Goyts Moss, a short walk across open moorland

Well, the New Year is here, and to me, it seems to have come round fast, very fast!

The Christmas/New Year celebrations been and gone, time to remove the excess eating and drinking before the return to work.

Now as I type this, I am all too aware many of you will have been working either during Christmas and New Year days, or even just between the two bank holidays.

In case you’re wondering, yes, I’ve been there too, working during the festive period, including Christmas Day, in days gone by.

I was determined to try and get two good walks in during the Christmas/New Year period, and I certainly managed to get the first in, a real corker, Axe Edge Moor, in the snow, and what superb snow conditions I had the pleasure of enjoying.

You can read about that if you haven’t yet in Axe Edge Moor Winter Walk and I’m a BIG kid at heart.

Goyts Moss, atop the Goyt Valley and Errwood Reservoir, has been on my tick list for quite some time, which like all open moorland, is managed and used for grouse rearing, with the aim of shooting the grouse later in the year. That time when they shoot the grouse, is often referred to as the Glorious Twelfth.

I'm not going to get involved with the issues around grouse shooting, this blog is centred around my walk across some moorland that's been on my tick list for quite some time.

This was a somewhat disappointing walk, though the land and scenery was what I'm used to and expected. But you'll have to read on to find out why....

Now, all the snow has as good as gone, the rain has arrived, along with the wind and leading up to my last opportunity to get a walk in, I was bamboozled with conflicting weather reports.

Rain, no rain, windy, sunny, snow, sleet, just about everything apart from a hot summer’s day!

So I took a chance, some showers, possibly sleet or snow, definitely windy, the isobars on the synoptic chart told me that, and a chance of some sun, but no real risk of heat stroke…..

Goyts Moss, has been on my tick list for quite some time

For those wondering, what’s a synoptic chart, it’s a black and white schematic diagram showing predicted weather fronts and wind flows, with lots of lines that show the airflow, which the closer they are, the stronger the wind will be.

An example of a Synoptic Chart for 0600 Sun 4th Jan 2015
These charts have a date and time to which they relate to,
printed in the top left corner

It also has lines that can cut across the wind flows, often called fronts. If it has triangles on, that’s a cold front, often means rain, or some form of precipitation, semi circles mean a warm front and a combination of semi circles and triangles, an occluded front which is where a cold and warm front collide, for want of an easy explanation.

I not only obtain my weather forecasts from the Met Office, but other sources, often those close to the area I’m interested and also by checking at least once a day, these synoptic charts.

With that, I had a dilemma, there was no consistency in the weather forecasts, and the weekend was taken up with family commitments, so the intended second walk might not happen.

After studying the weather forecasts and looking at the synoptic chart, I made a last minute decision; I was going out for a wander.

But where, the tick list was full of day long walks!

So I just opened up Memory Map at where I had left it, covering Axe Edge Moor, and thought, Goyts Moss. A nice small enough area, terrain I’m familiar with, moorland, boggy moorland, groughs, the possibility of big detours to avoid the water table and sinking in bogs, even though I’d not been there before.

So, it was grab my pack, which is kept packed and ready for the off, only this time, no food or emergency rations, which I would pick up en-route, put it in the car, and go.

I had planned on a lunchtime arrival, with a two and a half hour drive ahead of me, and that was no surprise, and it all went to plan.

So a detour to my local shops to get lunch and a couple of MARS bars, then a drive to Derbyshire Bridge.

I arrived at Derbyshire Bridge around 11:30, to a dark cloud hanging over the moors, strong winds and a brief precipitation of sleet.

Nothing I hadn’t anticipated after my initial trawl through the weather forecasts.

After a few seconds deliberation, my tummy won, I felt the best option was to have an early lunch, then get suited and booted, for it could be difficult finding a wind break for lunch on the moors.

Suited and booted, I set off for the car park entrance then followed the track down towards Errwood Reservoir, for a short distance, before taking the first path off to my left and ascend on to Goyts Moss.

Derbyshire Bridge Car Park

Entering the road that comes up through Goyt's Clough

Once atop Goyts Moss, the path disappears, totally, not even a faint trace, and was unsurprisingly waterlogged. But then what would you expect, high moorland, the snow we had only a few days previously had well and truly thawed.

