Saturday, 28 February 2015

Walking with the Ramblers - Feb 2015

Walking with the Ramblers - Feb 2015

I regularly walk with a number of Rambling Groups - and have regained much of my fitness since the years of inactivity in my late 50's whilst working.

The Ramblers also give me the opportunity to walk with a group of like-minded people, midweek so as to leave the weekends free for other things.

This last week, I got out with the East Cheshire group to do a loop of the summits east of Macclesfield - taking in Three Shires Head, Danebower Quarry, Whetstone Ridge, Shining Tor and Shutlingsloe. The weather was extremely windy and then more so!!

On the bridge at Three Shires Head - plenty of water flowing down

Crossing the River Dane at Danebower Quarry - the river was well over the stepping stones!
The view north from Whetstone Ridge, near the Cat and Fiddle, at 547m (1794ft) it is the second highest summit in Cheshire
Next was the highest summit in Cheshire of Shining Tor at 559m (1834ft) - and it was blowing a gale !
You can just see Shutlingsloe in the distance on the left - where we are heading ...

We used the permissive path down through Chest Hollow off the Buxton Road to gain Wildboarclough and the ascent up through Macclesfield Forest.
The photo is of the top of Shutlingsloe, third highest summit in Cheshire at 506m (1660ft)

This was a 'hard' walk made much harder by the cold, gale force winds.
We covered 12.6 miles and climbed 2520 feet.
A few days later, I made the car drive over to Grindon in the Staffordshire White Peak to join the walk of the North and Mid Cheshire Ramblers. The weather was wet - very wet and the ground absolutely sodden, and muddy, and slippy!!
This is an area I don't know, so the route was of much interest to me.
Ready to set off at 9.45am - and it's belting with rain!
Taken at the top of Ecton Hill 369m (1211ft)
Looking at the descent of Ecton Hill - a significant industrial location for copper and lead mining. Owned by the Duke of Devonshire - the mine was the richest in the country in the late 18th Century - the profits said to have paid for the building of the Crescent in Buxton!
Crossing a fast flowing stream - with wobbly stepping stones!
Our leader for the day adapted the route to avoid deep mud in low fields and an impassable stream! We walked about 9.5 miles (which is modest by this group's standards) and climbed 2076 ft. However, it felt much harder given the slippery and heavy underfoot conditions!







Sunday, 22 February 2015

New Berth at Overwater Feb 2015

New Berth at Overwater Feb 2015

We've been based at the Overwater Marina, near Audlem on the Shropshire Union Canal for the last four winters and full-time since Spring 2013.

Having been on the list for an 'end mooring', we were offered the opportunity to move to a new berth with the pontoon on the better side - this giving an open, south facing and sunny aspect. It's a tad windier as there is no shelter form the southerly's though the openness will more than make up for this.

A much better mooring berth!

We plan to hang a bird feeder onto the tree
Also, just recently, the wide beam boat that has been on static sale is moving onto London, via Oxford. Apparently, it has been bought as living accommodation for a young man to have a base in London.
Here are some pictures of the contractors loading it up!

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

January Snow Walks 2015

Walking in the Snow - January 2015

The cold and snowy weather has given us walkers an opportunity to get up above the snowline and brave the icy cold winds and snow.

Featured here are a walk with the Audlem Village Ramblers to the area east of Church Stretton in Shropshire. In mid January I led a 10.9 mile route from the village of Cardington climbing the ridges of The Lawley, Caer Caradoc and the Willston Rocks, ascending a total of 2870ft.

Climbing The Lawley with the Wrekin in the distance

On top of The Lawley
A view south from The Lawley to Caer Caradoc
At the Hill Fort moat on Caer Caradoc

At the aptly named 3-Finger Rock
Later in the month, I led a hardy group from the North and Mid Cheshire Ramblers up through Langley, near Macclesfield through the Macclesfield Forest onto Shutlingsloe.
It had snowed heavily the day before and we had the paths and snow to ourselves - and the blizzards.
We covered 12 miles and climbed 2750 feet - quite tough going given the conditions - getting back to enjoy a real ale and coal fire in the welcoming Church House Inn at Sutton Lane Ends.
Walking up the green lanes
Magical Macclesfield Forest
Climbing up Shutlingsloe
Nearing the top
At the top - the Trig Point at 1660ft

In a blizzard on Piggford Moor 

An atmospheric view of Shutlingsloe from Piggford Moor