Kit Review – Grisport Quatro Backpacking boot

I was contacted at the end of the summer by outdoors brand Grisport and asked if I wanted to review a boot from their range. I went for the Grisport Quatro Backpacking Boot: based on the spec, the looks and some online reviews. Now, I’m actually very happy with the Altberg Tethera boots that I have, they’re solid boots that have stood up to anything the moors around me (and more mountainous trips) have thus far thrown at them. But they can almost be a bit too ‘solid’ in summer or autumn and for ‘lighter’ trail walking, feel a little inflexible (which is the point, I know).

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Greenfield to Marsden via Laddow Rocks – a Halloween hike

Wimberry Rocks Saddleworth

Phantom planes, occult activities and ghostly figures have been allegedly heard or spotted over the years around the saddleworth moor area. Perfect then for an eighteen mile hike across part of them, on Halloween, as devised by friends Jenny and Mac. And a chilli at Jenny’s had been planned for afterwards, making it even more of an event to look forward to.

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A hike above Ennerdale and on to Black Sail hostel

Ennerdale Water Lake District Black Sail

I picked up son Joe from his Manchester flat last Sunday and we then headed up to Ennerdale Water, for a day hike and an overnight stop. I’d booked us a night at the YHA Black Sail hostel (once a shepherd’s bothy) so the walk was to terminate there. Ennerdale is managed by the Forestry Commission and The National Trust as a wild area (see for more info). 

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Save Butterley Spillway crowdfunding appeal

Butterley Spillway Marsden October 2015

I write a lot about the hills and moors around Marsden and sometimes about the heritage of the area. That heritage has literally shaped those hills and moors, in the form of quarry, road, rail, canal and reservoir.

One of the most obvious examples is the daisy chain of reservoirs that fill the Wessenden valley. What was once a brook used by hunter-gatherers to corral prey, has become a series of reservoirs created in Victorian times. Culminating in Butterley reservoir at the foot of the valley. And that is ‘crowned’ by an impressive spillway. The spillway was given Grade II Listing status on 11th July 1985. If you have ever walked along the Wessenden valley to or from the Peak District or across to Black Hill, or looked around that side of Marsden, as a visitor – you’ll have stopped to look at this impressive structure.

The spillway is under threat and the High Court representation needs funds:

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Offa’s Dyke challenge walk for The Red Cross

Offa's Dyke Clwydian Hills red Cross Hike Challenge walk

Hot on the heels of the recent Yorkshire 3 Peaks hike, I just completed the Offa’s Dyke challenge as a Red Cross fund-raiser. Credit where it’s due: the vast majority of the money raised in my case was actually by my walking compadres on challenges like this: Taru, Jenny and Karl (a.k.a “The Butterley Booters’ … Keep reading >