Peak Rambler’s Ramblings....; 2 years old, Twitter CB and a Stag Do!

Well, Peak Rambler’s Ramblings.... is two years old and I’m still blogging about my walks, though mainly in the Peak District, but some are in Snowdonia, and yes, if I was having a mid-life- crisis in my write-up for the first anniversary of Peak Rambler’s Ramblings, then I guess I still am going through that crisis.

Yet another fabulous year for walking, with some interesting and varied weather, some spectacular snow days, sunny days and even a really good wet day to test not just waterproofs, but also test a water filter with some really peaty water, and then drink it!

Oh, and I mustn’t forget, the Stag Do……

Before all that, I just want to wind the blogging clock back a bit further than the last twelve months.

All this came about sometime in 2011, the sixtieth anniversary year of the Peak District National Park, where a group of us, virtually all on Twitter, met one weekend at Monsal Head, to commemorate the Peak District National Park’s sixtieth birthday.

Some of those guys were bloggers, some keen photographers, others, shared the one common thing that we all had, a love of the great outdoors.

The guy who organised the weekend, Terry Abraham, alias Terrybnd, started out making short videos of the Peak District, some of the many fabulous places to stay and visit, has come a long way since those days, now making some fabulous in depth videos of other parts of Great Britain.

One such video, is the Cairngorms in Winter, with Chris Townsend. A really fascinating video and another due to be released video later this year, about the Lake District.

I’m digressing, because here I want to just pick up on the Twitter part. I guess you’re wondering where CB comes in to his, read on and you’ll see…….

Twitter, like Facebook and Google+, are great mediums for getting to know folk and communicate, often within the safety of your own home. You find people that share the same interests as you, or even gone through similar life scenarios like you. You communicate with them, and then you get to find more people who also share similar backgrounds or interests and before you know it, you build up a nice circle of friends using the current state-of-the-art communications system.

From there, you will meet some of them; have a social, a meeting or whatever.

Well, this was exactly how that meet at Monsal Head back 2011 went. We got to know each other via Twitter, or one of the many outdoor forums that were around at the time.

That got me thinking, that was just how CB, otherwise known as Citizens Band Radio used to be. You would talk to total strangers via two-way radio, get to know them, meet them, often at an organised event, called an Eyeball, and from there, many great friendships were established.

Now that was a long time ago, CB was almost state of the art communication back then in the late seventies and early eighties, only becoming legal in November 1981 by the then Conservative Government, under the leadership of Margaret Thatcher.

CB was all the craze in America during the mid to late seventies, brought about by the film Convoy and the spinoff hit and title theme “Convoy” in 1976 by CS McCall. CB started life out as a means of communication for the long distance truckers over there, when eventually it then found its way in to the UK, illegally. However, after a few years of campaigning, it was eventually legalised, but not the same system as in the USA.

I’ve digressed. I happy to say that I’ve managed to keep in touch with the vast majority of those who I met at Monsal Head and have made many more friends since then.

A couple of things that have changed, well, moved on, I’ve bought a GoPro Hero2 video, which I’m currently still on ‘L’ plates with using it. So Peak Rambler now has a YouTube page. Once I’ve mastered videoing, there will be a few more videos there.

Anyway, enough of that, let’s take a look back over the last twelve months of walking.

Now this was an interesting weekend. For me, along with some of the others, it was our first experience of a bunkhouse.

We stayed at Pindale Farm, just outside Hope, in virtually perfect reach of the Dark Peak, in winter.

Unfortunately for me, I had just been put on shifts the week leading up to the weekend, which meant I was going to be arriving late. The journey was interesting, for all the major routes from home, had suddenly become accident ridden!

But, we had a fantastic walk from Edale on to Kinder, round and down Jacobs Ladder.

A wild wintry walk around the Kinder Plateau

As we started our descent down Jacobs Ladder, we encountered two lads walking up Jacobs Ladder with mono cycles, with the intention of cycling down!

You can read all about that day, here in A Peak Winter Meet, a Bunkhouse and Kinder

Yet more playing in the snow, but not quite so exposed, but just as cold, in fact, with the bitter easterlies that day, much colder!

Here my snow goggles were put to good use along with my newly purchased Kahtoola Microspikes back in February.

Close to Highshaw Clough, Derwent Moor, with my snow goggles and some proper deep snow!

You can read about the day’s experiences in Derwent Moor to Highshaw Clough from Cutthroat Bridge

This walk covered some old ground, Bleaklow and the B29, again, in the snow, but this time the route extended the route out towards James Thorn where the few remains from the Royal Canadian Air Force Avro Lancaster KB993 that crashed there.

Looking over to White Clough from the James's Thorn

This was one walk I had been planning to return to for some time, Stanage Edge, a spectacular place and extremely popular with walkers and climbers alike.

A lot of rock climbing takes place on the gritstone edges and then there’s Robin Hoods Cave, a place which you could imagine the hero hiding in, with some spectacular views from a naturally shaped gritstone balcony overlooking Bamford, Bamford Moor, Offerton Moor and Eyam Moor.

Robin Hoods Cave on Stanage Edge

Due to a change in circumstances that day, my intended return route across Bamford Moor at the end of the walk was cut short.

This is another walk that has been on my to do list for quite a while, and I finally managed to make it.

Froggatt Edge is very similar to Stanage Edge, a gritstone edge, again, frequented by climbers with a moorland plateau to walk across.

One of many small stone circles on Big Moor

Actually, the moorland plateau, Big Moor, lead on White Edge and White Edge Moor, then we circled back around Barbrook Reservoir, now drained and disused, visiting four small megalithic stone circles.

“…. And a Stag Do!”

