Sunday, 26 February 2012

Hello, and Welcome to the Peaks

In this blog I hope to take you along with me on my regular voyages across White Peak (and, as time allows perhaps Dark Peak as well).

A little about my habits...I usually frequent the paths round Gradbatch, the Roaches and Hanging Stone, and I try to get out and about most weekends.  I usually try and take the road less travelled, and usually travel it alone.  Sometimes when time allows my very good friend The Surly Gent will joint me - and those are the times of ADVENTURE.

Kitwise I err on the side of simple, and wear mainly ex-army stuff.  As its mainly olive green I end up looking scarily like Ray Mears.  Gadget-wise I rely on my Nexus One Android phone running My Tracks and Backcountry Navigator Pro, which gives me OS maps (and lets me download them at home for when I lose signal - VERY useful).

THIS weekend, however, I was recovering from a cold, and only really fancied a bit of fresh air, so I headed out to The Cat and Fiddle, with the intention of parking up and perhaps heading down to Errwood Hall.  I took the path up to Shining Tor, and realised I'd left my water pack in the car.  Errwood is a reasonable stroll, and, in my weakened state I didn't fancy doing it without water.  I was also wearing a brand new pair of Mammut boots, so I did'nt want to push it until I got the measure of them.

No matter - I decided I would climb Shining Tor and see what paths lay ahead.

Backcountry Navigator shows the path leads from just North of the Cat and Fiddle, up to Shining Tor and away beyond Cats Tor.

My Tracks shows that there are a couple of climbs on this walk, but nothing too strenuous.  Green is altitude, blue is speed.

My Tracks also gives useful stuff like distance covered right from the lockscreen of my phone.  Most importantly if My Tracks or Backcountry Navigator is running I can always see WHERE I started from and where I currently am.  I always know where I need to get back to, even if I'm not sure exactly which way to go.

The weather on the drag up to Shining Tor was misty, but not cold, and I wasn't expecting much in the way of view, but LO! What did I see spiralling around the Tor but Paragliders!

I must admit it all looked jolly good fun, and this is something the Gent and myself need to investigate at some point.  We're both large, hefty men though so we might need a couple of canopies each...

By the time I left them behind there seemed to be about half a dozen of them whirling about or lying disconsolately on the grass.

After I'd left Shining Tor I took the path that leads over Cats Tor.  Its the first time I've taken this path, and its a paved one.  Big slabs of rough stone lead the way.  However, Im not a fan of these paved paths, so half way to Cats Tor I decided enough was enough and turned back.  Total distance : 4.5 miles.

On the way home I popped into Brierlow Bar Bookshop and picked up The Curious Boys Book of Adventure for the Gents child (you can't start them too young!).

The Mammuts performed admirably...I also have a new pair of North Face boots (more winter oriented, so Ill wait for wetter weather to try them...) that need an outing.

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