Rushup Edge – Crowden Clough A Peak District Walk

This walk took place 2 days after the trip in my last blog, and as mentioned in that blog i shall fill in on a few missing details. To start off with, when i reached my car after the Bamford edge wild camp, i didn’t drive home, instead i made my way into the village of Edale. Once there i set up at the Fieldhead campsite with the secondary gear i had left in my car, this middle day was to be a lazy one, or at least a day with no massive hill miles. I will not be going in to huge detail on this day, infact all i will say is that i spent most of the day in Castleton, with a visit to Perveril castle before returning to the campsite to relax. I will add though, before moving on to the titled blog, that i had a great day, and i’d definitely recommend a stay at Fieldhead and/or a trip to Castleton 🙂

Ok so back to the main story…… I had a relatively slow start in the morning, but i didn’t have far to travel as my journey was going to be starting from the base of Mam Tor,  a mere 2 mile drive or so from Edale. I decided to park on the old road section outside Blue John Cavern, for the main reason being it was free, and secondarily it would add a little extra to my days mileage 🙂  The walk i had roughly planned was to start with Rushup edge, a section of the Edale skyline i had been wanting to do for a very long time, and i was finally about to do it. The only downside was the weather, the previous day had been beautiful, with sunny blue skies. Today however was misty low clouds and even stood virtually at the base of Mam Tor i could hardly see the summit…… if at all. IMG_9093[1] I set off on my walk, and made my way towards the gap where the road cuts through the great ridge, and then turned towards Rushup edge. Soon i was at the National trust sign and the walk up to the top of the edge began. I was very excited to be finally doing this walk and the only downside was the poor visibility, i could only hope that it would get better throughout the day. IMG_9095[1] On top of the ridge the views were not as bad as i expected, and whilst Kinder scout was pretty much obscured the views lower down, like Edale were still visible. Whilst i am happy to walk in the mist, i do prefer top be able to see the views, especially as i film the walks too, and its much more interesting if you can actually see something 🙂  So as you can imagine i was pleasantly surprised when there was actually a bit of view to see….. bonus i thought.  IMG_9097[1] After just less than a mile on the ridge, i came to the highest point of Rushup edge, Lords Seat. Lords Seat is an ancient barrow, which is a late neolithic or early bronze age burial mound.  The Burial mound had been fenced off due to erosion, and the sign said it would remain so until the ground had fully recovered. I stopped for a short while, shooting a bit of footage for my video, and then carried on my walk. After Lords seat, the height of the ridge slowly drops, and after about 1km i was at the junction where i would be taking the path towards Brown Knoll. I however wouldn’t be going that far, as i would be taking another fork in the path and heading down Whitemoor Clough to Dale head and Upper Booth farm. Before reaching the path down the Clough, i was met with a very wet obstacle, the hole path was completely under water. As i approached the water, i couldn’t see any way around without going through the grass, which i also expected to be saturated. Thankfully as i got closer i saw a way past , i was very relived, as on this trip i had worn my Columbia walking trainers, and i didn’t fancy water coming in over the top at this early stage of the walk. IMG_9102[1] Shortly after passing the watery obstacle, i arrived at the path for Whitemoor Clough. As i followed the path downhill it got steeper and steeper, and i soon began to wish i’d brought my walking poles. My knees were really starting to hurt and i could’t wait to get back on some level ground for a short while to recover, however i did take some comfort in the fact that the views were starting to get better as the air started to clear. IMG_9103[1]  Thankfully i soon made the bottom, and passing through Dalehead and crossing the stream i was in to open fields. These were quite wet in places with lots of large puddles from the previous night rain. The route was then to take me past Tagsnaze farm, and it was here the path disappeared. I’m not sure if it was due to fence repairs, but there was no stile where it should have been, and looking around i couldn’t see a replacement anywhere. I decided to just follow the path most used, and to what looked like a gate on a wall in the far side of the field. As i got to the gate it just went to a small drystone wall enclosure……. not this way then i thought. I consulted the map, i knew exactly where the path should be, i just couldn’t get to it. I approached the farm house hoping to see the farmer and ask for his help, but unfortunately there was nobody around. Now stood at his gate, map in hand, i knew the path was on the other side of his yard and past the far gate. With no other obvious way around i decided to go through his yard, taking care that i closed his gates properly behind me………. at last i was back on track 🙂 IMG_9108[1]IMG_9109[1]IMG_9110[1] Finally back on track again, time was pressing on, it was already about 13:00 and i was starting to get hungry, but i was determined to reach Crowden Tower before stopping for lunch. On the plus side, the low cloud and mist had gone now, which meant when i did reach the tower, the views would be great. I made quick work of the next section, partly due to my hunger and partly down to losing time around the farm building. After passing through a small wooded section and across a stream i made it to Upper booth farm.IMG_9117[1] Walking past the farm and across a bridge, i came to a small gate which was the start of the Crowden Clough path. A short way down this tree lined path was a small waterfall in the brook, it was a irresistible photo opportunity, so i stopped for a moment to get a few shots before carrying on. Leaving the trees, the landscape opened up, and crossing the style, there it was before me….. Crowden Clough 🙂 IMG_9118[1] IMG_9119[1] IMG_9120[1]IMG_9121[1] IMG_9122[1]  Being so hungry made the Clough look really long, but at least Crowden tower was finally in sight, and i was really looking forward to the scramble, as i’d heard it was a bit more difficult than the Grindsbrook one 🙂 Despite my hunger and eagerness to reach the top, i couldn’t help but stop and take lots of photographs of all the small waterfalls in the brook. IMG_9124[1] Eventually though i did reach the scramble, it didn’t seem quite so long as the Grindsbrook one, but it did look a bit steeper. So with a quick look back at the beautiful view, i started the ascent. IMG_9128[1] It wasn’t as hard as i had imagined in my head, though if there was a lot of water i imagine you’d get very wet. Around the half way point, i did find a short section that i didn’t want to do with my tripod in hand, so with a quick stop to stow my tripod on my pack i carried on, feeling much safer with both hands. IMG_9129[1] IMG_9130[1] I soon made the top after a great scramble, and my lunch stop was now within touching distance. The view from the top was pretty special, made even better by the fact i’d climbed up from it 🙂 After a few photographs i set off on my way to Crowden tower, and for a well deserved rest. IMG_9134[1] IMG_9135[1] IMG_9136[1] Settling down on the top of Crowden tower, i perched myself on the edge, my legs dangling down into the Clough below. I set my camera to time lapse while i ate my lunch, and boy did the food taste good. It was a very late lunch, i had originally hoped to get to the tower for 13:30 – 14:00, but after losing the path at the farm and taking LOADS of photographs on route it was now 15:00. Still it did not matter, there was no rush, the weather was great now, and with the clear skies the views were amazing. IMG_9139[1] IMG_9140[1] After half an hour i decided it was time to carry on, my plan for the rest of the route was to head to Grindslow Knoll and then back down to Edale via Grindsbrook Clough. The weather was so much better now, and following the edge of the kinder plateau, the views over the vale of Edale were awesome. If fact i could also see Rushup edge, where earlier in the day you couldn’t see one from the other due to the low cloud. Its not very far between Crowdon tower and Grindslow Knoll and it was soon in sight. I pressed on to make the top and i must admit in the heat i got a bit of a sweat on as i made the final climb to the Cairn. IMG_9145[1] IMG_9146[1] IMG_9148[1]  At the top the Views were awesome, i could just about see my entire route that i’d done, and also my route back. I remember thinking i wish i could do Rushup edge again, as visibility was so good now, but i knew by the time i got back over there again my legs would not want to. Whilst at the top of Grindslow Knoll, i had a great conversation with a lady from Sweden, she was quite taken with the Peak District, and this was her second trip, having been here many years ago. We said our goodbyes, as she headed down towards Edale via the direct route, i however was taking the scramble down Grindsbrook. IMG_9150[1] Approaching the Grindsbrook scramble i passed one of the many gritstone mushrooms before reaching the top. I’d been up this scramble quite a few times, yet id never been down it, so i was quite looking forward to the descent. IMG_9153[1] IMG_9154[1] Making my way down the scramble wasn’t as bad as i expected and i made quite good time down, and before long i was out of the rocky section and onto the normal path. Down in the Clough was like a sun trap, up on Kinder there had been a nice breeze, but now it was really hot and stuffy.  I decided to kneel down at the edge of the brook and splash my face with the water, and what a welcome relief it was, it felt great to be a few degrees cooler, even if it was only fleeting 🙂 IMG_9157[1] IMG_9158[1] As i got up from the stream, i met a man with his son passing in the opposite direction, and i just happened to notice he had a small microphone attached to his shirt. So i asked him if he also made YouTube videos, to which he replied yes. He told me his name was Nigel Danson, so after a quick chat and exchanging channel names, we went our separate ways (i later found out at home he has over 2k subscribers, he kept that quiet 😉 ) I will leave a link to his channel below in case anybody is interested in checking him out. As i carried on, it wasn’t long before i was roasting hot and sweating like mad in the glorious sunshine. The rest of the journey was now pretty straight forward, all that was left was to reach the village of Edale, and the carry on towards the great ridge via Harden Clough and to the Blue John Cavern car park. As i neared the end of the Grindsbrook path, i past the site of my first videoed wild camp, and i knew Edale was very close. IMG_9558[1] IMG_9559[1] It was around this point that i ran out of water, and being the clever chap i am, id forgotten my Sawyer water filter. So my plan was to make my way to the shop in Edale village and buy a couple of water bottles and fill my hydration bladder that way. It didn’t take long to get to Edale, and i promptly made my way to the shop……… Closed…. gutted i thought. So i decided to make my way to Fieldhead campsite where i had stayed the previous night, and ask them if i could use their tap. They were more than happy for me to get some water, so a massive thank you to them for helping me in a time of need 🙂 IMG_9561[1] With plenty of water on board it was time to carry on back to the car. Passing through the village, i made my way up the farmers track towards Harden Clough. Once on the path it was nice and shady from all the trees, providing some much needed respite from the all powerful sun. It wasn’t long though before the trees ended and i was back in blazing sun. I’ll be honest, i was starting to struggle now, my route had been very up and down, and with a combination of the heat and distance of the walk, i couldn’t wait to sit down and rest. Thankfully though i was almost back, and with a bit of help from the amazing views i knew id be finished soon. IMG_9564[1] IMG_9565[1] Looking down into the Hope valley from the gap in the great ridge, i was almost back, and it was all down hill from here. I was soon back at the car, from what had been an incredible walk, from the morning mist on Rushup Edge to the glorious sunshine on Kinder. Id had a really great day, and despite wishing my first walk on Rushup Edge had been in the clear, its still got a certain appeal walking in those eerie, mystical conditions.

