky i am to have the Pennines only 1 1/2 hours walk from home.
Yesterday was a kiler though- got the bus out to King's Tree at the top of Derwentdale in the heart of the Howden Moors- Bleaklow area and climbed the 4 highest hills on the Eastern Edges and in South Yorkshire : Horse Stone Naze (530m), Outer Edge (541m), Howden Edge (550m) and Back Tor (537m). The walk was a gem, crossing the wildest, toughest and remotest parts of Peakland, away from the crowds over a wilderness of peat bog, heather and moorland grasses. However, the heat was intense, making walking a wee bit tough (i could smell myself when i began the decent down to Fairholmes), especialy over Middle Moss where the nearest road is 2.5 miles away with the whole moor compleatly deserted. Still, the walking was grand, i got a good 30 mins chill out on each hill at the least and i avoided the crowds. The descent of Back Tor, with the hills all golden-yellow in the light and the fells deserted perfectly ended a simply superb fortnight of great walking.
Photos (top- bottom):
- Me resting on Jacob's Ladder with Kinder Scout beyond (the peak is The Pagods at 630m/ 2068t)
- Me at Kinder's summit for the 17th time
- Dobbo and i posing at Fox Holes Crag en-route to Grindslow Knoll, with Win Hill Pike and Lose Hill below
- Jake and Dobbo chilling atop Grindslow Knoll

Monday, April 02, 2007

End of term walking blow-out

Hooray, finally broke up for easter after the hardest half- term i've ever had. To celebrate and unwind, i decided to go walking both days of the weekend. Even better, Dad came up after 5 months recovring from a moterbike accident, which means its back to normal with him- going on big walks every month.
Saturday was a fun wander- drove over to Errwood Reservoir in the Western Moorlands, stopping outside Buxton to bag Grin Low (my first new hill of 2007). We ploddeed up the Goyt Valley into the hills, quite cold givien that it's now April, but wonderfully sunny. Instead of climbing Burbage Edge as planned, we decided to climb Whetstone Ridge to have dinner on (i like to have my dinner on top of hills- can't stand eating in a valley or on a subsidary top unless its a good one like Bleaklow Stones), passing the source of the River Mersy and seeing little of the usualy great views due to the haze.
Afterwards we headed north along the ridge to Shining Tor, at 559m the highest hill in Cheshire and on of my favourite hills. Had a delightful hour on the summit, climbing on the crags and enjoying the views. Dad had brought along some balti mix which was a wee too hot and moreish- ended up with aching stomachs during the walk along the ridge to Cats Tor. The last part of the walk went alog the ridge to Cats Tor (522m) which was the highest Peakland hill i'd yet not climbed, and a great one at that with stunning views and a great sense of height. Got back to the car to find a few stupid townie boys taking photos of thier crappy cars- how sad-, which gave us a laugh.
On Sunday i dragged my tired legs back out onto the fells, this time up Bleaklow. Due to the cold, i decided to go over the moors to Higher Shelf (621m/ 2037ft), the 3rd of Peakland's 3 mountains. It involved a brilliant walk up the Westend Valley and Raven's Clough, before crossing the remote moors over Westend Low (535m) and heading down into the upland bowl of Grains-in-the-Water. After another half hour's plod over the moor i reached Higher Shelf in 50mph winds that were so strong i got knocked down a few times. Luckily there was some shelter for me to enjoy my lunch high up in heven.
From Higher Shelf i headed over to Bleaklow, stumblng acros a small tarn below Higher Shelf's summit. At 617m/ 2024ft, this is the highest permenant water in England south of Fountains Fell Tarn in the Yorkshire Dales and very magical. As usual, Bleaklow was a delight- remote, wild, high, charming and with stunning views-, confirming it as my all time favourite hill and/or mountain. Whilst i was relaxing on the summit, Jake (my twin) appeared over the ridge, giving me a shock as he was suposed to be over on the Howden Moors 4 miles away. He'd got cold and decided to dash over the fells, which annoyed me as i was enjoying being alone on the mountain.
The walk back was fun as normal, over the moor, stopping at Ronskley Tarn for some food (so nice, sat by the tarn on the heather, munching on some cake, gazing over to Bleaklow, high up and alone- i love the spot) and back down to the road to get the bus home. Now thats what i call a great weekend, though my legs are aching and i smell a bit. Has to be the best 2 days walking all year so far...

photos- top: Cats Tor from Shining Tor
bottom- me on the summit of Cats Tor

Friday, March 23, 2007

No more coursework!!!!!!!!!!!