I was on open access land.

The track up to Goyts Moss

Through this style to reach the moor

My route, was to the top of Errwood Reservoir, stopping at the wooded area, cutting across and back towards the Cat and Fiddle Pub. A very short walk, but that was intended in view of the late start.

So I followed my imaginary (sometimes you need a good imagination out here to keep some sanity) route, towards the wooded area, crossing a couple of deep groughs on my way, nothing out of the ordinary, all expected, but I found the whole area wasn’t appealing to me!

Unsurprisingly it was waterlogged.
Also I passed a series of grouse butts
That is out of character for me, I always enjoy the scenery no matter what, but
here, it just didn’t bite the biscuit!

I continued on, it was exercise, I was out and the weather was being gently, even if the wind was 19.1mph.

Then it hit me, the moorland wasn’t photogenic, nothing inspired me to grab my camera!

There were no distant views to savour, no landmarks to see and the moorland across Ravens Low, to the East, was a patchwork of vegetation!

Truly man managed!

This is NOT a criticism of land management, or the scenery around. I know, and have said many times, these moors are managed, but this didn’t appeal to me, personally. Now before anyone shoots me down verbally or in print, I immediately started to look at possible reasons why, too numerous to mention here.

However, I'll not get in to the debate about land management, but to leave that up to your own minds.

Look to the top right of the photo and you see the patchwork moorland

I will say, perhaps there was very good reason for the extensive patchwork, for I’m just a visitor who respects the countryside and I’ll leave it at that.

So I was on an instant downer, no navigation challenges, I just enjoyed the exercise, but couldn’t wait to see the walk end.

Unsurprisingly, when I arrived at the wooded area, the trees were too many and too thick to view Errwood Reservoir and I had no intention of going any further, that was my backstop to cut across the moor and head for the Cat and Fiddle before returning to the car at Derbyshire Bridge.

Once at the wooded area, I then visually plotted my course across the moor, following a clearly defined track, down Deep Clough and westerly towards Stake Clough to pick up the path that heads South West back towards the A537 Macclesfield Road.

The route down across Deep Clough, on to Stake Clough

So off I set, initially heading westerly, down in to Deep Clough and soon back out of it, climbing up to a high point before dropping down in to Stake Clough.

As I came up and out of Stake Clough, I had the urge, and time was well within my favour, so was the weather, to try some fresh, moorland, running water. Especially as I was high enough and close enough to its feasible source, to see no dead animals, in or close to the water course, and use my water filter.

Getting the water from a stream

You can just make out the brown, peat sediment in the water

Filtered clear and drinkable water

Cheers folks.
Incidentally, my filter has a jacket around it to reduced the risk of freezing

The filter, a Sawyer Mini Filter, has been a part of my kit for a good while, and a handy item to have as a backup hydration system. The first time I encountered a water filter was back in June 2013, while walking Axe Edge Moor, on a wet day, when Barney, a fellow walker, introduced myself and the two other guys with us, to the water filter.

You read about that day in Axe Edge Moor, the Cat and Fiddle pub and a Stag Do and see the video Sawyer Water Filter and also while at Kinder Downfall, enjoying a brew Sawyer Water Filter and Jetboil.

The Jetboil is another nice piece of outdoor kit.

That too was another fabulous day out, walking to Kinder Downfall and watching water going up a waterfall! You can read about that day in Mill Hill, Kinder and Kinder Downfall.

That has reminded me, I must update the What's in my pack? this gives an insight to many of the items I carry when out walking, to incorporate the addition of the water filter.

Anyway, I’ve digressed. Suitably refreshed, I continued my way towards the path near to State Farm, eventually meeting up with the path that runs SSW (200º).

...."I continued my way towards the path near to State Farm,
eventually meeting up with the path that runs SSW (200º)"....

This path is quite firm and makes for easy walking back towards the A537 Macclesfield Road, which pretty much is the theme for the rest of the walk, much of which is along the road side.

Walking the path, the Cat and Fiddle Pub soon comes in to sight, but by now, you will have seen the radio mast that is close to the Cat and Fiddle, making a good land mark for navigation on a clear day.