So here ends another blog, i really hope you enjoyed it. I was really happy to do Rushup edge and Crowden clough for the first time and i definitely recommend doing them if you haven’t already. As always if you read this far, thank you very much, i really appreciate all the support 🙂 I will put all links below, to my video of this trip and also to Nigel Danson’s channel as promised. So thanks again for reading, and until next time, goodbye 🙂

Rushup Edge Crowden Clough Video

Link to Nigel Danson channel

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Bamford Edge – A Peak District Wild Camp

For a long time  i had been wanting to walk Stanage Edge to Bamford Edge for a wild camp. Two of my previous attempts had not worked out very well, the first time, i smashed my phone, and with the bad weather as well, i called time on the overnight part. The second time, my horrible anxiety chest pains made me not want to risk a long walk and camp, as i didn’t fancy having a panic attack out on the hills. This time though, it all came together, and even the weather was better. Although it had forecast rain, it wasn’t hazy like previous times, which meant the beautiful views would be clear for a change.

So back to the trip in question…….. I arrived at the upper Burbage bridge car park at 10:00am, and quickly changed into my boots and put my pack on in excitement at finally getting to do the walk. Whilst the sky was cloudy, there was still patches of blue and i was very happy that for once it wasn’t hazy, as its always better for my videos and photography when its nice and clear. After a quick look at Burbage brook, i set out on the path towards Stanage edge, and i was soon making my way up on to its rocky gritstone edge. IMG_8864[1]IMG_8865[1]IMG_8866[1] There are quite a few paths that have been cut by the many walkers that enjoy Stanage Edge, and i decided to head for the one closest to the edge itself. This first part was very rocky, and i found myself winding between and stepping over the many boulders strewn around. I then came to the first Trig point on the walk, i stopped for a short while to take in the views. The more i come to the Peak District, the more i recognise places I’ve been to or wish to visit, and from my vantage point, i saw a lot of both. IMG_8872[1]IMG_8873[1] As i carried on with my walk, it did start to get a bit busier, but not so much with walkers, of which there were a few, but with climbers. Stanage Edge is a very popular spot for climbing, and they were out in force today with lots of groups mid climb and plenty still setting up. After an hour or so of walking and filming, i made it to a place id wanted to visit for a while, Robin Hoods cave. I made my way down the path to the cave, ready to explore, Id seen this place on many videos on YouTube, but had never seen it in person. The first section was more over hang than perhaps cave, but on the other end of the path was a stone like balcony, with a very narrow ledge leading to it. I didn’t fancy making my way across the ledge, and thankfully i didn’t have to, as the adjacent cave led right to this balcony of stone, and that cave was of course Robin Hoods cave. I took off my bag, as it was quite a tight entrance, and once inside it was very wet, but fortunately i was able to keep to the side as i made my way out on to the stone balcony. As i made it out, the views were great, i could see why lots of people had chosen this spot for a wild camp.IMG_8879[1]IMG_8880[1]IMG_8881[1]IMG_8882[1] I admired the view for a while, and read some of the rock graffiti that had been left over the many years, but i was still conscious of the fact my journey had only just begun and i still had quite a few miles to go. So i made my way out of the cave, put my pack back on and carried on with my route. I made good time along the edge, and i was soon at the area i joined it last time near the Stanage plantation. On that occasion id had my lunch sheltered behind the rocky outcrop where the lower path meets the top of Stanage edge. This time however, i decided that i would carry on for at least another hour or so as it was only 11:40. IMG_8885[1] Up until this point i had been happily walking along with my coat on, but now the clouds were slowly parting and the sun was now giving out some real heat. I spotted a waist height boulder a short distance away, and decided to stop there to remove my coat. I undid my clips and swung my pack off on to the top of the boulder. I placed my coat under the lid and closed it up. It was then i saw it, a small lizard, lying motionless upon the gritstone boulder. I was surprised i hadn’t noticed it before, or that it hadn’t ran off when i put my bag down. This was the first time id ever seen a lizard in this country outside of a zoo, so i quickly got a picture of it before it scurried away into the undergrowth. IMG_8888[1] Thinking how lucky i was to see a lizard in the Peak District, i carried on my way, already feeling much cooler now my coat was off. The next point of interest, apart from all the great views along the way, was High Neb Trig point. It didn’t take me long to reach the trig point, and i was soon there readying myself for the compulsory trig selfie photograph. The views were great from here, and i could just make out the top of the great ridge with the mass of Kinder also visible. IMG_8892[1]IMG_8893[1] Whilst at the trig point, i made a fatal error……. i mentioned how lucky i had been with the weather so far. Tempting fate is never a good idea, as id only left the trig point for about five minutes when it started to rain. Typical i thought, and i had no choice but to stop and put on my waterproofs. Thankfully it was only heavy rain for a couple of minutes, before it slowed right down to just a fine mist. However, it was still visibly raining heavier over towards the vale of Edale, so i couldn’t relax just yet, as that rain was bound to find me. I carried on route, passing the spot where on my last trip, my tripod fell in the wind with my phone on top, smashing my screen. This time the wind wasn’t as bad, so i risked the shot again, and thankfully the tripod didn’t fall and my phone survived 🙂 Back on track i passed Stanage end, before then reaching the A57 road, where the route i had chosen took me straight on and in a loop back around to Cutthroat bridge. IMG_8895[1] Just short of Cutthroat bridge i stopped next to the stream for lunch, i had ended up walking for around an hour or more longer than i had originally intended to. This was due to me not finding anywhere fully suitable, as i really wanted a good view and a water source. In the end i had to settle for the water alone, as i ended up in quite a low clearing, with the high ferns blocking any view, but at least it was sheltered from any breeze. For my lunch on this trip i had brought out an American MRE (meal ready to eat) ration pack, this had very kindly been gifted to me by Jay “GoonieBushcraft” what seemed like forever ago. It wasn’t the first time i had brought this ration pack out, i had carried it on at least 3 separate occasions, but all these trips had ended before i got chance to use it. I had almost began to think that the MRE was cursed 😉                                 The American ration pack meals use a flame less heater, requiring water to make a chemical reaction to heat the food, so i got out my sawyer filter and collected some water from the stream. I added some of this water to the heater bag, placed the meal inside and waited for the food to heat up (for more detail on this, please watch my video, link at bottom of this blog). This worked surprisingly well, and after about ten minutes my meal was ready to eat and plenty hot enough.IMG_8900[1]IMG_8905[1]IMG_8904[1]IMG_8906[1] The meal was very nice, so a massive thanks must go to Jay 🙂    After eating a packet of corn bread which also came with it,  it was time to pack up and carry on to Bamford Edge. No sooner had i got ready, when it started to rain again, i quickly got my waterproofs out my bag and put them on.  This shower didn’t last very long though, and with the humidity i was soon stopping again to take off my waterproofs before i melted inside them. The path from here was lined with chest high ferns, and it wasn’t long before my legs were soaked. Thankfully the path began to widen and my trousers soon began to dry. I wasn’t far from Bamford Edge now, and i was really looking forward to the views over Lady bower reservoir. However a glimpse of the reservoir came much sooner than i expected, and i stood admiring the view for a while before moving on.IMG_8910[1]IMG_8909[1] I soon arrived at Bamford edge, which also had a few groups of climbers making their way up its rocky crags. I stood watching them  for a while, i must admit i was quite impressed, whilst not massive cliffs,  you still wouldn’t catch me on that side of the rock. The time was around 16:45, so i had plenty of time for a good explore of the area, whilst waiting for the climbers to leave so i could set up my tarp for the night. The views from here were every bit as good as i expected and better, i had Win hill directly opposite me with the village of Bamford below. The view over the reservoir was incredible, and i couldn’t wait to wake up to that in the morning.IMG_8912[1]IMG_8915[1]IMG_8917[1]IMG_8918[1]  By around 18:00 everyone had gone, and looking on the horizon the weather didn’t look to good, so i decided to set up my tarp before it decided to rain. It was quite windy in my chosen spot, and whilst there were other areas more sheltered, they didn’t have the view over the reservoir, so i decided to put up with it. With my tarp up, i began unpacking the rest of my gear, and it was then it began to rain again. It seemed my decision to set up early was a good one 🙂 IMG_8920[1].JPG With everything now set up it was time for food. This time it was a dehydrated meal on the menu, which had been gifted to me by Mike “GINGERBUSHCRAFT” on our Yorkshire 3 peaks trip. Upon opening the meal, i must admit it smelt awful, but once the boiling water was added, and id left it for the stated 10 minutes, it was really nice. It might not be restaurant quality, but with a pack weight of 125g it was awesome 🙂 After eating i didn’t stay up much longer, i made a quick call to my partner, as i had signal for a change, and i then decided to call it a night. It wasn’t the best nights sleep though, as the rain and wind beating my tarp all night made such a racket i kept waking up every hour or so.

Soon though, morning came and i awoke to dry, yet still breezy conditions. I got my breakfast done and made a much needed coffee, and got out my tarp to admire the morning view. IMG_8923[1]IMG_8924[1]  To say id not really had any proper sleep, i didn’t feel to bad, and by 7 o’clock i was back on the trail back to the car. As i got to the end of Bamford edge, i noticed a tent, it appeared i wasn’t the only person to stay the night. Though with their more sheltered pitch, i reckon they got a lot better sleep than i did. My plan was to make my way back to Stanage edge via a small track passing Buck stone. On route i was in awe of the absolute silence of the area, no distant car noise, no wind, nothing at all but the occasional calling of the birds, complete bliss. I was soon back on Stanage edge, only this time i was going in the opposite direction, and with it only being 08:00 on a Monday morning i had it all to myself. IMG_8927[1] From where i joined Stanage, and all the way back to the car, i saw only 4 people, it was a really peaceful walk back, in cloudy but reasonably clear weather. I’d had a really great time despite the broken sleep through the night, and i was really happy to have finally got my wild camp on Bamford Edge. Though my fun wasn’t to be over yet, my plan was to drive into Edale and have a night on field head campsite and have a lazy day, before then doing another walk the following day, but more on that in a future blog 🙂

So here ends another blog entry in my outdoors adventures, id had an amazing time, and it was great to get another solo wild camp in. The fact that it  was a location id wanted to do for a long time made it even better 🙂 . So as always if you read this far down the page, thank you very much, it really means a lot,  i’ll put a link to the accompanying video below if you wish to check it out. Thanks again for reading, and until next time, goodbye 🙂

Regards Mark

Bamford Edge Wild Camp Video

Yorkshire 3 Peaks A not so wild camp

The Yorkshire 3 peaks is a walk that has been on my radar for a while, and not only mine, but also Mikes (GINGERBUSHCRAFT). Originally, the plan was for most of our Rat Pack group to make the trip to the Yorkshire Dales, and complete the 3 peaks over two days with a wild camp in the middle. Sadly it wasn’t to be, this was mainly down to other commitments. Also some lads did not want to risk it being a red hot day in the hills, as the days leading up to the weekend had been super hot, and not ideal for a 12 mile plus day. In the end the group was whittled down to just me and Mike, and after a quick chat, we decided to meet at 08:30 on the Saturday morning, in the village of Horton in Ribblesdale. Now being from Nottingham, the Yorkshire Dales are around three and a half hours away, so i decided to head up on the Friday after work.

