Monday, 9 July 2007

A feast of Famine

Another Sunday - another 3,200 feet of ascent. It's like climbing Snowdon every weekend! Well, with these long Summer (???) days, I like to take advantage of the light. Today was given out as more showers than sun, but it ended up the other way around. The air quality was superb, and I got lots of really good pictures. The temperature was perfect for a hard walk, with a nice breeze again. Usually, at this time of year, it's hellish hot, and only fit for lying in meadows chewing grass. I also caught the sun quite a lot on my face (even though I had applied sun crème that morning).
Oh well, I MUST wear my hat next time.

So - where did I go, and what's that title about? A few weeks ago I walked along the Oaken clough path, and from there, you can see an impressive duet of hills, one of which is called 'Mount Famine' (the other is South head). As I had never been to either, I decided to go there. When the walk was written, it showed to be 13 miles but with a lot of up and down. This is why I really needed a lower temperature and a bit of breeze. The route started at Barber Booth. The first hill was straight up and over that ridge, almost at once from the car. You can see the faint path.
Just before this climb though, I went into the National trust information barn, which was on the end of this lovely old farm cottage. You can make a donation here if you want;

The views around me, and particularly back to the Edale valley, were to die for!
You can see the 3 peak sweep of the Lose hill to Mam tor ridge on the right there.
The straight ridge on the right is Rushup edge.

The other views around me weren't bad either!

On these high, but accessible, moors, damage from 4X4 wheels is usually evident - and severe!
We all need to live and let live, I accept that, but my take on this is simple. Powered wheels should NEVER be allowed on unsurfaced tracks, they were constructed when there were only feet and hooves.

The track down to Roych clough. This is the new 'Pennine bridleway'.
You can learn more about this long distance trail here;

Who could guess what weather we'd get today, with this sky???
Pretty as it is, those huge cumulus nimbus can drench you in minutes, if they decided to unload.

At the top of the track, another very steep path went up to the top of South head. The reward was well worth the grunt. This is Mount Famine, from South head. I had a long lunch on the crest of that ridge. Long, because I really didn't want to leave the views and the tranquillity. I sat ages listening to the lark, curlew, lambs and grouse calling. I could also see right across to the afternoons labours, which lay ahead of me.

There you go - welcome to my lunchtime view!

Again, the big picture was great, but right next to my feet were these little beauties!

After lunch, I walked down the track, losing all the height I had gained earlier! That's why there was over 3,000 feet of ascent today - it was like a roller coaster, up, down, up, down........

This must be a VERY old trough. Note the stone 'funnel' for the water to fill it.
Also, the front of the trough was subtly curved, a VERY rare thing.
Whoever made it either had lots of time, or lots of pride in his work.

Now I was on the opposite side of the valley, and could look across to South head and Mount famine.

....and when I turned, I could see the next hill and my goal - Crowden tower, on Kinder Scouts Southern edge.

The stupendous view from Kinder, through one of the weather-worn rocks up there.

Sorry, I just HAD to climb up onto Noe stool for a pic!

The rocks up here are blasted with wind, rain and grit. This produces some VERY interesting shapes, which wouldn't look out of place in an art gallery, or on the lawn of some stately home.

The daylight now waned, and it was time to set off down. I really HATE to leave on such a lovely day, but I still had about an hour of descent before I got back to the car. Also, there was a pint with my name on it in the Nags Head at Edale!
This is Crowden brook. The first 200 feet or so are VERY 'iffy', and you must take great care.
This is the stuff broken ankles are made of. Luckily, I seem to be part mountain goat!

Here, part way down, I look back, and you can see how rocky it is. This is the EASY bit!

The day done, I look across the valley to the striations in the flanks of Rushup edge, picked out by the evening shadows.
Unlike last week, the day ended in settled weather. I really knew I had done a walk today, and my legs were tired. I knew I'd sleep well tonight, after a nice, warm shower and some dinner, but first - that pint!

1 comment:

Needlelacer said...

The vandalism that 4-wheel drive vehicles do ! ...and for all that the enjoyment they get out of visiting these places would be absolutely nothing compared with the pleasure you get from actually seeing and becoming part of the countryside.

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