Fortunately, there is a reasonable grass strip alongside the A537, taking you across the frontage of the Cat and Fiddle Pub, to pick up the track off to Derbyshire Bridge.

...."there is a reasonable grass strip alongside the A537,
taking you across the frontage of the Cat and Fiddle Pub"....

At this point, I came away from the road for a short while, and back on to the moor, to grab a view over towards Errwood Reservoir and over Buxton. I thought for a second or two, the plateaus was Kinder, but then I realised, no way, especially when I took a compass bearing that confirmed neither Kinder, nor Bleaklow, were in view.

Looking over to Combs Moss and more patchwork moorland!

Zoomed in view of Errwood Reservoir

It was Combs Moss, to the North West of Buxton. This was confirmed by identifying a landmark, in this case a radio mast, which actually was a TV Mast, on a bearing of 60º.

Following that bearing on the map, took me to the TV Mast on Brown Edge, near to Turner Lodge Reservoirs.

TV Mast on Brown Edge, Buxton,
viewed from near the Cat and Fiddle Pub

Back to the road, and I headed for the turn off to Derbyshire Bridge, following the road down, past the junction with another track, straight in to the car park at Derbyshire Bridge.

Passing the Cat and Fiddle Pub, heading for Derbyshire Bridge

The road off the A537 Macclesfield Road, to Derbyshire Bridge

Continue straight down to Derbyshire Bridge

The Car Park at Derbyshire Bridge
 A final summing up, would I walk this area again?

Yes, but I would make quite a few changes and possibly not covering the complete route, but certainly parts of it.

It had been on my tick list and even though I didn’t find it appealing, I don’t regret in any way walking that part of Goyts Moss. Let’s be honest, it was a quickly put together route based on short available time and the low but present risk of inclement weather.

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 items I’ve mentioned and written about here:
Axe Edge Moor Winter Walk and I’m a BIG kid at heart
Open Access Land
Axe Edge Moor Winter Walk and I’m a BIG kid at heart
Axe Edge Moor, the Cat and Fiddle pub and a Stag Do
Sawyer Water Filter
Sawyer Water Filter and Jetboil.
Mill Hill, Kinder and Kinder Downfall
What's in my pack?
Glorious Twelfth

Peak Rambler’s Ramblings; another year ends and time to reflect

Peak Rambler’s Ramblings.... marks another year of blogging and walking, with some camping. It seems an age since I wrote and published my first blog, and how things have changed.

I’ve moved this from the annual anniversary in February to look back of the calendar year.

At times during 2014, it was very tight to even squeeze a day’s walk in, due to various commitments, which a working family man has. I’m sure many of you can relate to that, in more ways than one.

We all moan about work, but without it, we wouldn’t have the money to spend on the many different wonderful hobbies we all have, let alone keep the roof over our heads and food on the table.

Yes, I’m still going through that mid-life crisis, I can’t get out enough, revisiting many places I used to visit in my younger days, along with visiting places new, and my tick list still getting longer!

What’s changed?

My son, almost eighteen, passed his driving test last year and now has a car. Now you would think that would give me more time?

Well, I did, and how wrong I was, I still provide Dad’s taxi service, at some obnoxious hours!

But to be fair, my son avoids drinking and driving, hence why I still provide a taxi service.

It’s scary to think, he was once a helpless new born baby and now he’s almost as independent as I am today!

Peak Rambler now has a Facebook page, this was initially started to accommodate a couple of old friends who only used Facebook. Sadly one has moved on to higher and hopefully greener pastures, while the other has joined Twitter.

But Peak Rambler is still on Facebook and the following is growing. So I try to visit Facebook as often as possible.

I have to humbly apologise, for there is also a Peak Rambler Google Plus page. But all too often, time gets the better of me and I really don’t visit it as much as I should. So a big apology and also a big thank you to those who follow me there.

Before I look back at 2014, something I’d like to share with you all.

At the end of every year, we tend to reflect time to reflect on the events, good and bad, experiences and lessons learnt.

