A ramble from Crowden

Crowden Hike Peak District

I had limited time this weekend so petitioned my very accommodating ‘Butterley Booters‘ mates, Jenny and Taru, to keep to maybe four hours of hiking somewhere near us. A ramble from Crowden to Laddow Rocks was arranged.

Taru’s suggestion came from the ‘The Pennine Divide’ book that she has. The book comes from the ‘freedom to roam‘ series from the Ramblers (said he, glancing at the cover as he types). This particular book is by Andrew Bibby.

I hadn’t seen the book before and I’ve only had chance to flick through it but the introductory section is nicely written and the walks are really well described.

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A Snowdon jaunt

I headed over to Yr Wyddfa / Snowdon on Saturday with some Marsden mates and my son (also a mate). I knew them all but (stick with me) they didn’t all know each other before the walk. I forget how a big a village / small town Marsden is.

Five of the guys hadn’t walked up Snowdon before so there was a nice sense of excitement. I’ve been on a few ‘Snowdon in the Snow’ trips over the last 4 years, always sociable fun and a good day’s walk. But being in January or early Feb, they had all been susceptible to poor weather. In fact, last year saw four of us battle a blizzard and turn back (sensibly) just before the Clogwyn Coch area.

So this year’s trip, falling as it did in the third week of March, could have brought clear skies and amazing vistas.

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A winter Munro trip with Red Rope Walking Club

Ben Oss Descent Munro Scotalnd Hike Cloud Inversion Winter

I was sat with a large rock outcrop to my back, wind-sheltered and (sort of) warm. Watching the outliers from a small herd of red deer, below, watching me. I had just used my ice axe to prise a small bit of quartz from the vein above my head. A souvenir of sorts and a link to the archeological texts I’ve been reading of late. As well as lithic tool, quartz symbolized, as I understand it, moon and water, sight and seed*. I was feeling quite the nature boy. Feeling connected to hill and history. Feeling happy.

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A choice of sleet or sun.. a walk around Close Moss

Photograph of Close Moss on Marsden moor Pennine Hike

I had a choice this weekend: go for a long walk around the Marsden Moors on Saturday (forecast: sleet / snow and low cloud on the tops) or Sunday (forecast: sunshine). I went for Saturday, as I’m perverse like that and I fancied a bit o’ weather to get me in the zone for a trip in early February up to Crianlarich.

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Looking back from Black Hill

Halfwayhike Hike photo Marsden GoPro photo

A look back at 2014 walks:

I was stood in the dark at a festively decorated Black Hill trig point with some of my outdoorsy compadres and reflecting on my year of walks. This was last night, the Friday night before Christmas and some of the assembled group had run up from Marsden (they’re addled like that). Jeff, Mac, Steve and I had walked, the plan being to rendezvous with those tapped runners for some festive fare and bonhomie.

It had been a bit of a slog from the Isle Of Skye Road up to Black Hill, with low cloud, driving rain and strong wind. And the ever-slippy Pennine Way flagstones to add to the fun. Once at the top, I couldn’t actually see much from Black Hill itself (Stars, distant Holmfirth and Huddersfield all temporarily obscured by cloud and rain). But that was okay, the focus was on the merriment around me.

Carol singing on Black Hill
Martyn, Andy and Ali carol singing with gusto above the roaring wind.

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