Whooppeee!!! Finally, after 3 years of GCSE and A-level corsework, i have not more to do, ever! As i'm nearng the end of my last year at school (hell), i've just handed in my English Language investigaton in, the last bit of coursework i've got to do, now with no more untill university. Oh how i am happy, no more late nights finishing drafts or endless hours slogging away, just revision for my final exams in june...
The last few weeks have been ok- out to the pub with freinds, putting up with the catholic fascists who run (dictate) school, chuggin through more homework and the odd bit of walking of course. Actualy, my walking aint been of much lately- a good slog up Bleaklow and a short 2 hour, 7-mile dash over my local fell (Flask Edge) in a hail storm- due to rubbish weather. Soon its the easter holidays so it should pick up- planning to go up Kinder Scout (highest mountain in the Peak District) and go scrambling on the wonderful limestone ridges in the Winnats Pass.
Luckily the weather is picking up with spring approching, so the year can pick up steam.......

photo- me wasted on New Years Eve 2005 on my 17th bday- how i aim to be at a mates party on saturday 24th march.....

Saturday, March 03, 2007

For once I'm hoping for bad weather

Strange but true, for once I'm hoping that tomorrow it will chuck it down. You see, my normal walking day is sunday, when all the busses out into the hills run (well, two busses), and all weak Dobbo, Jake and were planning on climbing Bleaklow (the finest mountain in Britain). However, Mr Weatherman and the ultra-accurate have been predicting that it will chuck it down all day with cloud at around 300m- not good for going up Bleaklow.
So, scared of getting a thorough drenching, Dobbo and i decided to go walking today instead, going for a most wonderous wander over the moor above Chatsworth Park. We had a good walk, grossing Gardom's Edge and wandering past the lakes above Chatsworth House- very nostalgic as the last time i was there was way back in 2002 when i was just beginning to take to the hils, before i'd started fellwalking properly. The best bit though, was climbing Harland Edge- the Southeasternmost 1100ft hill in the Pennines- were we relaxed in the mild sun, admiring the incredible views over nearly all of Peakland and messing around. Despite it being right at the end of the Pennines, it is a grand little hill with a welcome sense of wildness to it. The afternon turned out great- heading over to Birchin Edge for some (not very good) climbing.
Anyway, despite the day being good, going up Bleaklow is far better than going anywhere else in Peakland (well, except for Kinder and the Howden Moors maybe), and if it turns out lovely tomorrow i will be highly annoyed, having had to change my plans for nothing. Just hope i wake up to grey clouds and heavy, persistant rain in the morning....

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Random events in the life of Bo

Ah blimey, what a month February has been!
Finally finished off me exams at the beginning of the month- an absolute delight to have them done and had a much deserved week off school on holiday, in which i did very little work, chilled out and went walking quite a lot.
School has been interesting, as i feel it is in serious decline- we have an authoritarian catholic in charge, who appears to be slowly removing any freedoms we've enjoyed in the 6th form (A-Level years) and getting rid the school's once vibrant, happy atmosphere, and letting it become a fearful, unhappy, authoritarian place. Still, only 11 weeks to go untill i'm off on study leave for my final exams, them i'm off to university, so i can put up with it untill then.
I've recently decided to put green streaks in my hair (which looks cool) which i think is great- i get loads of stares off the townies and boring indie-sheep- and makes a nice change from being pure blonde. Unfortunatly, our catholic year head doesnt like it (what do catholics like???), but, as i'm currently not breaking any rules, there's nothing they can do about it.
My walking has been good this month- did a brilliant 20 mile walk with Jake and Dobbo around my local hills, possibly the easiest 20-miler i've done. Me and Dobbo had a great day doing some superb scrambling at Alport Castles (Britain's largest landslip), where we ended up climbing a 70ft cliff of loose grass and heather (he almost fell) and climbed The Alport Tower- a grand 120ft pinnacle that has the best summit of any Peakland hill. My mate Dobbo is also beginning to improve at climbing at last- doing some good climbs for his first time- which is great as he is/ was rather incompetent at it and can now climb at (what i call) a descent standard.
My wonderful social life has been ok with nothing much happenig really. It's been a flurry of mates 18th
birthdays with the odd good party, and quiet trips to the pub for a pint. Even better, someone who i hate has had his driving license taken off him and forced to retake his test for speeding last year, and everyone is getting better at keeping in contact with one-another.
Anyways, i will try to update this thing more regularly that i have been doing.