Friday soon came around, and once i was home from work i started to pack the car. I loaded two sets of gear, one lot for the campsite, and another for the wild camp. I made a quick call to Holme Farm campsite to check availability, and to see if they’d still have the gates open at about 7pm. The news was good, they had space and they would also be open 🙂 IMG_8159[1]

As i got closer to Horton, it started to rain, and it was still raining when i arrived on the campsite at 18:50, thankfully it was only light rain. I quickly got my tent set up, and put everything in i’d need for the night,  before then heading off to the reception to pay for my stay. After i’d paid, i made a quick call to my partner to let her know id arrived safely, and then decided to head to the pub for some food. The pub in question is the “Golden Lion Hotel”, and inside it was extremely busy. When i asked for food at the bar, i was informed they’d sold out…..gutted i thought 😦   Ah well, so i asked for a pint and found myself a place to sit. Now whilst i had phone signal, i didn’t have any internet, luckily the pub had free WiFi, so i put in the code and spent the next hour or so in the pub. After a couple of pints i made my way back to the campsite, i had quick bottle of beer id brought with me and a couple of sausage rolls before laying down on my bed to sleep ready for the next days walk.

The next morning, i awoke to the baaing of all the sheep in the neighboring field, it sounded like they were having quite the conversation. The good news though, was that it had stopped raining, i only hoped it would stay dry for the rest of the day. I made myself a coffee and some breakfast, before then packing all my gear away, and driving to the car park of the Golden Lion. It was a good job i was only next door, as the car park was already nearly full, and i was worried Mike may not get a space too. Whilst waiting for him to arrive, i shot a bit of footage around the village, and as i looked at the time, Mike came driving around the corner, perfectly on time. I pointed to where the car park was and quickly followed on to greet him. Thankfully he managed to squeeze in, and after a quick chat, we had our packs on and we were ready to hit the trail. It was only a short walk through the village to the beginning of the path. IMG_8161[1] Pen-y-ghent was the first peak we would have to tackle, and it wasn’t far down the path before we saw the famous sign, designating the route we should approach from. IMG_8163[1] With the red route selected, we made our way up towards the Pen-y-ghent, which was shrouded in low cloud. It looked as though we wouldn’t be getting any views from the top. IMG_8170[1] IMG_8171[1] Taking it nice and steady, we soon reached the base of the path up to the summit. I suggested to Mike that we stop for a quick rest before tackling the steep route, to which he agreed. After about five minutes, and letting a group of faster walkers in front, we decided to carry on up to the top. The southern end of Pen-y-ghent is shaped almost like two big steps, and this first part, whilst steep, isn’t quite so bad as the second half. After a steady plod up to the half way point, we decided to have another short break. We were soon back on the move again, and the higher we got, the worse the wind got, and as we entered the cloud, you could really see it moving past us at great speed, some of it forming droplets in my beard. The second half of the path is much steeper, and as we neared the top, we were forced to do a little scrambling. There was no major technical parts, but with a big pack on, it was still a little tricky in places. Thankfully we made the top in one piece, but we weren’t quite at the summit just yet. The summit was another few hundred meters or so away, but with the low cloud getting us quite damp, and with the wind howling through, we decided to put our coats on, and also our back pack covers. The way to the summit was a gradual incline, and seemed very easy compared to short sharp ascent we had just done. Sure enough we soon made the trig point, which we obviously had to have our photo taken with 🙂 IMG_8173[1] The last time i came up, i stopped for lunch, this time however, we would be heading pretty much straight off. We did manage to stop just long enough for the low cloud to blow through though, and i quickly managed to shoot a bit of footage before more low cloud came back in. We made our way back down, and with one peak in the bag, it was time to make our way to Whernside. Not far from Pen-y-ghent is Hull pot, which was my destination last time i was in the area, so i asked Mike if he fancied a short detour to check it out, i was hoping that Hull pot beck would be flowing in to it this time. Mike agreed, so upon reaching the path, we made our way towards it. It was just my luck that it was dry again……..I couldn’t believe it!!!  Though personally i think it was still worth the detour, it is after all a very impressive piece of the landscape. IMG_8175[1] After a quick look around we made our way back to the 3 peaks route. We got around a mile further down the trail before we decided to stop for dinner. We found a really sheltered dip just off the path, that was almost totally out of the wind. I had my usual wraps, whilst Mike heated up a ration pack meal, and made both of us a cup of coffee out of the water he’d used. The weather did threaten to rain on us at this point, with a few spits in the air, but thankfully it held off. I had checked the forecast before coming out, and there was at least a 50% chance of rain all day, with a spike of 90% at a time i had completely forgotten 😉  With food eaten and coffee drank, it was time to carry on, and whilst the sky was very cloudy, the views were really good, when not on top of a peak. As we weren’t doing the 12 hour challenge, i didn’t have a route guide, but i did have my OS map and it was pretty well signposted. Not that it stopped me having a few map checks, hoping we were on the correct path, it wasn’t that i didn’t know where we were, i just wanted to follow the correct 3 peaks route. IMG_8179[1] For a while the weather did start to brighten up, with even a few patches of blue sky daring to show their face, as we made our way through the beautiful rolling fields and across babbling streams as they snaked their way through the landscape. IMG_8180[1] IMG_8181[1] IMG_8183[1]After some beautiful path miles, we joined the road for a short section, whilst the views were still great, i don’t really enjoy walking along roads.  IMG_8185[1] Thankfully it was only a short section, of roughly just over a mile, which took us to the Ribblehead viaduct. We stopped here for a coffee and a slice of carrot cake which Mike very kindly brought from the little mobile cafe ……. thanks Mike 🙂                                           We sat next to the stream enjoying the break, with a great view of the viaduct, just a short distance away. IMG_8187[1]  IMG_8189[1] Feeling more refreshed it was time to carry on, we made our way towards the viaduct, and i remember saying to Mike, it would be great bit of video footage if a train went over. Well it seemed someone must have heard me, as about 5 minutes later a train came rolling down the lines. IMG_8191[1] Grateful for the chance to film a train crossing the viaduct, we carried on. This next section followed the train lines for about a mile and a half, up to the Victorian aqueduct, where the stream crosses the train lines. IMG_8195[1] IMG_8196[1] As the crossing is so wide, with half for the stream and the other wide enough for farm vehicles, i didn’t immediately notice we were crossing the train lines. Perhaps if it wasn’t for Mike pointing it out, i may not have noticed at all! I was however in complete awe of the ingenuity of the Victorian engineering, it was very impressive. Shortly after crossing the viaduct, the route took a upward  gradient. It was from here the route started to get harder, as we started the climb up Whernside, with the steepness of the path gradually increasing as we went on. Needless to say we had quite a few quick stops on this section, and we hadn’t even reached the really steep part yet.  IMG_8202[1] IMG_8201[1] Yet again we were walking up to a cloud covered summit, but with the wind still quite bad, there was always a chance it could all change. As we made our way up the steep section to the ridge line, we entered the cloud, and at first visibility was very poor. However as we carried on, the cloud did clear for a short window, long enough to get a few pictures and some video footage. IMG_8205[1] IMG_8206[1] This short window soon disappeared, and by the time we reached the trig point at the summit of Whernside, visibility was back to nothing again. It felt great to finally reach the top, but we were also both very tired, this was Mikes longest walk by quite a long way, and one of my longest with a full pack. This was as far as we had planned to come on the first day, the plan now was to make our way down and look for a nice place to stop for a wild camp. IMG_8210[1] IMG_8211[1] This was easier said than done, as the route down from Whernside was extremely steep. The path, whilst having steps, (if you can call them that) were very uneven and stuck out all over the place, and it felt like one wrong foot placement and you’d be rolling down. This seemed a very real possibility for me, as my knees were really starting to hurt from the steep decent. After what felt like a very long time, we were nearly at the bottom, and for the last bit i thought i’d try the grass. I hoped it would be easier, but it wasn’t, as my foot slipped and i fell backwards, my hand stopping me from getting a muddy bum. Eventually though we were back on level ground, and the search for a wild camping spot began. As we were looking, we saw a nice big woodland, and thought it would be good to get that between us and the wind. As we approached via the road, we happened to see a field with tents in, we both looked at each other, perhaps not wanting to suggest it, but in the end we both decided to check out the campsite. The campsite was called Philpin farm, and it was only £6 per night.  So we decided to set up on the lower side at first, that was until the midges started to eat us alive, so we decided to head for the higher and sightly winder end. This worked and we were soon tucking into our food. We didn’t stay up for long though, and after a couple of beers we had an early night, ready for the next days walk, and last peak, before returning to Horton-in -ribblesdale.IMG_8215[1]IMG_8213[1]

The next morning i was up early, we’d had a little light rain through the night, but it had stopped by the morning. I’d had my breakfast and my morning coffee, then packed most of my gear away before Mike got up at about 09:00. One of the campsite owners came through as Mike was preparing his breakfast, and as we hadn’t paid the night before, due to not being able to find anyone, we gave her the money now. We’d had a nice leisurely start to the day, and it was nice not to have to rush around, as we’d done most of the mileage the day before. We packed all our gear away, and got ready to set off to Ingleborough, the last of the 3 peaks, and just after 10am and we were back on the trail. Looking back at Whernside where we had been the day before, it was now clear of cloud, and it seemed it had moved to the top of Ingleborough………. typical! we thought. Undeterred we carried on, the first part being on the road, which led us to the path, where we saw a rather unnerving sign on entry to the field……. BULLS!!! IMG_8217[1] Thankfully we didn’t see any, and on we went towards Ingleborough, passing through the nature reserve and the impressive rock formations of Southerscales scars. IMG_8222[1] IMG_8223[1] IMG_8224[1] We soon reached the base of the climb up to Ingleborough, and if the route up had been a little steep so far to get here, then what we were about to climb was looking near on vertical. We decided to have a short break first, and also ate a snack bar for some quick energy. Normally i carry my camera on its tripod in my hands everywhere, but as this part was looking so steep, i thought it best to stow it in my bag, and get out my walking poles for this section.IMG_8226[1] I was really glad i did, as the poles made it a lot easier, and after only a couple of short breather stops, we had done it. We then only had one more slightly less steep but a lot shorter section, before then crossing a few hundred meters of gradual incline, and then we’d made it. At last we were on the final peak, and it felt great to be on the summit of Ingleborough, and even better, the clouds had cleared!. We got the usual trig point shot, and then had a good wander around, taking in all the views, as the sky had cleared a lot and we could see the other 2 peaks from our vantage point. IMG_8230[1]IMG_8231[1] Out of all the peaks we spent the longest on Ingleborough, mainly due to the clearer weather and amazing views, but it was still really windy up high, so we decided it was time to head back to Horton. It was downhill all the way now, but not so steep as to be painful to the knees. We had one last look at Ingleborough, before it disappeared behind the rolling ground behind us as we got lower an lower. IMG_8236[1] IMG_8237[1] By the time we were into the last 3 miles the weather was the best it had been all weekend, we were out of the wind, and the sun was out making the last stretch quite hot work. IMG_8239[1] After so many miles the day before, my feet were quite sore across the balls of my toes, and i was forced to stop a few times on this last section, not that it was a massive problem with the nice weather. Even with the stops we were soon back in Horton, as we first passed through the train station, before then getting onto the main road and back to the Golden Lion Hotel car park.IMG_8244[1] I must admit it felt great to take our bags and big walking boots off. Before leaving we had a quick drink in the pub, but only a coke as we both had long journeys ahead of us. We then said our goodbyes and set off on our journeys home.