My early walking days, not something to be proud of, but neither am I ashamed, for things were not like they are today were equal to what many of us today, condemn when we see inadequately skilled and kitted folk on the hills and moors.

Back then, I didn’t have the knowledge or skills I have today, but to the best of my ability and skills at the time, I got out and enjoyed the outdoors.

There was a wild camp on Kinder, in the late seventies, with friends, using old ex-army heavy canvas ridge tents, no real map skills, no real appreciation for clothing, not that clothing was very technical back then and pure guess work.

Ok, we never really hit the plateau, even though we thought we had, but it was still fraught with issues, that we were totally ignorant of.
Kinder Plateau, September 2009
But we were out in the wilds, really enjoying the life!

As time went on, I started to accrue the knowledge and basic skills, but nothing to what I have today. There were no obvious courses, some books and magazines, but I was a bad book reader back then…..

So, what am I saying?

Many of us have been there, poorly kitted out, little or no knowledge, out in the hills or on the moors etc., but subsequently we’ve gained the skills to a reasonable level and upgraded our kit accordingly, budgets permitting.

Perhaps many of the folk we see out in the wilds, on the hills and moors, inadequately kitted out, poor or no navigation skills and outdoor knowledge, are just that, innocently out there, enjoying what we enjoy.

I enjoy chatting to folk when I’m out walking, whether in my group, or not, and also when I’m solo walking, I’ll stop and chat with passers-by, sharing briefly their days experiences and wish them a safe and enjoyable day.

At times, I’ve offered advice, even though not asked for it, some hadn’t even thought of the consequences, but all, have been grateful.

On one occasion, one young couple on Kinder changed their route, avoiding the plateau and were extremely grateful, for they never envisaged Kinder plateau being so wild!

It’s not always easy to tell who is innocently ignorant, and those who are blatantly arrogant.

But there are those blatantly arrogant and push their luck!

Not even all the kit and skills can make you totally safe!

I took a tumble atop Alport Dale back in October. An ML I know took a very nasty tumble off a mountain while solo winter walking. The local mountain rescue team rescued him and he required a hospital stay, in a local hospital before being transferred to a hospital near his home.

His embarrassment, one of his rescuers was on the same Glenmore Lodge Winter course as him!

We’ve heard of mountain rescue team members falling to their deaths on home ground!

Kit and skills are not guaranteed to stop the inevitable happening, merely reduce the chances and improve our chance of survival should things go wrong.

To finish this, I know many of you are like me and will stop and share the day’s experiences, so what I’m going to say, you will most likely do. But those who don’t, perhaps a little time tactfully taken to get to know inadequately kitted folk might save a life and put them on the right road to safety!

I’ve waffled on. Let’s look at 2014 and the walks I’ve done.

So, how did 2014 go?

I’m still on L Plates with the GoPro. It’s a good job that I don’t have to take a test in a specified period, or I’ll be scuppered!

The pressure was on, to get at least one good walk in per month. But, there have been a few very pleasant surprises, particularly later in 2014.

I’ve enjoyed my favourite haunt, the Peaks along Snowdonia, on the Carneddau, but also managed a trip to the Scottish Highlands this year, and enjoyed a fabulous walk on the Monadhliath.

The snow was a bit thin on the ground for me this last twelve months, but I’ve made up for it in my final walk of the year on Axe Edge Moor.

Bamford, Hope and Win Hill

The year started of with a walk where I joined a small group of walkers from the Walkers Forum, for a wander from Bamford, through Hope on to Win Hill and back to Bamford via Thornhill.
Trig Point, atop Win Hill
Mill Hill, Kinder and Kinder Downfall

The third year started off with a visit to Kinder, backtracking from the Snake Pass, along the Pennine Way to Mill Hill, with a detour to the Liberator crash site, before going on to Kinder and Kinder Downfall. For me, that was a visit of a lifetime, to see Kinder Downfall in its element on a windy day, with the water being blown back up!

I’ve seen endless YouTube videos, heard the stories, but had yet to witness a spectacular sight, of water being blown back up a waterfall.

