Safe through September

After the recent visits to Scotland (Loch Lomond) and Wales (Ogwen Valley), it was time for a wander over some local hills and moors to capture the fading purple heather and maybe a grouse or two on route.

I parked at Old Glossop at the bus terminus and headed along the hard track to pick up the small footpath that would take me up Lightside and onto the top of the slope of Yellow Slacks.

On the way up Lightside there are a couple of small enclosures, believed to be old mortar stations, which of course have aged significantly over the passage of time, nonetheless they make a great frame for a picture!

A gentle plod uphill followed after this picture stop, adjacent to the unfortunately named ‘shittern clough’, until I arrived at the boundary fence which offers a great view back towards the start point of today’s adventure or alternatively if you look North, you can pick out the Trig point at Cock Hill.

My objective today was to ‘attempt’ to capture a picture or even a small video of a grouse taking off on flight, as on this walk there is an abundance of them to be heard, chattering away as you approach, which is normally followed by a startled flight off into the distance.

My luck was not with me today, despite my best efforts I think I must have nearly tripped over about 50, none of which was I prepared for, so instead you’ll just have to see the short video of the heather and No Grouse!!!

As I was wandering along, I was thinking around the key message for this blog, which centred around the reduced light as we march towards September, and the accompanying drop in temperatures meaning the requirement for an extra layer of clothing is becoming more important.

Couple all of this to the many articles that I have read on social media of people suggesting they navigate via their Phone Apps, or with their preferred GPS tool, gives rise to the reminder that in the cold the batteries on these ‘tools’ can potentially diminish more quickly than normal.

More importantly for me though, is the prospect that whilst using the mobile phone to navigate, should your batteries fail, it then begs the very important question of how you might contact the emergency services in the case of an emergency?

So that was the video but that was based on an ‘actual’ encounter with three Doncaster lads wandering towards me as I progressed East along the small path next to Yellow Slacks Brook.

The best way to describe this in simple terms is that the lads first question to me was “Are we anywhere near the aircraft wreck”?

The Blue pen is pointing to their location along with a direction of travel arrow (they might have stopped when the arrived at Old Glossop)! The Green pen is pointing to their starting location, and the Red pen is pointing to the location of ‘Over Exposed’ where they were heading to!!!

As you can see, they were well ‘off piste’.

The next commentary that followed was that they did not possess a map or a compass (if they had, I very much doubt they would have known how to drive it)!!

Fortunately for them, me being the kind, cuddly, caring Navigational type, kindly offered to ‘walk’ them to their point of interest (at no charge I would add)!!

After a small ‘one-minute rollocking’ for lack of appropriate navigational tools or any preparation for escape routes, I took them to ‘Over Exposed’ and pointed them in the most sensible direction to ensure their safety off the Mountain once they had completed their recce.

Good deed done!

Time to move a bit now as the wind was a little brisker and consequently the temperature had dropped a little. I travelled quickly past Hern Stones and directly onwards to Wain stones (or the kissing stones as they are sometimes known) and captured a picture for good measure.

On this part of the route, I met a Doncaster couple who had just departed from Wain Stones after their brew and snack stop, the lady indicated that her partner had been eating Jaffa’s (is it a cake or a biscuit)? But what was entertaining about this she told me that he had been munching his way through ‘Pineapple Jaffa’s’…………who eats those for goodness’s sake?

I picked up the Pennine way along with a couple of the sensible marker posts and headed for my stop of choice at the Grouse Butts at the junction of John track well & Wildboar Grain. Suitably refreshed with my snack and warm Vimto I headed off.

A challenging up and down session followed across the beautifully coloured Harrop Moss moorland and its numerous Peak Groughs and Grouse Butts until I arrived at the spot height at Glossop Low.

Last leg now, and I headed down toward the Trig at Cock Hill (childish giggle to myself here)! A quick stop for a final drink of Vimto, trig picture and a small video to capture the old (now disused) quarry workings

Last leg down now, which is a nice steady decent to head back to the car park.

I said goodbye to the local sheep on the way through and made my way back to the car park. A nice gentle wander out today, 13.67Kms covered, saw plenty of wildlife, captured my Mountain minute video and saved a bunch of lads from a very extended walk, all in all, I’m happy with that!

Stay safe.

Martin

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