So that is the end of this Blog, me and Mike had a really amazing time, and despite the low clouds on the summits, we were very lucky with the weather. I hope you have enjoyed reading this story of our journey, and if you made it this far down the page, thank you very much. As always i shall leave a link to the video of this trip at the bottom of the page . So thanks again for reading and until next time goodbye 🙂

Regards Mark

Link below to my 3 peaks video

3 peaks wild camp video

The Great Northern Bushcraft Conference – Part 3

GNBC – Edale – May 2017 – Sunday – Monday

Sunday

Waking up Sunday morning, i had a good look around with my blurry eyes, to make sure my tent was still standing, and that it wasn’t just a giant bivvy bag. Surprisingly all seemed ok. Upon exiting my tent i noticed that Colin’s tent had gone already, Colin had set up in the space vacated by Jay and his family whilst i was out walking. Id had a great chat with him in the evening, before he went to bed early, as he’d brought his young son with him. Asking the lads about Colin, they informed me that he’d been forced to pack away due to his tent pole snapping in the night, which had scared his lad, as the tent was half collapsed. Well thankfully the wind had died down quite a bit now, but the visibility was very poor. The cloud was very low, and was hiding the mass of Kinder, and covering the top half of the great ridge, it wasn’t looking good for another days walking………well if i wanted to see anything that is 😉  IMG_8066[1]  You may notice in the photograph above, the mess that was once Paul’s gazebo. His gazebo though wasn’t the only thing on site to get battered by the wind. As mentioned earlier, Colin’s tent got broke, a few other peoples tents also damaged, also i think a good few tarps on site had ripped, some people were using them as makeshift awning. Quite an expensive night. As the morning went on, the cloud did start to lift, but the sky stayed very grey. Most of our group was leaving today, many of them before dinner time, Mike and his dad, Craig, Andy and his lad Tom, Dave and his dog were all gone before 1 o’clock. This just left Steve and his wife, (who were also leaving but not till the evening) and me and Paul of our group. As well as most of our group leaving, quite a few others from the site were packing up or had already left. There was still a good amount of people left though who were staying for the last night, and i was sure we’d still have a great last evening.

So the time was around 12:30, and as the weather had continued to improve all morning, i decided i would do one last walk. I prepared myself some food and set off towards Edale. I had no idea where i was going to go, but i did have a rough plan, and that involved checking the train times. My plan was slowly formulating, and if the wait for the train was not too long, i  had decided i wanted to catch the train to Hope and walk back via the great ridge. Arriving outside the train station, i checked the timetable to see how long id have to wait. After a quick scan, i saw i only had about 25 minutes to wait so i decided to head on up to the platform. IMG_8068[1] Once on the platform i saw a familiar face, it was Shaine, who had left the campsite nearly an hour before me. He told me he’d missed his train by about five minutes and was forced to wait for the next one, the one i’d be getting. Though i was only going one stop down, and he was going all the way to Sheffield. With his company, the 25 minutes flew by and our train soon arrived at the platform. IMG_8070[1]  It didn’t take long to get to Hope, after all it was only one stop down, so after saying goodbye to Shaine, i got up and waited by the door to exit the train. The first part of the walk is just about getting out the station and off the road, which is done at the bridge over the river Noe. The Path follows the river for about half a mile before cutting west through the fields towards Lose hill. IMG_8072[1] The weather had been steadily improving while i’d been out, with the clouds going from dark grey to almost white and fluffy, and with patches of blue sky appearing, the temperature had also risen. The path was starting to steepen now as the great ridge drew nearer, and before long i was at the base of Lose hill, and ready to make my way up. IMG_8074[1] It was quite a slog up to the top for me, as the section leading up to it had been all uphill as well, so i had a couple of stops to catch my breath on the way. Once at the top though, all the effort is worth it, with great views all around, over the vale of Edale and the Hope valley. IMG_8078[1] IMG_8077[1] As you will notice from the photographs, it was very busy on the top, in fact, looking down the ridge towards Mam Tor, it looked like the entire ridge was busy. Such are the perils of walking such a beautiful and popular route on a bank holiday weekend. I waited on Lose hill long enough for most of the crowd to leave, so i could then record an update for my video, once done i carried on along the ridge. Having set off so late, it was well past dinner time, and i was starting to get really hungry. So my plan was to get to Back Tor, and hope that the large table sized rock was available, where on a previous trip i had seen a couple eating their lunch. I moved swiftly along the path, but being careful to keep a distance between the people in front and behind, to kind of give myself the illusion i was walking on my own 🙂 Arriving at Back Tor it was very busy, but there was no one at my chosen lunch spot, so i quickly shot some video footage and took some photographs before grabbing myself a place at the table like stone. IMG_8082[1] The views from here were pretty epic, i had a very commanding view of the rest of the great ridge to Mam Tor, and also amazing views over the Vale of Edale towards Kinder Scout. IMG_8083[1] IMG_8084[1] I was really glad i chose this spot for food, as the views were so good, i almost didn’t want to leave. But leave i did, once my food was finished, and i started to make my way down Back Tor towards Hollins cross. After the downhill from the Tor, i made my way up the next rise, before then descending down again to Hollins cross. It was very busy here too, with at least two groups of D of E passing through in the short time i was there. I didn’t stop there long though, as i’d only been there the day before, so i quickly carried on up towards Mam Tor. I could already see that it was going to be very busy on top, as various dots on the horizon milled about. I didn’t get many pictures on my way up this time, as i  had already done this section, but just before the summit i couldn’t resist turning around for just one picture of the extremely photogenic ridge. IMG_8086[1] The summit, as expected, was very busy, but this time the wind was no where near as bad, and i didn’t feel the need to get off as quickly as the day before, when we were all but blown off. This time i got to soak up more of the views from the highest point on the ridge, whilst waiting patiently to get an obligatory Trig point selfie 🙂    IMG_8088[1] I left the summit via the steps on the western side, and from there made my way to the path down harden Clough again. Its a pretty steady decent all the way down into Edale with nothing too steep or painful on the knees. Again, as i’d done the route the day before, i didn’t get many pictures, except for one looking down onto Edale with Grindslow Knoll in the background.  IMG_8091[1].JPG I arrived back on the campsite at about 17:30, after roughly a 9 mile walk. I’d had a really great time, and it had been the first time since October 2016 that id done the full ridge. I was however completely shattered, as 3 days of walking and late nights had caught up on me, and for the next half hour or so i sat outside my tent relaxing. After a good rest, i grabbed a few snacks and a beer then had a scan of the site looking for Paul. i found him sat with all the lads from camp Bazza, so i picked up my chair and went over to sit with them for the rest of the evening. We had a really nice chilled evening and a great chat, and i also brought an “Edale 2017” ferro rod off Scott as a memento of the weekend. It was really nice to sit with a great bunch of lads id watched on YouTube, but never met before in person, and they were all really friendly and welcoming. Well we sat and talked till around 10:30, when it decided to start raining, and that seemed to be everyone’s cue to go to bed, after a great evening, myself included.

Monday

I woke up Monday morning at about 07:30 to an almost complete white out, visibility was even less than Sunday morning, and all you could really see was our immediate field. I decided to put the kettle on for a much needed coffee, and i started packing all my gear away. As it was slightly spitting with rain, i got all my gear away first and left my tent till last. IMG_8092[1] It was at this point Paul got up, and after he had properly woken up, he helped me pack up my tent, and that was all my gear done. Between us we had a good litter pick of our area, and i took the rubbish over to where it was all being collected from. On my way back i had a great chat with Drew, one of the organisers, and we talked over various things and i also told him what a great time i’d had and that I’ll definitely be back in the future if the event is on again. Upon getting back to Paul, he’d got all his gear away, so i repaid the favour and helped him take his tent down too. With that, it was time for me to leave, after eagerly waiting for what felt like ages to get to this event, it was now over so quickly. Id had a truly amazing time, and id like to thank everybody who made it happen, from all the people who turned up, and to Drew and Lenny for organising with the farmer to use his land and making sure everything ran smoothly……..Thank you!!! 🙂

So that’s the end of this blog and the GNBC series, i hope you have enjoyed reading this, and if you made it this far then thank you very much. I will once again leave the links to the videos of this event below in case you have missed them befor . So thank you again for reading and until next time, goodbye 🙂

Regards Mark.

Links below to my videos from the weekend.