-top: Me with green hair
-bottom: Dobbo on the knife-edge sumit of the Alport Tower (476m), at Alport Castles.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Thunderstorms+ mountaintops+ me do NOT mix!

Note- mountains+ me DO MIX. We mix so well it's like parties and booze or cheese and toast. However, me+ mountains with thunder DO NOT MIX.
Ah, what a fun day sunday was. With the high chance that the first snow of 2007 was likley to fall, i decided to go and climb the mountain where it would most likley fall- Bleaklow. Despite the usual people and health and saftley obsessed gits telling me not to go, i went anyway. Being an experianced walker and very familiar with Bleaklow (I've climbed it 22 times) i didn't have a problem.
I ascended via the remote Westend Valley jutting of Howden Reservoir and walked up it in heavy snow and sleet. By the time Ronksley Moor (510m) was reached i was drenched so i headed down to the Round Hill Bothy to dry off, 10 minutes walk away down a grough. Gosh it was lovely in the bothy- a little winter wonderland 1500ft (470m) in the middle of nowhere- to dry off and have some food as it pelted it down outside. After an hour it eased off so i decided to make a push for Bleaklow Stones, at 628m/ 2060ft the 3rd highest point of the mountain and the most easterly bit of ground above 2000ft in the UK.
The walk was sheer delight, the fells glimmering white and compleatly deserted, Bleaklow looming ahead. The walk is very familiar to me (I've done it at least 15 times) with a good climb up onto the mountain's plateau at Grinah Stones. From here Bleaklow Stones loomed menacingly ahead, the cold wind gusting hard. As usual the climb is straightforeward and wonderful, slowly traversing around and up onto to top. The final 100ft were difficuly due to deep snow but soon the top was reachec at 12;30.
Being on top was brilliant with the vast views in all directions, the snow covered slopes leading down to endless moors. I had i little rest and half my dinner before a massive cloud from the west rolled over. At first it snowed lightly but suddenly it developed into a whiteout blizzard with no visability and heavy snowfall all around. I then got the shock of my life when it began to thunder and lighning directly overhead, scaring me silly as it was right upon me and i had no choice but to stay put.
It finally subsided 15 minutes later, leaving me somewhat shook up. I raced back to Grinah Stones and over to the Bothy before the next band of snow came. By now it was going dark and i'd had enough so i made for the Westend Valley in more heavy snowfall. With the pine woods and slopes all white it was really beautuful (D of E gits would call it a 'dangerous' situation by the way).
The day then turned into a nighmare as it snowed constantly for 1 1/2 hours, the bus home failed to turn up, it turning around halfway up the reservoirs (TM-Travel- you are assholes!!!!). Luckily some walkers who i walked back down the road with offered to give me a lift to Hathersage so my perents could pick me up (no mobile reception in Derwentdale by the reserviors). I offer my greatest thanks to the members of the Derbyshire Pennine Fell Club for helping me out of a bad situation.
Anyway, it was certainly a good day and fun adventure!

Photos- top- Round Hill Bothies at 11:30 after the first snowfall, in Lower Small Clough, Ronskley Moor.
Bottom- Bleaklow Stones from Grinah Stones after the blizzard with more bad stuff on the way. The best view of any hill or mountain anywhere i think.