Sunday, 22 April 2012

At The Sign of the Wild Boar

With the weather being so inclement currently I thought I'd nip out for a quick jaunt today.  I'm also planning a multi-day hike, so I'm investigating new paths in the peaks that I can string together into a 30-40 mile circular walk, with somewhere to bivvie half way round.

I also wanted to try a new stripped-down setup for my phone - anything I didn't need was removed, synching was switched off, the processor was throttled 50% and I ran in 2G only mode.  I use the phone for GPS and that hammers the battery.  For my multi-day I need to eke as much time as I can out of the battery, so that means as little as possible trying to phone home, or waking up to check on things.  

Not sure how much I gained - next is an experiment to see if an external Bluetooth GPS setup uses less power than internal GPS alone.  I'm not convinced, but I've read conflicting things about this.

Today I decided to pick up one of the paths that starts at the Wild Boar Inn in Wincle.  I took a route that would give me a 3 mile walk round the base of Hammerton Knowl.  Ive done bit of this route before, but it tends to be very wet, so I've always given up.

Not today though, because I was on a mission.  NNE of the Knowl I'd seen the magic word WATERFALL....

The other side of the stile.
I took the path on the Eastern side of the Inn and trekked up a fairly sodden and sheepy field to the first of the more disreputable stiles on this path.  The stile was 6 foot tall, and as you can see in the pic it leads you into a swamp.  The water is actually running, and I can attest that the mud is about eight inches deep.  If you stumbled and fell you would NEVER BE SEEN AGAIN.

 The path was fairly straightforward, and led down to Hammerton Knowl Farm, where I found the most confusing sign post in the whole of the Peak District.  At some point a hilariously drunken workman nailed three random arrows onto each side of the post and called it a day...
 Luckily, after wandering about for a bit the nice man who lives at the farm saw me standing in his garden juggling maps and GPS's and came out to see what was going on.  He put me on the right path - an eighteen-inch gap between two buildings.  I'd imagine the 90% of the murders in the Peak District happen on this path....most of the people who survive the path come a cropper at the entirely disreputable stile at the end of it.
 Thats about a 3 foot drop, and it finishes in a mixture of mud and the bones of the fallen...

From here the path was fairly easy to discern, and past The Hazels I picked up a metaled road that leads over Cessbank Common.


I think this is Piggford Moor, Mount Pleasant and Shuttingslow

Memorial to a dog...

It was around this point I should have found the waterfall leading into Highmoor Brook, but I couldn't see it from the path and didn't want to  disturb the sheep...
The radio tower on Sutton Common

The next stage - I've just come from the gateway in the background and I'm going to the gateway in the foreground.

How fickle was the weather today?

 Hmmm....cows.  Not monstrously fond of cows.  They always seem a bit unpredictable, and are quite happy to trample you.  Horses are a much better bet.
Didn't find my waterfall, but I did find this delightful little fountainhead just a few hundred yards up the road from the Wild Boar.

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