Gnbc Weekend video

Gnbc The walks

The Great Northern Bushcraft Conference – Part 2

GNBC – Edale – May 2017 -Saturday

I woke up Saturday morning to grey skies, it looked as though the amazing weather we’d had for the first two days was over. A few of the lads from our group were already up, and after saying good morning blurry eyed, i got my kettle on for a much needed morning coffee. With my coffee made, it was time for breakfast, this time we had bacon cobs, (or bread cakes to some 😉 ) with the bacon being supplied by Paul, and cooked by Mike and Craig…… Thanks lads 🙂 Jay and his daughter, Mark, Jan and Lee were packing their gear away, as they were heading off on holiday to Cornwall. Once they were finished, we said our goodbyes, and waved them off.  Whilst eating breakfast we discussed the plans for the day. Saturday was the main selling day, with all the knife makers and leather workers having their products on display, there would also be lots of people selling second hand gear. So it seemed the plan was to check out all the stalls and chill out and relax for the rest of the day. As we were getting ready to have a look around, Lenny came to give us an announcement, Lenny being one of the main guys behind organising the event.  He came to tell us that at around four o’clock there would be a group photo of everyone who had attended, and also that there would be a raffle. The raffle was all items donated by the craftsmen on site, with lots of great things on offer. So with this news we all headed off around the site, to check out what people had for sale. The sun had decided to come back out now, and the sky was starting to clear, though not quite as cloud free as the past two days.  IMG_8034[1] The nearest and first stall we arrived at was Scott’s, who also runs a great YouTube channel “MrSkooty1968”. He does a lot of great wood work, which you can see above. These include ferro rods, hobo fishing reels and even wooden razor handles, only you have to supply the blades yourself. IMG_8035[1]IMG_8036[1] There were lots of great stalls, woodwork, leather work and home made knives. All with  very nicely made by some great craftsmen. I take my hat off to them all, and i really appreciate the hard work they all must have put in to create such quality goods.IMG_8037[1] As well as new hand crafted gear, there was also plenty of good quality second hand gear, all eagerly hoping for a new home. Unfortunately i didn’t really see anything i wanted, as mush as i loved the beautiful knifes and leather work, there not something i really use, being more of a walker and wild camper and not a bushcrafter. After having a good look around and chatting to quite a few familiar faces, the time was fast approaching mid day.  A few of us had made our way back to the area we had set up in, and were enjoying a sit down it the shade of Paul’s gazebo. Whilst sat there admiring the surroundings, i decided that i wanted to get out there for a nice walk. I also however wanted to be in the group photograph, so it would have to be a short one. My plan was to walk up to Hollins cross on the great ridge, then up to Mam Tor, and back to Edale via Harden Clough , this was roughly a six mile trip and should easily see me back in time for the group photo. So i quickly made myself some food for the walk, and i set off for the great ridge at about 11:45. The weather was still beautifully sunny, and with very little wind, i knew it wouldn’t be long before i’d be a sweaty mess. As i made it to the road, i turned back to look at the campsite, that had filled up even more since Friday night, before carrying onto the footpath on the other side. IMG_8040[1] IMG_8041[1] Following the footpath, i crossed the bridge across the river Noe. Its at this point the path starts to steepen, and looking ahead towards Peters barn, were two Cows laying in the path, a bit worrying i thought. As i got nearer, i saw a man stood in the path, he wasn’t walking, and he seemed be watching the cows. Once a bit nearer to him, i said hello, and he then asked what i was going to do about the cows. In fact, as one of them had big horns, he thought they were bulls. I told him i was just going to walk past them, and if i had to, walk around them a good distance so as not to startle them. He walked with me as we approached them carefully. One of them got up and walked away, whilst the other stayed put. We decided to chance it, and carried on by, the cow just watched us go, phew! we thought. Its always a bit of a worry when big cows block your way, as they can be a bit unpredictable. IMG_8043[1] With the cows successfully navigated, we introduced ourselves, i told him my name, and he said his name was Jeff. When i told him i had come from the GNBC campsite, he said he had too, and it turned out he was actually related to Lenny the organiser. So off we went up to Hollins cross in the blazing heat, and with no wind it was super hot. We had to stop quite a few times, and i have to admit in the heat i was really struggling. Luckily its not a massive climb, and we eventually made it to Hollins cross, by which time i was a very sweaty mess and ready for a sit down. IMG_8045[1] At Hollins cross the weather was a lot more bearable due to a good breeze blowing across, this certainly helped combat the heat from the sun, and kept me much cooler. After a quick sit down and chat, Jeff decided to tag along with me, which was great, as i now had a walking partner. We set off up to Mam Tor, and as the path got higher, so did the wind. The wind got so powerful, i was forced to take my hat off and clip it to my belt for fear i might lose it to the hills. Its not very far to the summit of Mam Tor from Hollins cross, and we were soon on top. It was quite busy at the summit, as is normally the case on a weekend. We didn’t stay long, as the wind was really bad, and after a quick photo at the trig point we decided to head down to the broken road to eat our lunch.  IMG_8049[1] IMG_8050[1] We walked off Mam Tor via a path on the south face, which follows the edge of the land slip, and makes its way to the end of the broken road. Its quite a steep path down, and no fun on the knees, but sure enough we made the bottom, and sat on a section of the broken road to eat our lunch.  IMG_8053[1] IMG_8054[1] After lunch we paid a quick visit to the Blue John cavern cafe. and Jeff very kindly brought me a coffee. IMG_8057[1] We had the coffees on the go and slowly drank them as we walked. We made our way towards the road in the gap between Mam Tor and Lords seat. From the gap, we soon joined the path to Harden Clough. We were making good time, and we’d easily make it back to the campsite in time for the Group photo and raffle. Near the end of the path, we came across a section that was really muddy the last time i went that way, and i was very happy to find it bone dry. Leaving the once muddy section behind, we were soon back in Edale village, and after passing the train station we took the footpath immediately after Fieldhead campsite, back to Ollerbrook farm.

We made it back to site with around twenty minutes to spare. Just enough time to empty my bag, change my boots and open a nice bottle of ale. Back at my tent, i noticed one of my poles had split in the wind, so i quickly got some duct tape from Paul, wrapped it up and hoped that would be enough to stop it breaking completely. At 16:00 everybody started to make there way down to the bottom of the field where the photograph was taking place. IMG_8059[1] After the group shot, Drew and Lenny gave out one raffle ticket to everybody there, and said the draw would be done at about half past. Unfortunately i didn’t win a prize, but it was really great of them to do this for free and massive thanks for the lads who donated the prizes free of charge. IMG_8061[1] After the raffle it was time to get the fire going and get some food on. More meat on the menu as we tried our best to eat our way through all the meat Mike had got from the butchers. After food it was time to have a few more ales around the fire, and even more meat, as Andy started to make some of his famous nandos chicken….yum yum. As the evening went on, the wind started to pick up more and more, and it also started raining. It didn’t stop us having a great night though as we chatted and drank into the night. The wind was quite worrying for me though, as i’d already had to patch up one pole already. But as it happened, after a good few hours and plenty of ales inside us, it was Paul’s gazebo that got absolutely ruined in the wind. We tried to pack it up as best as we could, but it wasn’t happening, and it looked a right state. We were far to merry to do anything about it know though, we’d have to deal with it in the morning. This was to be our latest night up of the weekend, but all good things must come to an end, and while we were down to the last three or four of us, we decided to call it a night and made our way back to our tents. It had been a great time.

So that’s the end of this blog, i hope you have enjoyed it, there will be one more part out of this story soon. So if you read this far, thank you very much, i’ll put the links to my videos on this trip at the bottom of the page again incase you missed them before.

Thanks again, and until next time, goodbye 🙂

Regards Mark

Links to Edale GNBC videos

The great northern bushcraft conference

Great northern bushcraft conference The Walks

The Great Northern Bushcraft Conference

GNBC – Edale –  May 2017 – Thursday – Friday 

At the beginning of last year, whilst i was still suffering with my depression and anxiety, i stumbled across quite a few YouTube videos of a really great looking meet up of like minded individuals. This meet was called “The great northern bushcraft conference”. The first videos i found were Jay (GoonieBushcraft) and Dean (Dean Read). As you will know if you have been following my blog, they were the first two outdoors Vloggers that had really caught my attention, and i had been watching a lot of their videos. Well they were not the only guys to put out video content from this event, far from it, in fact there were loads, and all with their own perspective on the event. I watched my way through more than my fair share of them, and i remember thinking at the time, i must get myself there next year if they have another meet like this. To be honest, at the time, i didn’t expect to be going. But fast forwarding around eight or so months into early March 2017, when the dates were announced, and i’m part of the “rat pack”, and eagerly awaiting the end of May for the “The great northern bushcraft conference” to start.

So as you can imagine, lots of camps came and went, and it was soon time to pack for the end of Mays GNBC. The event was running for four days, from Thursday the 25th till Monday 29th, and i would be there for all of them. I couldn’t wait, this would be my first bit of glamping id be doing in a long time. It was going to be nice to be completely comfortable for a change, complete with fishing bed, big chairs and more ale than you could shake a stick at. I did all the packing i could the night before on Wednesday, and left what i could in the car ready. Unfortunately, i had decided in my infinite wisdom, not to book the Thursday off work…. massive face palm moment for me there. Ah well, next time i won’t be so tight with my holidays, this just meant i wouldn’t be arriving at the site in Edale until late afternoon.

The site the event is held on is not an official campsite, it is in fact, for most of the year a sheep grazing field. The field was acquired for our use,  by two great men, whose names are Drew and Lenny. They also organise the whole event, and originally started it as a cheaper alternative to the “Bushcraft show”, which has seen big increases to the ticket prices over the years. So the two of them took it upon themselves to organise a new event, and negotiated with a farmer for use of his field. The rest as they say is history. They also have their own YouTube channels,  Drew’s being “Northwest Bushcrafter” and Lenny’s is  “Lenny6ft5”, i’m sure they’d appreciate you checking them out.

Thursday

Ok, so back to Thursday…… with most of my things already packed, all i had to load in the car upon returning from work was my food and drink. With all this sorted it was time to go. I left my house around half three in the afternoon, not the best time to be going anywhere, as it took me half an hour just to get out of Nottingham due to the school traffic. When i did finally escape Nottingham, i arrived in Edale just after 5 o’clock, and after messing around trying to find the campsite ( i mistakenly thought you could access it via the village road with the pubs on it), i was soon making my way up into the field. The weather was absolutely beautiful, with the sun beating down, and not a cloud in the sky. The top of the field was already surprisingly full of tents, so i slowly made my way up the field to where i thought my friends were camping. Luckily Mike saw me, and waved me up to where i could set up. My set up for this long weekend would be a little different to normal, instead of a tarp and bivvy, or my Zephyros 2, i had a 5 man Aldi tent all to myself. Having only used it once before, and not being one hundred percent on how to set it up, i got a bit of ribbing from the lads, but together we soon had it set up. Once the tent was up i got all my gear in that id need, this included my fishing bed, chair and a few other bits and bobs. I really was living the luxury camping life for this weekend. Due to the heat i decided it would be best to leave all my food and drink in the boot of my car, as this was the only shady place i had. Once i was all set up, it was time to soak up the atmosphere on site and enjoy the beautiful views. We had the great ridge to one side and the great mass of kinder to the other. IMG_7326[1] IMG_7327[1] After a bit of a chat with the lads, it was time for a drink and some food. Earlier in the week Mike had said he was going to his local butchers to get some meat, and if we wanted some, could we please chip in, to which we all agreed. “Some meat” was a bit of an understatement, i think we had nearly a whole cow and a pig, with a flock of chickens thrown in for good measure. With the weather being so warm, we decided to cook the chicken first, well Mike cooked it while we stood and watched, thanks Mike 😉    The rest of the evening was spent chilling out with a few beers and a good chat around the fire with friends, whilst also making a few new ones who popped by our fire that evening.  After a great chilled evening, it was time for bed.  IMG_7330[1]IMG_7331[1]

