Sunday, 3 February 2013

A blustery walk

Looking out of the bedroom window this morning to see the trees leaning over at a jaunty angle and birds whizzing past at excessively high speeds, I decided to abandon the idea of a bike ride and go for a walk.  The walk turned into a bit of thrash though the trackless expanse of heather and bogginess behind Stanage Edge and known as Hallam Moors.

Heather.  Spot the bunny.

I startled a hare in its white winter coat as I plodded though this lot and it startled me.  Battered by the wind, my cognitive processes seemed to have slowed down and I couldn't to begin with understand why there was a cat up here.  Anyway, it ran off before I could get the camera out.
A walk just isn't a walk without a stream to cross. 
The tiny blip on the horizon is the shooting hut I was aiming for

I was aiming for a shooting hut, just near to Stanage Edge but it never seemed to get any closer.  In the end I opted for some schoolboy geometry and dropped a perpendicular from the Edge to me and took that as a bearing to aim on, as being the shortest way out of this mess.  At times I was tempted into the sedge, which looked easier walking than the heather but I just ended up with wet feet.

Stanage Edge near Crow Chin

I could see walkers in the skyline and eventually reached the edge after going though an interesting and not at all pleasant wind speed curve, which got increasingly steeper as I got closer to the edge and then dipped down as I walked underneath the updraft before picking again right on the edge.  I suppose I should illustrate this with a graph but, trust me, it really isn't worth it.

One of them cup things.  This one is no. 12.

Stanage Edge

The plantation at Dennis Knoll and part of my cycle route to the office (on warmer days)

I stopped to peer down at High Neb Buttress (VS 4c) which I led about 25 years ago and thought that I probably wasn't going to do it again.

High Neb Buttress

The hard bit, as I recall,  is getting off the ground and that's followed by the scary crux which has poor gear.  Well it might be OK with cams but I didn't have any of those fancy mechanical things and relied on good old hexes and rocks.  Then again, the first ascent in 1915, by a Norwegian called Ivar Berg, was probably done in nailed boots and used no gear at all.  He solo'd it!

I stopped by the steps down to the Plantation area to watch a couple of mountain bikers ride down.  Well one of them rode it and the other walked.  I've yet to do clean descent of this.  I always wimp out on drop just before the corner, never quite trusting in the physics.  This chap did it with quite a bit of style, I thought, especially given that his mate was standing in the way, right on the corner.

Then it was past the Pole

A lonely looking Stanage Pole
and down the Causeway back to the car, home and soup :)

The Causeway (now closed to 4x4s) down to Redmires

6 miles and 700' (ish)

1 comment:

Al said...

Certainly sounded windy on the video! I can well imagine the wind speeding over Stanage Edge, it's about as exposed as you can find down there.