For Kinder Downfall, that is not an unusual sight, when the wind is in the right direction and at the right speed.
Kinder Downfall
Long Mynd, Pole Bank and a nice cuppa in Carding Mill

This was a walk to retrace a walk I’ve done a few times, though more recently was a wander with my son, and this particular walk, was to be able to write about the area and the day.
Pole Bank summit, Long Mynd

Boy, this was one hell of a windy day, on Mam Tor!

But the Great Ridge still inspires and was also the subject of one of my very early blogs! 
it was a bit windy on Mam Tor, gusting almost up to 60mph!
Bells Palsy, The Flu and Lymes Disease

Those of you who know me, will be aware I have Bells Palsy, which basically is facial paralysis. I strongly suspect this is a result of a tick bite I obtained back in October 1988.

This was originally written to tie annual tick awareness week, but the organisation who was going to use it, BADA-UK; Borreliosis and Associated Diseases Awareness UK closed down February 2014.

What an odd title?

There is good reason for that title, for we are coming in to the tick season once again, though ticks can still be active in temperatures as low as 3.5ºC!

What is the combination of the three, Bells Palsy, the flu and Lymes Disease?

Well, for that last line, you’ll just have to read my story.
That fateful day a tick decided to attach itself to me!

This walk, also involved a weekends camping too, was a close copy to one I did last summer, but with a change to the route avoiding the boggy patch before.

It was a golden opportunity to meet up with some old friends from a meet organised for August Bank Holiday 2011 by Terry Abraham, to celebrate the Peak Districts Sixtieth Anniversary.

It was till as enjoyable as the previous occasion and just as hot!
Big Moor near Curbar Edge
Creag Dhubh and a walk on the wild side

Now if like me, your Gaelic isn’t very good, fear not. Creag Dhubh is pronounced Craig Doo!

That was a really enjoyable walk and one where once again, I was well and truly away from civilisation, very quickly and easily, but rewarded with fantastic jaw dropping views!
Creag Dhubh summit

I love them, trekking poles. But guilty as charged, I don’t use mine as much as I probably should do.

To me, trekking poles are a valuable part of my first aid kit, as well and a valuable walking aid, and I would not intentionally be without them.

Sadly, the ones used for this blog, met their demise atop Alport Dale. 
The Liebster Award

This was a blog for a bit of fun. I along with a few others had been nominated for this fictitious award. Initially I was sceptical, but after a quick bit of research, I joined in with the fun.

Bera Mawr, and the Northern Carneddau

Things at work were getting constructively busy, leaving no time for walking. One night I had been reminiscing over some old walks, and had an idea to recreate one via my blog.

Without any further thought, this was one walk I randomly picked on, and hopefully described it exactly the way it was.
My lunchtime view across to Puffin Island

A long overdue walk, and camp.

A hot late July weekend, I was on summer holiday from work, I had a strong an pressing need to get out, and this was the walk.
Magpie Mine

Yes, that mountain actually is called that!

From a distance, it does look almost like a witch’s hat, as you will see when reading the blog.

A great day out and I broke just about every rule in the hill walkers book!

But it was worth it…..

Pen Llithrig y Wrach, the peak to the right of the centre horizon
could look like a witch's hat from afar in certain conditions
Classic Kinder walk, and some Gritstone formations

This walk was to cover a classic route, which I last walked one snowy February day.

The day was just superb, with many memories from previous walks along that very same path.
Approaching the Woolpacks, Kinder

A fateful day!

You know when you just think you shouldn’t go somewhere or do something?

That was just that sort of day. I took a tumble down in to Alport Dale, after a catalogue of things not quite going to plan.
Alport Castles, a landslip, not a historical monument

This was a walk with a difference. A night hike around Birchover, on to Stanton Moor and back for a post walk drink, and bowl of chips, in the Druid Inn, Birchover.
Leaving the Nine Ladies Stone Circle, Stanton Moor

BMC Hill Walking: The Journey Begins

Back in April 2013, on the back of a survey the BMCUnder took with its membership, the BMC appointed it’s very first ever Hill Walking Officer, Carey Davis. The idea is for Carey, with support from the BMC and its membership, to promote hill walking and be the voice for Hill Walkers, within the BMC.