Friday

The next morning i was up at around 07:30, everywhere was very damp from the overnight dew, but the sky was completely clear, it looked like we were on for another very hot day. Quite a few people were already up, including some of our group, but there were also a lot still happily in the land of nod. By 08:00 most people were up, including all of our group, with the exception of Paul, who was having a nice lay in. With Mark already having the fire pit going, it was time for breakfast. This meant digging in to the large supply of meat from Mike’s butchers, and we soon had an impressive looking hotplate full with bacon and sausage. IMG_7338[1] With breakfast eaten by all our group, i must admit to getting slightly worried by the absense of Paul, who still hadn’t surfaced out of his tent all morning. So sometime just after 09:00, me and one of the other lads decided to check if he was ok. We gave him a shout from just outside his tent, and thankfully he responded, panic over. Luckily for Paul there was still some bacon left over, and once he had eaten it was time to finalise the plans for the day. The night before, we had decided to do a walk, but we hadn’t decided on exactly where to go. The options were, if it was to be a little cooler, then we would do Mam Tor, but if it was another hot day then a paddle in the Grindsbrook stream was in order. Well the weather was already red hot, and it was only 09:30, so the later was chosen. Paul decided he would stay on the campsite and socialise with some of the other groups he was friends with. At around 10:30, myself and the rest of our group were ready to set out for Grindsbrook Clough, all necessary gear loaded into our packs, in particular, plenty of water. It wasn’t very far to the base of Grindsbrook Clough from our campsite, roughly around a mile and a half. With the varying degrees of fitness, the group was pretty stretched out, but we were soon all together again next to the stream. I said my farewells to the rest of the group as they headed down from the path to the stream. This was as far as everyone else was going, i on the other hand, was going a lot further, i had decided to go all the way to the top of Grindsbrook, then take it from there. IMG_7342[1] IMG_7344[1] IMG_7345[1] Walking up Grindsbrook Clough was a real struggle, the sun was very intense and there was little to no wind in the sheltered Clough, i found myself a shady spot to apply some sun cream before carrying on. I was soon at the base of the scramble, and after a short break, i set off up the rocks to the top. IMG_7348[1] IMG_7349[1] I made pretty good time up the scramble despite the heat, and i was soon at the top. I had another short break, as i enjoyed the views back down the Clough and out over the Vale of Edale, flanked on one side by the mass of Kinder scout. Whilst enjoying the view, i decided on the next part of my route. My plan was to walk to the top of Grindslow Knoll, then to double back on myself and follow the southern edge of Kinder scout to Ollerbrook clough, this would lead me back to the GNBC campsite.  IMG_7351[1] I quickly made my way to the top of Grindslow Knoll, the views from here were simply spectacular, and from this vantage point i could see lots of my previous walking routes. These included, the great ridge, Win hill, Hope cross, and i could even just make out the wheel stones near Derwent edge, where i had eaten my lunch only two weeks before. IMG_7354[1] IMG_7355[1] After enjoying the view and having a good chat with a man named Andrew, it was time to head back the way i had came. I was starting to get hungry though, so i didn’t go far before stopping part way down from Grindslow Knoll, to eat my lunch. After my food i carried on my journey back to the campsite. I was soon back past the top of Grindsbrook Clough, and following the edge of Kinder scout. I got as far as Upper Tor when i turned back to look at the spot i had stopped for lunch. It looked every bit as good from this angle too. IMG_7357[1] The next place on my route i was looking forward to reaching was Ringing Rodger, but before reaching it, i decided to stop quickly and apply some more sun cream. I was quite aware that despite the cooling wind, i would most likely start burning soon if i didn’t put some more cream on. I ended up putting a bit too much on, and thankfully there weren’t a lot of people on the trail to see my now overly white face. Ah well, better to be safe than sorry. With cream applied, all be it excessively, i carried on, and before long i was at the rocks around Ringing Rodger. IMG_7359[1] From Ringing Rodger it was only a short walk to Ollerbrook Clough, but as i approached it i thought it might not be the best idea to just walk straight down it. After a quick check of the map, i decided to follow the path to the side of it, down to the nab, then follow that down to Ollerbrook farm, the home of the GNBC campsite.

Back at the campsite i greeted the lads who were already back from Grindsbrook Clough, and i then went for a walk around the site, which had filled up quite a bit since i had left in the morning. I met quite a few people whose videos i watch on YouTube which was great, and even the odd one or two who watch mine. After the wander it was time to relax again with food and a beer. This time we cooked Steaks, well Mike cooked again, with some help from Mark. IMG_7361[1]

We drank ales and chatted around the fire, and even had our first Rat pack punch of the weekend. We had a really good evening and most of us stayed up till gone midnight before retiring to our tents, (or vans for those vanping) to get sleep ready for the next days activities.

So that’s the end of part one, with part two and three to follow soon. I hope you have enjoyed reading this, i will leave a link to my videos for this trip at the bottom of the page. Thank you for reading, i look forward to any comments, until next time, goodbye.

Regards Mark

links below to my videos of the great weekend.

Gnbc weekend video

Gnbc The walks

Wet and Windy Wild Camp – The Bushcraft Forest

Back in early June, …….yes i know my blogs are getting later,and a bit out of sink 😉  Paul, Jay and myself decided very last minute, to go for a wild camp in the Bushcraft forest.  It was a midweek meet, so there was only going to be three of us from the rat pack, but we were also to be joined by a fellow YouTuber Paul Messner. The night before the camp, me and Paul decided that we’d meet at the forest for between 11:30 – 12:00.

I awoke the next morning to the sound of rain hitting my bedroom window, it was too late to cancel now, and anyway i don’t let a bit of rain stop me getting outdoors. So with all my gear packed, i left my house at roughly 10:30, hoping to get there for the earlier meeting time of 11:30. Unfortunately traffic was against me, and it was nearer to 12:00 by the time i pulled up at the lay-by near the woods. No bother i thought, and i put my bergan on and made my way to the camping spot. The rain was still coming down, and the wind was blowing quite hard, fortunately it wasn’t a cold wind.  As i arrived at the familiar spot, i noticed that Paul wasn’t around, so i checked my phone to see if he had messaged me of any delays. It turned out he had, and that he wouldn’t be arriving until just after 13:00. Having roughly one hour to myself, and with the rain still coming down, i decided to set my shelter up straight away before my pack got completely soaked.  Being the only one there, i had the pick of the place to set my tarp, i decided to chose a secluded spot which was very sheltered from the weather. I opted to set up a simple A-frame, using the trees to support, only this time i had one corner folded out just to make it easier to get in and out. IMG_7671[1] Once set up, i thought id record myself some intro footage for my video, and then go check out, what we call the famous view. Whilst technically not really famous, the view from the cliff edge does appear in just about every single video from the Bushcraft forest. The view looks particularly nice at this time of year, with everywhere in full colour and all shades of green on show. After a good long look, i made my way back into the woods to where i was set up. Whilst i was waiting for Paul, i decided to collect the rubbish which a group of campers had left the night before. I know the rubbish was very recent as the alternative fire pit still had warm ashes in it. Ironically, there was an empty carrier bag, so i proceeded to fill it, until there was no rubbish in our area.  I had only finished litter picking a few moments when i saw Paul walking down the footpath to where i was waiting. We greeted each other and had a quick chat before Paul picked where he was going to set up. As normal for a woodland camp Paul had brought his hammock and tarp. Whilst setting up he informed me Jay would also be arriving soon and that another Paul (Paul Messner) would be coming for his first visit to this woodland. IMG_7676[1] Times are a little hazy in my head, but im pretty sure that Jay arrived not long after Paul. Before setting up his Hammock, he informed us that we would also be getting two extra visitors sometime in the afternoon. These visitors would be Mark Cook and Andy Sparks, although they were not going to be stopping the night, just popping in for a brew and a chat. IMG_7678[1]  It didn’t take Jay long to put up his hammock, and once finished, me and Paul took him to a pine tree that had been damaged quite recently. It looked as though some one had took an Axe, and gone around the whole tree and removed all the bark in a foot deep ring. We all had a good complain about why anyone would feel the need to do such a thing, and why they had also chopped live trees for fire wood, when there is plenty of deadfall about, which also would burn better!!  So rant over  🙂                                                  It was about this time that Paul got a text to say that the other Paul had arrived ( i can see this getting complicated). So from here on in, they shall be Paul (who arrived first) and Paul M who Jay and Paul went to collect from the lay-by:-)                                              So while Paul and Jay went to meet Paul M, i stayed behind to look after the equipment. Its only a short distance from the woods to the lay-by, and all three lads were soon back. I went up to Paul M to say hello, i had met him for the first time at the GNBC in Edale (that blog is in the pipeline) and this was our first meet since then. Paul M also had a hammock to set up, though unlike the rest of our group, his wasn’t from the DD brand. Paul M’s hammock was a Hennessy explorer deluxe, it was very smart looking, and i was quite impressed by it. IMG_7680[1] Now that everybody had their shelters up, we all decided it was time to search for some firewood. I borrowed Paul’s folding saw for this task, as he was going to set up the group shelter while the rest of us went wood collecting. This period of wood collecting was about the only time that it wasn’t raining, so for roughly an hour i actually managed to take off my waterproofs. Collecting wood and sawing into usable chunks was very hungry work, so i decided to get myself some food on as soon as we had finished. Food for this meal was a boil in the bag army ration pack, sausage casserole if i remember  correctly 🙂   It was somewhere around this time that Mark cook and Andy Sparks arrived. I don’t remember who turned up first, but i’m pretty sure that they were both in time for the lighting of the fire. Now we don’t always go for the natural style, but on this occasion Paul decided on this wet and windy afternoon to use some fatwood, lit by flint and steel. The first try failed, we put this down to it not being the best fatwood, so out came the birch bark. This also took a couple of goes, but on the second attempt it worked and we had fire, a massive congratulations to Paul for persevering with it  🙂 IMG_7682[1]   With the fire burning nicely, or the camping TV as we sometimes call it, it was time to relax under the shelter with a beer. Unfortunately for Mark and Andy, they were stuck on coffee. After a drink or two, and a good hour or more of chatting, it was time for Mark and Andy to leave, and we bid them farewell. In the time we had been chatting, we had built up enough embers on the fire to cook some proper food. Paul M had brought with him enough pork steaks for all of us, so on the grill they went. IMG_7684[1] The pork was very nice, and the four of us sat under the group shelter out of the rain enjoying each others company whilst setting the world to rights. Despite the weather, it was still a really awesome evening. I’m sure most of you reading this will understand, that there aren’t many better ways of spending an evening than sat around a fire with friends, whilst enjoying a beer or three 🙂 It soon came around to midnight, and we decided to call time on the night and we all headed to our shelters for sleep.

The next morning i was up early, and the weather was still miserable, i think it had carried on raining all night. I decided to pack most of my gear away except for my tarp before leaving the enclosed area i was set up in. When i came out i was greeted by Paul, who had also got up early. Paul M and Jay were still in their hammocks, so i got myself a brew on and took it to the cliff edge to take in the morning view. There was a lot of mist rising from the trees below, and it looked very mystical. IMG_7687[1] Upon returning to the camp, Jay and Paul M were both up. This meant it was time for breakfast, Paul M had some sausages and Jay had bacon, you cant beat sausage and bacon cobs in the morning, Yum Yum 🙂  After breakfast it was time to finish packing and make our way back to our cars. The weather was still awful, and outside of the trees the wind was really bad. Once back at the cars we said our goodbyes and we all headed off our separate ways back to the real world. It had been a really great camp as always, despite the weather, you cant let it put you off in this country as its always raining when you decide on outdoor activities.

