July – Crowden to Black Hill Circuit ( Compass)

A break in the rainy forecast meant an early start to head off to the car park at Crowden, located just off Woodhead pass, adjacent to Torside reservoir.

Suitable parking space located, it was time to attempt the most difficult navigation of the day, finding my way out of the car park. I do not know why it is, whether it’s just the feeling of being a ‘right royal plonker’ heading off in slightly the wrong direction from the outset, or something different to that, but it can be the kind of small-minded troublesome thought that can dampen down the enthusiasm!

I need not have troubled myself, having navigated my way through the minor roads and small wooded area, I quickly located the small footpath towards Loft Intake and the quarry on the top. A short climb later and voila, first check point under the belt, time for a small break for a now, ‘very pleased with oneself’, navigator!

Next check point to locate was the trig pillar on Hey Edge, always a source of fun and entertainment, a little trigonometry later (sorry about that!) assisted by the wonderful Mountain King Walking poles and the compulsory shot of my Scarpa Boots, its time to press on and capture a few more views and small Vlogs as I travel across Westend Moss, to White low.

Last week’s adventure was a fabulous wander around the HVC walk, more affectionately known as ‘last of the summer wine tour’, however today at the Holme Moss summit, there was no visibility down into the valley, so a short vlog reminiscing was as good as it got!

Onwards from White Low and the next collecting feature on my route was the row of grouse butts, located on Tooleyshaw moss. Easy to find as you follow the direction of the marked footpath towards Black hill, but they are quite well overgrown from many years of inactivity.

The Trig point at Black Hill was the next checkpoint which was arrived at in a little over 20 minutes as the going was easy and pleasantly soft underfoot. Time for the compulsory capture of the trig point (why is it that we are so obsessed with them?) a little check on the grid bearing to confirm direction and I was off.

Not stopping for either the Brioche bun with Wiltshire ham, or the coffee that I had prepared earlier, I charged off along the Pennine Way as the weather was starting to look a little shaky. You will know the experience, when you can “sense” the change in pressure, suggesting that some of the wet stuff is on the way!

As I bumbled along enjoying the solitude, almost out of nowhere, I encountered a small tribe of runners diligently watching their foot placement as they hurtled down the Pennine Way towards me in the vicinity adjacent to Laddow rocks.

A few photos of the surrounding scenery later, and I located the small stream at Oakenclough Brook, and an ideal location for the following small vlog detailing our focus for July.

With just a little over two KMs left to do I noted this beautiful purple flowered shrub, which to be honest was the most colourful thing I had seen throughout the day, hence the capture, prior to stomping effortlessly down the valley to secure a long range shot of the quarry at Loft intake, where I had set out some three and half hours earlier.

As I gently wandered into the car park, it was nice to reflect on the raw, rugged nature of the Dark Peak, it can be moody and engaging wherever you chose to wander on this OL1 Map, and today was no exception. Whilst not a particularly challenging navigation feat, there is still plenty of opportunity to finesse your navigational competence, even more so should the weather be inclement, and visibility is challenged.

Have your OS Map or Harvey Map in hand, coupled to your Silva Compass, and you are well set for a good day’s navigation skills consolidation in this beautifully remote Peak district area.

Key takeaway for safe navigational practice, the 5 D’s.

  • Direction
  • Duration
  • Distance
  • Description
  • Danger

Apply these into your days out and be assured of having a safe outward bound and return journey.

Martin ( Compass )

PS The Brioche bun complete with Wiltshire ham was suitably devoured along with the cheese and onion crisp of choice…thank you for asking!!!!

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