I was contacted by the folks at Mountain Warehouse HQ a week or so back about the ‘Re-boot’ charity campaign they are currently running. If you have an old pair of (serviceable) boots and want to hand them in you can get a discount on a new pair. And if you share that on social media along with your story about what those boots have seen, you have a chance of winning a free pair of boots each week.
I took my two boys to look for the Easter Bunny this weekend. I’ll reframe that (to change the scene in your head): they’re 25 and 21 and we were after Mountain Hare. But the Hares were harder to find than all those badly hidden Easter eggs in the garden over the years. Despite lots of tell-tale Maltesers in evidence (keeping the chocolate theme going), no Hares were seen this time. The lads were home for Easter weekend and we’d set off early in the evening on the final round of the two grid squares I had been allocated for the National Trust annual Mountain Hare survey.
I met up with a few other folk (including walking compadre, Jenny) above Marsden, early on Saturday morning. We were going to be shown how to spot for signs of the (elusive, as it happened) Mountain Hare. Signs that will help us complete an NT survey within the individual 1Km squares of Marsden Moor that we have been allocated.
I’ve just completed a four-part navigation skills refresher* course organised and hosted by Mountainfeet, a great outdoors shop that’s based in Marsden, where I live. The theory being that I’d be relearning some forgotten skills. Learning afresh was more to the point, it was a great course.
The sessions (two indoors/class-based and two on the hills) were led by Keith Saunders. Keith is a retired RAF Navigator and also leads walks with Saddleworth Walking Club so he knows his stuff and is great at explaining things. Which was good, as I realised early on that I was starting from scratch!
* I was taught map and compass skills on a school trip thirty three years ago, during an outward-bounds break in Snowdonia. Starting from the baseline of having an appalling memory, thirty three years of lack of practice essentially equalled zero ability.
Whilst not a walk or a hike as such I thought there was enough resonance in an event I just attended, as a competition winner (and it’s such a good cause) that I wanted to give it a mention.
I was at the launch this week of a film that shows the great work that the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund does to protect, nurture and grow the population of Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda. The distances, conditions and danger that the guys who work for the Gorilla Fund endure put my 3 days on the Ridgeway Path to shame.