Posts tagged ‘Abbey Brook’

May 9, 2014

A last minute night on the Howden Moors

by backpackingbongos

With a four day bank holiday I had planned to stay at home and relax. However come the Friday afternoon I found myself feeling restless. Two whole weeks had passed since I had slept outside, the wild camping addiction is a hard one to break. Maps were taken off the shelf and a quick and easy backpack was devised, leading to a spot I have fancied pitching on for a while. Texts and emails were exchanged with Rich and Chrissie and plans were made.

Rich and I met with Chrissie in a lay-by on Bradfield Moor at 5.00pm, just as the day trippers were heading home. She was dropped off by Geoff her husband / chauffeur / maker of fine cakes. He would pick us up at noon the following day from the Strines Inn a few miles away. That meant that we could do a good circuit on the moors without any road walking.

The bridleway of the Dukes road meant that we made good progress across the moor, until we left it at the head of Abbey Brook. Here the ground turned to awkward tussocks. We were in the land of the mountain hare, in every direction they ran, tails still with a hint of winter white. Reuben was quivering with the sheer excitement of it all. We passed a well camouflaged leveret, unnoticed by Reuben who walked within a few inches.

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We headed to the chosen camp spot, hopeful that the tussocks would disappear. They did to some extent, although the ground remained rather lumpy. A good spot to pitch the tents, a feeling of height with great views all around. Sadly the conditions were very murky, no chance of a sunset and rubbish light for photography.

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There was water within a five minute walk, although the colour of brown ale it was palatable after filtering. The stream we took it from even had a good beery froth to it.

Without a breath of wind we all sat outside to eat and socialise until after dark, the first time I have sat outside late this year. Reuben had kindly carried a couple of cans of beer for me in his panniers. It was a treat drinking them on the moor. A nice convivial evening.

The wind did pick up in the night, shaking the exposed tents. After spending the last trip in my Trailstar I had forgotten just how warm and cosy a ‘proper’ tent can be. Despite a period of doggy dreams where Reuben did a bit of wuffing and a mini howl (I reckon his head was full of mountain hares) I slept really well.

We woke early to wind-blown drizzle, the world outside looking less than appealing. Our agreed setting off time was not until 10.00am so I had a relaxing laze with lots of coffee and the compulsory bacon Supernoodles. Rich even made a delivery of homemade banana and chocolate muffins. I had a very full belly by the time we hoisted our packs and walked into the drizzle.

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We headed for Back Tor, initially along Cartledge Stones Ridge. Thankfully soon after setting off the rain stopped and a hazy sun came out. Three sets of Paramo were hastily packed away.

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Back Tor is a great spot, its rocky summit reminiscent of Dartmoor. It is an easy scramble to its trig point, although it took some pushing and lifting to get Reuben up there.

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A simple yomp down Foulstone Road led us quickly to the Strines Inn and a waiting Geoff. It was then a short drive back to my car.

Another trip that shows that backpacking does not need to be a huge epic or involve much planning. Throw some gear in your pack at the last minute and pitch on a hill. Even more enjoyable with good company.

Chrissie’s version of events can be found here.

February 15, 2009

A white Dark Peak

by backpackingbongos

Events transpired against us with a last minute emergency meaning we were unable to set off for the North Pennines on Friday evening.  Plans were hastily changed and we decided to head to the Peak District on Saturday morning.

We parked up at a very icy car park just south of Fairholmes visitor centre and headed to the eastern side of Ladybower reservoir.  It was pretty quiet out today, Saturday seems to be the day to head to the peak, Sundays always seem to be really busy.  We were soon heading uphill towards the Derwent moors on a slippery path of compacted snow.  Just before High House farm there is a nice little shelter decorated by local school kids where we took a welcome breather.

Ladybower Reservoir from the shelter

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After comparing the relative merits of Waitrose and Tesco’s hummus we continued up the bridleway and ascended to the Wheel stones.  A great rocky outcrop that gave a good half hour of exploratory scrambling.

Scrambling on the Wheel stones

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At the top

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Framed view

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We were soon heading north passing the Salt cellar, Dovestone tor and Cakes of bread to get to Back tor the highest point of the walk at 538m.  During this time the weather started to close in with the western sky beginning to darken.  Slowly but surely the hills to the west began to disappear into the mist.

Heading north along Derwent edge

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Almost as soon as we reached Back tor the mist had enveloped us and a fine drizzle began to fall.  Rather than head to Lost lad we decided to test our navigational skills and head north into the wilds along Cartledge stones ridge.  We no longer had a clear path to follow, just two pairs of boot prints leading into the misty whiteness.  The snow seemed to get deeper and we began sinking down to our knees every other step as the surface crust gave way.  We soon hung a left and began to descend towards Bents clough, the snow becoming even softer until we were floundering through snow covered bog.  All of a sudden we came to what felt like the edge of the world as Abbey brook opened out before us.

Looking up Abbey brook

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Looking down Abbey brook

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A steep run down through the snow brought us to the footpath that runs along the bottom of the valley.  By now our leg muscles were beginning to ache from walking through the snow.  The last couple of miles along the reservoir seemed to last forever.

Map of the walk (click to enlarge)

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