Like a good many of its membership, I felt that there was too much emphasis on rock climbing. Don’t get me wrong, I think it great we have some fabulous climbers out there, supported by the BMC, but there are others out there, who the BMC do support, only too quietly so and Hill Walkers, like me, are one of those many groups.

Since his appointment, Carey has been working hard to put together a plan, with the support of the BMC.

To help Carey implement his plan, the support of the BMC Hill Walking members has been sought, the first meeting taking place back in February 2014, with the second at the end of November 2014.

I wasn’t able to make the February meeting, but I did manage to make the November one, and I’m more than pleased to have done so.

Bowden Bridge, our meeting point, was where the Kinder Mass Trespass started from back on April 24th 1932, led by Benny Rothman, saw many trespassers get arrested for trying to regain the right to walk on Kinder.

If it wasn’t for the Mass Trespass on Kinder, we might not be enjoying our hobby of hill walking in the way that we are lucky to do today.

However, all is not that rosy today; there are still threats to our freedom to roam responsibly today! This is where organisations, like the BMC, the Ramblers, and many more.

However, this is about the BMC new Hill Walking Officer and a change to its policies to reflect its membership.

As we gained height, the cloud wasn’t really lifting sufficiently to consider Kinder Low, especially as we had to be at the Royal Hotel, Hayfield for the meeting for 13:00, so once we reached Edale Cross, we then returned back to Bowden Bridge.

Walking to Edale Cross, on Kinder

Carey outlined the plan of what he, with the support of the BMC were proposing to do, and this was followed up by Brian Smith, the BMC Independent Director, with his support to this initiative.

How do I feel about the future?

Positive, it will happen, but it will take time and it needs the positive support of the BMC and its membership to make it happen.

We all have different requirements from our organisation, the BMC, but all have the same aim.

My personal ideal would be to see the BMC

embrace all sections equally, for they all do a lot of very good work, quietly and behind the scenes, this is one is a big step forward

The results of the survey can be seen here in Hill walkers have spoken and Carey's write up can be read here in Can the BMC become the natural home for hill walkers?

The journey begins….

Axe Edge Moor Winter Walk and I’m a BIG kid at heart

Yes, I’m a big kid at heart, but then many of us really are, if we care to admit it.

The snow had fallen on much of the north of Britain giving rise to some cracking winter conditions.

Though I had walked on Axe Edge Moor twice before, first in the snow, second in the rain, it ticked every box. The sun was out in a blue cloudless sky, with lots of snow to walk in.

What more could a true hill walker ask for?
Snow, and lots of it, on Axe Edge Moor.
What a fantastic end to 2014
Thank you (no link in this heading)

To end, my blog is done purely for pleasure and to share with you my walking experiences along with tips and advice for those who are just starting out in our wonderful hobby of walking the hills and moors. 

I would like to say a big thank you to you all for reading my blogs, adding comments either to the blog or via Twitter and Facebook. Also thank you for sharing the blog links with your friends and followers.

Further, it has been a great pleasure walking with many of you, not just this last twelve months, but in years gone by, and I sincerely hope we will meet again.

Here’s to 2015, a new year, some new walks, new and old friends.

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 items I’ve mentioned and written about here:

Walkers Forum,
Mill Hill, Kinder and Kinder Downfall
Long Mynd, Pole Bank and a nice cuppa in Carding Mill
A windy wander on Mam Tor and along Castleton’s Great Ridge
Bells Palsy, The Flu and Lymes Disease
Walking Big Moor, White Edge Moor and Barbrook Reservoir with friends
Creag Dhubh and a walk on the wild side
Trekking Poles, love ‘em or hate ‘em?
The Liebster Award
Bera Mawr, and the Northern Carneddau
A wander from Monyash to Magpie Mine via Flagg and Taddington
Pen Llithrig y Wrach: “The Slippery Hill of the Witch”
Classic Kinder walk, and some Gritstone formations
Alport Castles Alport Dale and River Alport
Stanton Moor Night Hike, and a drink in the Druid Inn
Axe Edge Moor Winter Walk and I’m a BIG kid at heart
Hill walkers have spoken
Can the BMC become the natural home for hill walkers?
Royal Hotel, Hayfield