View from Oban Bothy

View from Oban Bothy
Showing posts with label Bad weather. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bad weather. Show all posts

Thursday, 21 February 2019

A night with a Madwoman. And a gear test.

It was all a bit last minute. I needed to get out for some serious brain-straightening peace and quiet, plus I had some new(ish) kit to test out.

I packed my rucksack and travelled by train to Edale, alighting in the late afternoon. I scuttled up Grindsbrook Clough in the failing light and once at the top, headed east (East is good) along the edges to a nice little spot by Madwoman's Stones.

It was dark by the time I was putting the tent up, but the sky was clear and the moon was shining brightly - and it was damned cold. I grabbed a couple of litres of water from the trickling stream at Jaggers Clough and got my tea on the go

My Plan, given the lovely clear skies, was to spend a bit of time taking photographs by moonlight. The Plan, like so many plans, failed. By the time I'd eaten and sorted my kit out it had clouded over. And then it started to rain. And then it got very windy. VERY windy.

Ho hum.

I was checking some new kit out: a NeoAir X-Therm, a down-filled balaclave (for sleeping in) and down-filled socks.

The socks and balaclava all came from AliExpress for around £15 each.

Balaclava: 85gms, Down socks: 105gms

All this kit worked superbly well, I spent a very warm and cosy night in spite of the horribly cold conditions. I was so warm that I had to unzip my sleeping bag and remove the balaclava during the night.

 My wind-battered Akto

Leave no trace

 My water source at Jaggers Clough....a bit peaty!
Jaggers Clough

 Descent into Edale

Next morning I headed down by Ringing Roger, back into Edale for my train home.

Good bits:
a) All the kit I took out for testing worked well
b) I had a nice overnighter.

Bad bits:
a) I forgot to take a compass (tsk).
b) I've decided that my Caldera Cone meths stove really isn't up to winter camping trips.
c) I missed my intended train home 'cos of phone I had to drink filter coffee in the cafe by the it wasn't ALL bad!

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Saturday 23rd March, ...And Snow on Northern Hills

18 (fool)hardy runners gathered at the Lantern Pike in Little Hayfield for the day’s Tally-Ho! trail run. A few feet of snow and the odd snowdrift wasn’t going to deter this lot. Good company and a good run over testing ground were promised… would be rude to turn down such an enticing offer.

I was supposed to be camping at Little Stretton in Shropshire for an O.M. meet this weekend but I had to pull out, I had too much going on. To be honest, although I like my camping, the idea of a weekend under canvas in these weather conditions didn’t float my boat too well.

Anyway, back to Tally-Ho!
Tales of derring-do were exchanged even before the run began – some of the journeys to the pub were quite eventful. Whitworth, Shipley and Whalley relied on a snow-plough ahead of them, clearing the road to enable the Whitworth-mobile to get through. Whitehead couldn’t even escape his hometown of Buxton, such was the depth of snow. Even the journey from Timperley had it’s problems – my idea of getting to Hayfield via the A57 was thwarted by snow-blocked roads.
P1010576 The tops from Birch Vale
John Wilson had set out early to lay trail, he did a superb job of laying a shorter route than normal, around 6 miles, a sensible move considering the weather conditions.
P1010548 The Taylor vs Murray pre-run fancy hat contest
As I left the pub to follow the sawdust trail I met Whitworth, Shipley and Whalley running back to the pub. They had been turned back by impassable snowdrifts and hooley-driven snow on the climb up Middle Moor. This wasn’t looking promising. Although I was equipped with map and compass in case I missed the sawdust trail, they wouldn’t help me if I got bogged down in deep snow.

The wind strengthened as I climbed up over Middle Moor. Trail was increasingly difficult to follow, wind and snow had done their best to either cover up the sawdust or just blow it away.
A (successful) attempt at keeping sawdust trail in place.
The going became harder the further I got until it became clear that it would be plain daft to attempt to continue further. Indeed, as a solo runner in these conditions it would have been downright stupid and irresponsible.
P1010553 P1010554I hadn’t even got as far as Kinder Reservoir but at least I’d had a damned good try. Just over an hour after setting out from the pub I arrived back, cold and a little down-hearted. If I’d gone off with a group I’d have almost certainly got round the route. Going off on my own it just wasn’t going to happen.
Back at the pub I changed and had a mug of coffee to defrost my bits – then it was time for a pint in the bar with the other runners who had made it back. Up until this point the only runners back at the pub were those that had been driven back or had thought better of continuing further.
P1010566   The Lantern Pike, Little Hayfield
The few runners that had made it all the way round began arriving back – more tales of derring-do! By 3.30pm everyone was back. The tin bath wasn’t used, everyone just wanted to get out of their wet running gear and into dry clothes so they could warm themselves by the pub’s blazing fire. And have a beer.
P1010571 Burston and Murray on the final run-in
P1010568 Cold and knackered runners back at the pub
An excellent meal of steak & kidney pie and chips followed by apple pie and custard  hit the spot. This pub’s food has certainly improved over the last couple of years. The Timothy Taylor’s Landlord was excellent, it was just a pity I had to drive.

This is where we should have gone:

Lantern Pike route6 miles, with ups, downs and snowdrifts – map courtesy of Eastwood

In better weather this would have been a superb route – especially if it was extended by a couple of miles. Just a shame conditions were as they were.

P2P recce with Judith, a UFO, and a wild camp.

The reason for this test is the continuing problem I have with posting using Open LiveWriter…. The Plan (there’s sometimes A Plan) was to...