So here ends another blog, if you read this far i hope you enjoyed it. If you did manage it this far down the page, thank you very much, as always i will drop a link to the video version at the bottom of this blog. Thanks again, and until next time goodbye 🙂

Regards Mark

Wet and Windy WildCamp Video

A Walk in the Peak District Millstone edge – Burbage rocks

We all love a mid week walk in the beautiful countryside, i’m sure you’ll all agree with me. Its always a lot easier to park and you are much more likely to have the hills to yourself…… selfish i know 😉

So this is exactly what i did mid June, with a rough route planned the night before, i made my way to the Peak District the next morning. My walk would start from the National trust car park next to Millstone edge. True to form, the car park was all but empty, i picked a space and made my way to the pay and display machine. It was upon reaching the machine, i realised the mistake i had made. The pay machine way a card only, and i had left mine at home…..Doh!                                                                                         I decided to head for one of the lay-bys around the corner instead, so i got back in my car and started to make my way out. As i got to the entrance, there was a woman returning to her car, i decided on the off chance, to ask her if she would get me a ticket if i gave her the change……. she agreed, so i made my way back into a space. I met the woman at the machine, who very kindly got me a all day parking ticket, and i handed over the £4.50 in change. It turned out, she had come back to the car park, as she was unsure where the gap in fence was to get to the rocks at Owler Tor. I happily led the way to show her where the footpath entered into that area. At the gate i decided to visit the rocks at Owler Tor myself, taking care not to get in her way as she was taking Photographs using the rocks as the foreground. IMG_7636[1]  After a quick wander around the rocks, i made my way to where i was going to start my walk. Cutting back through the car park on my way, i entered the moor land via the gate nearest the road. From there it was only a short way to “Surprise view” at the end of Millstone edge, this was the beginning of my walk. The view was not as good as it could have been, as the weather was particularly hazy, but it was still great, and i was able to pick out a few places i knew on the horizon. Some of the places visible from here were, Win hill and the great ridge and the outline of Kinder just barely visible on the horizon.IMG_7640[1] IMG_7641[1] After a good few minutes soaking up the view, i decided to carry on with my walk. My route would know take me along the length of Millstone edge and then following the boundary line all the way to the back of Over Owler Tor. I decided not to go up the Tor just yet though, as i wanted to come back this way later. Looking to my left here, or North if you prefer, i could see Stanage edge jutting out from the landscape. A far cry from the last time i was here in February, when i had brought my partner and kids to see the snow fall. Back then, not only was the place covered in snow (obviously) it was also extremely misty, so the views were limited to a mere 100 meters or so.                                                       Anyway, back to this walk, I was now heading pretty much straight towards Higger Tor, but i didn’t want to head up there first. I was actually looking for a place marked on the map as Sheepfold. I soon found it, it was a large drystone walled area, and it reminded me of a sheep dog trial arena. Upon reaching this point, my next destination was revealed, Carl wark fort.IMG_7647[1] It is widely believed to have been the location of a Iron age hill fort, and also possibly to have been re used as a defensive position during the Roman period. On the approach you can see why they would have chosen it, and i’m glad i was just visiting and not an attacker. I made my way up via the western slope and not by the marked path, this meant i passed through what was like a gritsone gateway, which was pretty cool. I was soon on top having a good explore of all the rocky outcrops, trying to imagine what it may have looked like thousands of years ago. IMG_7648[1] IMG_7649[1] IMG_7650[1] After a good explore, i was starting to get hungry, and so my attentions turned towards Higger Tor, i had ear marked this location earlier as my lunch stop. It was not very far from Carl Wark to Higger Tor, and i was soon at the top, sat out of the wind, in the shelter of one of the largest rocky outcrops on the Tor. As usual, i had wraps for lunch, though this time they were un prepared, as i had only brought them on the way. So making them up one at a time, with the cheese and salami slices, i ate my way through three wraps, before sitting back to let them digest while i enjoyed the view. IMG_7653[1] Once i thought my food had sufficiently settled, i decided to have a go at climbing the big gritstone outcrop i had been sheltering behind. Now i’m no big climber, and i will always shy away from anything too technical, but I’ve always loved a good scramble up rocks since i was a small boy. So having a good look at the rock in question, i decided it was definitely on my level of ability, so up i went. Around half way up there was a little bit of a precarious section, but i managed to get past it, and before long i was on top, and surveying the land before me. IMG_7654[1] After climbing down, it was time to plan some more of my route. I hadn’t really got an exact plan from here, and with the weather being a lot cooler than i had expected, the possibility of extending my walk further had arisen. Out came the map, i decided that i would make my way to Upper Burbage bridge, that would then open up my walk to return via Burbage rock. So that settled it, and off i went.                                                            There was only really one obvious path to Upper Burbage bridge, and that was via Fiddlers elbow, i did however chose the higher of these paths. It was only roughly 1km to the bridge, and with most of it being a gradual down hill i thought it probably wouldn’t take me very long. On route i passed two groups of kids, all with climbing helmets and with a guide. Im not sure if they were young scouts or out with school, but they were definitely being educated in the surrounding geology by their teacher/leader. From this moment on, i would occasionally hear their shrill cries blowing on the wind, as they excitedly went about their activities. Sure enough i soon arrived at the Bridge, where i stopped for a little while to record an update for my video before carrying on. IMG_7656[1] IMG_7658[1] Crossing the brook, i was greeted with Burbage rocks, and a choice between the high path along the edge or the low path along the base. I opted for the former and took the high route along the edge. I was glad i did join the high path, as despite the haze, the views were excellent. I had decided though, i wasn’t going to walk the entire length of the edge, i was going to walk as far as the end of the woods and drop back down and recross the brook then make my way back up to the gap between Carl Wark and Higger Tor. IMG_7660[1] My junction was soon upon me, and i made my way down to the brook. The woods in this area had recently been cut down, well nearly all, just a few small sections remain. I believe the notice board said it was 2014 when they had been cut down, making way for other species of plant, but to me it still looked quite an obvious scar on the landscape, and personally i think the woodland would have been more pleasing to the eye. But give it time, and i’m sure nature will have its way and it will all be looking beautiful again. Well i was soon crossing the brook, and before long i was stood next to Carl Wark once again. IMG_7662[1] Back next to Carl Wark, i had decided from here i would retrace my steps back to Over Owler Tor, as i wanted to look for a spot i had my picture taken in the snow earlier in the year. It took me around twenty minutes to reach the Tor, and despite a good look around, i was never totally sure i found the exact spot, as it all looked very different without the snow. The next spot i wanted to see was mother cap, this was only two hundred or so meters down from the Tor. It wasn’t quite what i was expecting, but there was a great view and a rather large gritstone outcrop standing proudly on its own. IMG_7664[1] From here it was a short journey back to the car, but not before passing what looked like a new species for the Peak District, a gritstone turtle. It looked very similar to one i’d seen on kinder scouts southern edge, (more on that in a future blog). Also in this area were a few discarded millstones, apparently abandoned after people started buying cheaper imports. After recording a bit of video footage, and having my picture taken with the turtle, i carried on my way. IMG_7667[1]IMG_7668[1] Well after my turtle discovery, i was back at the car after roughly 9 miles of enjoyment. It had been a really great day, and it was now time to rejoin reality and drive back home.

So here ends another blog, i really hope you have enjoyed reading it. For those that have read this far, a very big thank you to all of you. As always this blog is available in video form, link at the bottom of this page.

So until next time goodbye 🙂

Regards Mark

Millstone edge – Burbage rocks video

Wet Woodland Wild Camp – The Rat Pack

It had been around six weeks since i had been on Rat pack camp, this wasn’t because there hadn’t been any, it was due to me having other commitments. Unfortunately for me i had been unable to make the last big camp, which had been at Kev’s permission woodland. Kev is “woodland camp and craft” on YouTube if anyone is interested in checking him out, and id recommend that you do. With the holiday book being full at work,  i was stuck in a dusty warehouse, while everyone else was on there way to the camp. I did however manage to get other trips in the meantime. So when the chance came again for a Rat pack meet, i jumped at the chance. This meet was to be a mid week camp, which meant only three of us would be attending, as our shifts fell right for the dates set. So with Just me, Jay (GoonieBushcraft) and Paul (Prepped Nomad), we set our location for the camp, a woodland in Yorkshire.

The morning of the camp was a wet one, and it was still raining when i arrived in the lay-by near the spot we would be camping at. I was the first to arrive, and i decided to wait in the car for Paul to turn up, to save me getting completely soaked before we started. After ten or so minutes, i saw him pull up in his van, i got my gear together and  made my way over to him. We already knew that Jay would be arriving a bit later in the afternoon, so it was up to us to find a suitable location, and set up camp and wait for his arrival. IMG_7023[1] A week or so prior, Paul had been on a camp in these woods, and we thought it would be a good idea to find that location. Well this proved to be a lot more difficult than expected, as the woods are constantly changing at this time of year (this camp was early may). Try as we may, we just couldn’t find the place at all, so we decided to head to another spot that we had all used previously very early this year. This was also by no means easy, as the last time we were there, the woods were still dormant from winter, and they were now in the full growth of spring. Well eventually we found our chosen spot, and after an hour or so of walking around the woodland we were quite wet, fortunately it was just our waterproofs. It was amazing how different the place looked, i’d only ever seen it in the winter, and now being here in the spring, i barely recognised it. We both admired the beauty of the woodland in springtime for a moment, with all the different shades of green, interspersed with the violet colours of the bluebells. After a good look around the area, we decided it was time to set up our shelters. As usual i was on the ground, using my Terra nova adventure 2 tarp, while Paul was in his hammock with a DD tarp to cover him. IMG_7026[1] IMG_7027[1] With set ups made, it was time to go meet Jay. Paul decided he would go, and that i would stay and look after all the gear. Whilst Paul was gone, I decided to sort the rest of my things out. So i inflated my sleep mat, then put my sleeping bag into the bivvy bag so i was ready for the night. Soon Paul was back with Jay, we greeted each other and had a quick chat as it had been quite a while since we had seen each other. Jay also handed me a new torch, we he had ordered for me back in February, and i was really happy to receive it, as it was the same as his and was very impressive for the money. With pleasantries exchanged, Jay went to find himself somewhere to set up his hammock. IMG_7029[1] Once set up, we all then helped Paul put up the big group shelter. Well by helped, i mean, me and Jay held bits while Paul ran Guy lines off to near-by trees and tied them off. Paul after all is the Knot man of the group. A group shelter is invaluable in wet weather, as it gives us somewhere to socialise, instead of being stuck in our own shelters or out in the rain. IMG_7031[1] With the shelter built, it was time to search for firewood. We had no problem at all in finding plenty of dead fall, which we brought back to camp and processed into small enough sections for the fire. We decided to waste no time in getting the fire started, as with the wood being so damp, there were plenty of flies around and we needed the smoke to disperse them……. our plan worked a treat 🙂 IMG_7033[1] With the fire going it was time for food, whilst Paul and Jay used the fire to cook their food, i always bring my gas stove, as the pans i have are not really suitable for placing in the fire. As always on these woodland camps, i had army ration pack boil in the bag meals. They are very easy to cook, and clean to make, and i also find them quite tasty for what they are.  IMG_7039[1] After food, we stoked the fire up more as it started to get darker. It was still raining, but we were all nice and dry under the group shelter, and it was also acting as a heat reflector keeping us all lovely and warm. It was about this time that we also decided it was beer o’clock, and we spent the rest of the evening chilling next to the fire, chatting about various subjects and supping on our ales. That evening we more than set the world to rights, and after some great discussions, we retired to our shelters at about midnight. It was an extremely warm night, and i didn’t even need to zip my sleeping bag all the way, and i slept right through till the morning.