What an end to a title……

I’m not going to say too much about that bit you’ll have to read my blog to find out more.

This was covering some old ground, but instead of snow, we had rain, and lots of it. But it was a great day and Barney had brought along his Sawyer Water Filter. Boy was I impressed with how clear and drinkable the water was, that had been collected from a very peat filled fast running stream!

Looking down in to Danebower Quarry, long since abandoned

This was a very pleasant, steady walk through the White Peak, for a change. The walk started from Monyash, where we picked up the Limestone Way and then diverted to Arbor Low stone circle.

Arbor Low is one of many childhood haunts for me and is always a pleasure to visit, along with Gib Hill, some 300 metres to the south west.

Arbor Low Stone Circle

From there, we backtracked to the road, heading for Yougreave, where we would pick up the Limestone Way again, to walk through Bradford Dale, then on to Lathkill Dale, for our return to Monyash.

This is the Carneddau almost at its wildest. This was an area where I spent many hours doing my day time navigation training whilst I was a Scout Leader.

It was great to revisit many of the points we used to navigate to, and also to enjoy the peace and tranquillity, away from civilisation.

Llyn y Coryn, not far from Crimpiau

A warning though, much of this was off-path and not to be attempted unless your are confident walking off-path with limited navigational features.

This was the first day of a weekend of camping and walking. We camped at our favourite site, Park House near Monsal Head, with the first of two days of walking, along Stanage Edge.

This time, we did the route in reverse to my earlier walk, and we covered Bamford Moor first, then Stanage Edge from Crow Chin.

Lunch stop on Crow Chin, Stanage Edge

Though a circular route had been planned, I’m always open to suggestions, and our return route was back along Stanage Edge, descending by Stanage Plantation, then taking to road back to our transport back to the camp site, via Hathersage and its outdoor shops….

The Monsal Trail, great for and easy no hills walk, following the old Midland Railway line between Blackwell Mill, in Chee Dale and Coombs Road, at Bakewell, through some spectacular White Peak scenery, one I’ve been intending on doing for some time.

Our route started from Monsal Head, walking through Monsal Dale, across the A6, Great Shacklow Wood, bypassing the village of Ashford in the Water, in to Bakewell walking alongside the River Wye, then picking up the Monsal Trail just above The Brooklands.

Monsal Weir, River Wye, Monsal Dale

Entering Entering Headstone Tunnel, Monsal Dale

It was particularly poignant for me, for it as covering ground I used to walk on as a child and also the last time I walked through Headstone Tunnel was after the line had been closed, but before the tunnel was finally closed off for safety reasons.

This was the perfect end to a weekend of camping and walking, and a big thank you to Shaun who planned and organised the walk.

Eyam is a place that has fascinated me from childhood, particularly after watching a TV series called The Roses of Eyam, all about how Eyam quarantined itself off from the rest of the world, to prevent the spread of the Black Death!

Approaching the radio mast on Eyam Moor, visible from Castleton, Stanage Edge and Win Hill.

With all my walks, I plan the route and work out timings first, and this was no different. However, I had to cut the desired walk short at the planning stage, so I could spend time in Eyam itself, wandering around many of the key places relating to this self-exhalation they imposed on themselves.

Were they brave or fool hardy?

Mompesson's Well, a valuable trading point while the village of Eyam quarantined its self during the plague
I’d say brave, for it must have been very hard, especially with the limited medical knowledge they had at the time. Added to that, many families had to bury their own family members, who had died of the plague, themselves and not using the village church or churchyard.

To think that in many gardens, will be the bodies of those who died of the plague!

Eyam Moor was a lovely walk, even though I cut it short, with fabulous views across the Peak District, Stanage Edge in the East, Mam Tor and the Great Ridge to the North West!.

One last thought to leave you with, the nursery rhythm “Ring A Ring A Roses”, a lot of claim has been put this this coming from the plague. Many nursery rhythms were born out of historical events, even though there may be some poetic licence in the writing and later changes over time.

Riley's Graves, a reasonable walk to the east of Eyam

I have covered this on my blog, though it’s not conclusive, though I like to think so.

I will return, to complete what I never managed to walk on Eyam Moor.

This walk was a long overdue walk. I was on holiday in North Yorkshire, intending on either walking the North York Moor or Yorkshire Dales. However, I pulled a muscle in my back and walking, even moving was painful, so it never happened.

I did however manage a short walk around Derwent and Howden Reservoirs late October prior to my North Yorkshire break. But the time I had available between the walk and my holiday was days, so that never got written about.

The famous Salt Cellar, one of many weathered Gritstone formations on Derwent Edge

Anyway, Derwent Edge, this was covering old ground again, with friends, but this time the return was via Ladybower Reservoir and not back tracking the moor.

Derwent Moor has probably some of the best, if not the best, weathered gritstone formations in the Peak District.

This is my final blog for this second year, where I joined a small group of fellow walkers from a walking forum, for a wander from Bamford, through Hope on to Win Hill and back to Bamford via Thornhill.

Approaching Win Hill in the cloud!

Thank you for reading and following, once again it’s been another enjoyable year of walking and blogging as much as I’ve enjoyed the walking and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading them just as much.

I can never find enough time to get out and walk, but one thing is for sure, I grab every opportunity I can.

I would like to say thank you to you all, for taking the time to read and also to those who have passed comments either via Twitter or to the various blogs I’ve posted. It’s been a pleasure receiving your feedback.

Finally, happy rambling and thank you for reading,
Peak Rambler

Twitter               @PeakRambler
Photo Album     Peak Rambler Flickr Photo Album  
YouTube           Peak Rambler on YouTube

Links to some of the areas I’ve mentioned and written about here but not covered in the blogs mentioned;

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