Friday, 29 July 2022

A two day Exmoor adventure.

Day One

Ali kindly drove me to Porlock Weir on the Devon coast so I could start my two day walk at the sea.
Obviously I started with a dip, although next time i need to choose a sandy beech as getting in over the big stones wasn't easy.

From there it was straight up through the woods but it was a lovely day and I was smiling.
However it was warm, so I soon changed into shorts.
As always I was trying to improve my navigation and this Reservoir up on the moors was my first spot to aim for.
I had been hoping for a dip, it was surroubded by open access land, but it wasnt too be as it was well fenced in.

Onwards and across the moors, I made the decision to cut the route slightly shorter as I was making slow progress. This way I could camp a bit further along the route as well.
My feet were beginning to hurt and i was worried i might be getting a blister on ny heels, as I don't tend to suffer from them i hadn't brought any tape, but will add this to my pack next time.
I found a spot on the moors to set up my tent and was soon curled up in my sleeping bag nice and cosy.

15.4 miles hiked

Day 2

I was on my way not long after 7am and headed to Tarr Steps. On my way here I realised I'd lost the clip I use to attach my map to my rucksack, fortunately i was able to borrow another clip and some string to sort a new one. It makes it much easier when using poles.
Tarr Steps were lovely, glad I was there early so had them to myself.
Heading back onto the moors I saw some Exmoor Ponies, it was impressive how easily they moved through the bracken.

Up on the moors and it actually started raining, so waterproof was on for a while. another good spot to work on navigation. Then it was down into Dulverton where i had some lunch. Leaving here my feet were really hurting and my legs not much better so I wasn't moving super fast.But when I saw Wimbleball Lake I knew that I was on the final stretch. With fishermen and sailing boats on the water I wasn't sure I'd managed a dip.
But i found a quiet spot and snuck in, felt much better when i got out and for a while even my feet stopped hurting.I had one last stop at the top of the last hill before descending to my friend Leila's where we have been spending g the week in our van.
Ali and Chip came to meet me on the last bit which was lovely.

Have to say I was happy to see the van.

17.4 miles covered

Overall it was a great adventure, but has left me very sore and tired. Ive definitely learnt that less mileage is better, especially if I want to spend time practicing navigation. Also although my boots felt super comfy everytime I put them on, I should probably have spent a bit more time in them before covering 33miles, being barefoot boots there is less cushioning than my other hiking boots.

Now where shall I plan my next adventure?

Tuesday, 5 July 2022

Horton-in-Ribblesdale to Settle - 2 day adventure

Day 1

I travelled by train go Horton-in-Ribblesdale, it was a nice easy journey I just had to change at Sheffield and Leeds. I arrived at 235pm and had a plan to do about 10miles before camping.

I could see my first peak of the day, Pen-y-ghent as I left the station. It soon got steep climbing up, I even pit my poles away for a bit so I could use my hands to climb! 

Amazingly I got to sit and eat my sandwich at the top with noone else there, as I went to leave a group arrived though.

These were the last people I saw for the day. As I walked along to Plover Hill I could see over to where I was planning on heading. The weather was lovely although there was a biting wind high up.

I even tried to identify some plants!

I dropped down and crossed  river, where I was hoping to fill up with water. But it was completely dry, I was glad I had carried 3litres with me! 


I continued with lots of off path navigation, I was happy to find this trig point as I'd done some pacing to measure the distance.

On my way to where I was thinking of camping I found some flowing water, it was a little brown but I had my filter bottle with me to filter out any nasties.

Had to think a lot navigating the final stretch to Fountains Tarn as visibility had gone down to about 10m. In fact I nearly missed the tarn!

Then tent up before eating and then bed.

19.1km 1120m ascent

Day 2


I briefly woke up for sunrise but didn't actually get up till 630am and was on my way for 730am. It was lovely and clear again which helped with navigation.

I decided not to follow the wall, I rely on them too mych for my navigation but that meant that it was hard going.
But I found the first trig point i was heading too!
Descending to a road I was followed by some sheep and lambs, I couldn't help thinking how Cybi would have reacted to that.

After some footpath walking, it was more off path stuff to a trig point, I had to be careful with my navigation to avoid some crags.
I had views of Settle, where I was heading from this spot.



I was please with my navigation back down as I made my way perfectly between crags.
Dropping into Settle I enjoyed the flowerpot men as i walked to the station.

14.9km 378m ascent 


Reflections

Bring gaiters
Make sure don't drop map
If you have a nav plan, don't just follow what looks like a path
Need to rely less on walls for navigation - next walk do some practice with a 1:50000 map

Friday, 3 June 2022

A wild camp to test out my new tent.

Ali kindly picked up a one man backpacking tent for me from Decathlon so obviously I had to get out and try it out. I plotted a route that started from a car park on the snake pass that would let me practice my navigation, it's something I really need to work on. But arriving there at 3pm it was packed, with cars circling trying to park, it looked like a lot of people were heading for a wild camp as they were unpacking lots of kit from the cars.
I headed up onto Snake summit thinking I could start the route from there and camp somewhere different to planned, but when I realised there would be a bit of road walking I changed my plan. Lots of off path stuff really tested my nav,  but in the whole it went well and minor errors were corrected. I barely saw anyone and those I did where in the valley while I was on the tops.
Arriving at Grinch Rocks, where I hoped to camp I wandered around a bit until I found a flat spot for my tent. It was nice and quick to pitch, which is good as it'll be even quicker now I've done, and Chip and I were soon enjoying our tea. 
I was in bed nice and early but unfortunately didn't sleep well, seemed to constantly wake up, it was windy and rainy overnight but I think I was too hot in hindsight as everytime I woke up I was super thirsty, this tent is noticeably warmer than my 2p tent.

The next morning we had breakfast early since I wasn't sleeping and were on our way at 6am, however the mist came in and my nav was poor, I went round im circles a bit but eventually got on my way again. 
As we weren't parked as far away I added on a trig point for some more navigation practice, turns out the Bleakow Bomber crash site. We were back to the car for 10am and heading home.
Another fabulous mini adventure and shows I really need to work on my navigation, I'm too used to having gps!