The next morning i was up early, it was still raining, and i doubt that it had stopped all night. The first job for me as always, was straight on with the stove to make make a morning brew. After that i almost feel alive, and ready to tackle everybody’s favourite job……packing away wet gear,……. yes, im being sarcastic 😉                                                       Once we were all packed away, we doused the ashes with any remaining water we had left, and covered it with mud to conceal where it had been. With the area tidy, and returned to how we found it, it was time to go. IMG_7041[1] Its not a very far walk from the woods to the lay-by where we left our vehicles, and we were soon back at the cars. This as always had been a great camp despite the near constant rain, and made even more comfortable due to Paul’s group shelter. The group shelter had allowed us to sit outside and cook and chat together, without being stuck in our own shelters. So with out kit stowed in our respective cars it was time to say our goodbyes, and make our way home.

So on that note, its also time for me to say goodbye, I hope you have enjoyed reading this blog of our trip out into the wet woodland. If you have read this far, thank you very much, as always this blog is aviliable in video form, see link below. Thanks again for reading, and until next time, goodbye

Regards Mark

Wet woodland wildcamp video

 

 

Peak District – Derwent Edge – Lost Lad

On the 21st of may 2017, i had planned with my supervisor from work and two other work mates to go on a map reading trip in the Peak District. My supervisor also has another job with the TA, and he teaches outdoor skills to solider’s in the British Army. So he seemed like the perfect person to help me and my work mates, learn a bit more about map reading. Well, at least this was the plan, as only two days before our planned trip he informed me that he would be unable to make it, and that we would have to re arrange. This was due to the other training man at the barracks who trains in the same field of expertise had finished, and in doing so had passed the baton on to my supervisor. Not to worry i thought, and i planned my own trip. So the next day I looked over my map of the dark peak area in the Peak District, and decided i’d drive to the lay-by near Cutthroat bridge, and head  towards Derwent edge. With a rough route planned out, and all my gear packed, i decided to ask my cousin Dan if he fancied a walk, and if so, he could stay at mine so we’d be ready to go in the morning. Dan agreed and came round in the evening, and we were all set and ready for the morning.

The next morning Dan offered to drive, which worked out great for me, as that meant i could get some good footage out the window for the intro of my video. The journey took slightly longer than normal, this was due to a diversion in Hathersage village which had backed the traffic up quite bad. Once we arrived at the lay-by it was very busy, and we were quite lucky to get a space. Well, with a space acquired, boots and packs on, we set off down the road back towards cutthroat bridge. It was only a few hundred meters to the bridge, and we were soon on the trail. The first part of the path was uphill, and with the sun beaming down, we soon had a sweat on. Whilst planning the route i had decided to take a slightly more direct route to Derwent edge, because if we followed the footpaths the whole way we would have to back track at some point. As our walk would be long enough anyway, i had decided we should follow the stream up Highshaw clough, and join the next path that followed a series of grouse butts. Well it seemed that i wasn’t the only person to have had this idea before, as there was already an established path leading  the way.  IMG_6982[1] Whilst walking this short section, the heat got the better of me and i was forced to take off my thin showerproof jacket. With my jacket safely stowed in my bag, we carried on, and we were soon on to the official path we had been heading for. Following this path roughly westwards, we headed uphill towards the beginning of the path that would take us up to Derwent edge. As we carried on up hill, i had noticed that the clouds seemed to be moving in a lot quicker, and were getting darker. This was slightly worrying, and i mentioned to Dan that i was glad i had my waterproofs with me. It was then that the dreaded realisation kicked it…. whilst i did have my waterproof trousers, i had left my coat at home. Why oh why do i keep forgetting things i thought. Almost immediately after this realisation, it started to spot with rain. Deciding i didn’t want to risk waiting, i thought it best to stop and put my thin jacket back on, and my waterproof trousers. It was a good job i did, as the spots turned into a full on shower. With the weather coming in like this, and only being just less than two miles from the car, i asked Dan if he was happy to carry on. I also pointed out that the direction we were going still had blue sky, he replied he was happy to if i was, so on we went. It seemed fate was on our side, as we were soon out of the rain shower and back into the sun. I must admit i felt quite lucky at this point, as my thin jacket had kept me dry.  Looking around the sky, it seemed that our direction of travel was all into blue sky territory, whilst most other areas still looked very grey. So when we arrived at the junction where we would head for Derwent edge, i decided to take my waterproofs back off. As we continued up the new path, i saw the wheel stones come into view, as it was approaching mid day i said to Dan we should stop here for lunch, to which he agreed. IMG_6984[1] The wind was quite high in this exposed area, so we found a sheltered spot among the Wheel stones to eat our food. The spot i chose gave me a really amazing view. From my vantage point among the stones, i could see down upon the Lady bower reservoir, whilst also being able to see all the way down the vale of Edale, which is flanked on both sides, with Kinder scout to the north and the great ridge to the south. Whilst eating my lunch, i took a few time lapses of the incredible views for my YouTube video. After eating we had a good explore of the area, and then decided to carry on with our journey. It is around one mile from the wheel stones to Derwent edge, and on our way we passed many other interesting rock formations which we checked out on route, including  white tor and the Salt cellar boulder. IMG_6986[1] It wasn’t long though before we reached Derwent Edge, and with the sun still on our side, we had a good explore around its many crags before we reached Dove stone boulder, where we stopped for a break. Whilst taking a break, i was called upon by a group of Chinese tourists to take a group photo for them, which i did, and they seemed quite happy with the result. I then decided i should probably have a look at my map, to see where we should head to next. Whilst i had planned a rough route, i hadn’t really planed much past Derwent edge. So looking at the map i thought it would be nice to head towards Lost lad cairn, then make our down towards the Derwent reservoir. We would then follow that to Lady Bower, before cutting back up the hillside again and back to the lay-by. IMG_6990[1]IMG_6989[1] So with our rest over, it was time to carry on, first passing the cakes of bread, which do stand out quite a lot on the relatively flat terrain, before eventually reaching Back Tor. At the top of Back Tor is a trig point, so for me, like many others (i hope) it was time for a trig point photograph. It was extremely windy at the top, and whilst taking the photo, i also decided to record some video footage. For this i had to try and hide in the shelter of the trig pillar, as otherwise all that would have been heard was the wind noise. The views however were pretty amazing, as the top of Back Tor was the highest we had been on the journey so far. Looking around i could see most of the walk we had already done, and also the Lost Lad cairn was now in view. Before setting off for the cairn, we had a good look around the rock formations of Back Tor, with both of us agreeing it would have been a cool place to bivvy up for the night, though perhaps not in this wind. It was only a short trip from Back Tor to the Lost Lad cairn, and we made short work of the mainly down hill walk. Next to the cairn is also a viewing point, with the usual platform and metal disc, designating various landmarks and their distance from our location. Lost lad also has a bit of history to it, not that i know the exact full story, so for a better account see links in my YouTube video to Dean Reads or Andrew Beavers videos, who tell a  far better account than i can. For what i do know though, is that a long time ago, a young shepherd boy got lost on the hills in very bad weather, and subsequently died. His body was then found in the following spring, with the words “Lost Lad”written on a near-by rock. IMG_6993[1]IMG_6994[1] So after telling Dan the story of Lost Lad, it was time to head back down in to the valley towards the reservoir as i had planned earlier. We had nearly two miles of open moorland to cross. This bit of the journey was pretty featureless, with my eyes mainly fixed on the distant landmarks visible on the horizon. We slogged this section out, and we were soon at the top of Walkers clough, with amazing views of Derwent reservoir. It was then i realised how low it seemed, now i’m no expert on how high the level should be for this time of year, but it didn’t seem that long ago it was high enough to be flowing over the Derwent Dam wall. With as much of the view soaked in as my eyes could take, we made our way down the clough to the reservoir. IMG_6998[1] IMG_6997[1] Once at bottom of the clough, it became more apparent how low the level was. We followed the path towards the dam wall, and after around fifteen minutes, we arrived at the bridge at the base of Hollin clough. The stream that would normally flow under the bridge was all but dry, so we decided to head down the side of it, and into the reservoir. We made our way to the new waters edge and found a small ruin of an old building. I have no idea what it would have been, but where we were stood would have been at least fifteen foot deep under water if the reservoir was full. We made our way back out of the reservoir, and carried on to the dam wall. On reaching it we made our way down the steps at the side to get a better view. It was a really impressive sight, and anyone who finds themselves in the area should definitely check the reservoirs out. As a small side note, Derwent reservoir was used by pilots in 617 squadron during the second world war to practise the low level flights needed for the “Dam Buster” raids on the German Dams.  IMG_7008[1] IMG_7010[1] Leaving Derwent reservoir behind, we then came upon Lady Bower reservoir. This we would follow as far as Grindle clough, which was the point we would head back up the hillside, and back towards the lay-by. At roughly just over half way to the clough, we came across a sign that told us about the old Derwent village. This village had been abandoned and was demolished to make way for the creation of the reservoir in 1943 . Originally they had left the church tower standing, and at low levels you could see it sticking out of the water. Though it was then demolished long before i was born in 1947, no doubt due to health and safety concerns. IMG_7014[1] IMG_7013[1] Leaving the site of the old village, it wasn’t long before we reached the base of Grindle clough. After spending the last four or so miles walking downhill or on level ground, it was a bit of a shock to the legs to be going back steeply uphill again. Whilst time was getting on now, it was still quite warm in the sun. That was not to say the sky was completely clear though, in fact there was quite a lot of clouds. We had made it up the clough as far as the shelter, and then those clouds decided to start raining. Not really heavy, but enough for me to decided to put my waterproofs back on. This was all we needed, just when i thought we had been lucky enough to avoid all the rain. We carried on up the path, waiting for it to get heavier, but it never happened. In fact, it stopped completely, and walking uphill in waterproofs meant that i rapidly started to over heat. So as quick as my waterproofs had been put on, they were soon back off again, ah well, its better to be safe than sorry. We were soon back on our way again, and taking a look behind us, we admired the view of the valley below, where we had been only moments before. IMG_7016[1]  As we followed the path higher, we soon reached the top. This was a familiar spot, it was the path junction where we had turned for Derwent edge earlier in the day. This meant we was almost back at the car after a great day out. The walk had been a lot longer than i had originally planned for, not that this was a problem, but our legs were certainly feeling it. We followed the same route back as we had come up at the beginning,  passing the long line of grouse butts, and we were soon walking back down Highshaw clough towards Cutthroat bridge. From here it was only a few hundred meters to the lay-by. IMG_7018[1] Well back in the lay-by, i checked my tracker, and we’d covered just over eleven miles, quite a few more than the six or so i told Dan we’d be doing……sorry Dan 😉                         All in all it was a awesome walk, and my first time at Derwent edge, and i will no doubt be going back again in the future. We were really lucky with the weather, and who knows, maybe one day i’ll do a trip without forgetting something.

So here ends another blog, i really hope you enjoyed it.  A massive thank you if you made it this far through, and as always this blog is available as a video on my YouTube account, follow the link on the side menu under social. So thanks again for reading, and until next time, goodbye.

Regards Mark