View from Oban Bothy

View from Oban Bothy
Showing posts with label O.M.. Show all posts
Showing posts with label O.M.. Show all posts

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Sunday 8th March, A Rainy Roaches Ramble

A Magic Midlands day walk exploring the ridges north of Leek

I’m not sure, but I think it was Skip’s idea that Yavanna should lead a walk for a group of mates who lurk on Outdoors Magic. Skip’s good at delegating!

Anyways, this was planned (wot?) to be a similar walk to the one Yavanna led in June 2013 – it was…..apart from the weather.

You can read about that walk here, and better still, you can see the lovely views that we couldn’t see on this walk. The area is one that Yavanna knows quite well, she lives just down the road from the Roaches.

P1030896 Heading to Hen Cloud….in the wet

Skip’s words on the day:

Well, that was a wet one!

We convened at the pub - the group was Yavanna with her mum and dad, Miko, Alex (racer66), Simon (Meravingian), John (JJ) and me. Our route took us over Hen Cloud then along The Roaches.

At Roach End Simon had to leave us. We continued to Lud's Church then looped  back along the ridge before retracing our steps over The Roaches.

All told, I make it 10.2 miles on mapping (Alex's GPX makes it 120.3 {eh?} so pretty much unanimous). We took it at a reasonably steady pace and had a short lunch stop.

It was pretty claggy and wet on the way out so no views to speak of. But the cloud lifted on the return leg and by the time we got back to the cars the sun was coming through - typical.

All in all, a very pleasant walk in excellent company - thank you all for an enjoyable day.

P1030895 Hen Cloud

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The Outdoor Magicians at Doxey Pool

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Simey's Mum's lovely cake demolition 

Simey (Meravingian) had brought some lovely mincemeat cakes that his Mum had made – the group made short work of them, they were a bit nice.

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P1030905Yavanna's Dad looking for the ice cream van

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Lud's Church...and Yavanna's interestingly shaped bald spot.

P1030915Lud’s Church 

P1030925 Racer66...Alex, leading Yavanna and Skip

P1030926Yavanna and her Ma

P1030932Skip on his throne 

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P1030936Don Whillans Memorial Hut

Where we went:

Route 2

More pictures here.

It was wet but it was a great day out, I’m looking forward to the next one. Thanks to everyone, especially Yavanna and her parents for putting the walk on.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

28th – 30th November, Snowdonia Magic

Between Capel Curig and Betws-y-Coed, just off the A5, Bryn Brethynau Climbing Hut was our (a group of Outdoors Magic folk) home for the weekend. Little Miss Maria was the organisator – she’s good at that sort of thing.

From the Friday afternoon the place started to fill up – I gave Jim from Chapel-en-le-Frith a lift, he proved good company.

The hut was quite basic but could have done with a good clean before we moved in, the previous group staying there clearly weren’t too bothered how they left the place. The good news, for the hut owners, is that when an Outdoors Magic party use a place they always leave it in very clean condition.  Whatever, it was warm, dry and it had a hot shower – good enough for us rufty-tufty outdoorsy types.

image The advance party: Jim, LMM, Cathy, Carrick and Ed

That evening some went off to the boozer down the road for a meal and some beer. Others, me included, stayed at the hut and ate there.

The Glyders

Next morning a very select group of six set off to wander over the Glyders.

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Two cars were used, one parked at the start of the walk at the eastern end of Llyn Ogwen, t’other car was left at the Visitors Centre by Idwal Cottage, at the western end of the lake. Weather conditions were perfect, cool, clear and generally dry underfoot. Views improved as we climbed:

imageTryfan

The hills were very busy, a group of Royal Marine Commandos were out on a jaunt:

imageThe power of camouflage

imageimageTaz, with Tryfan in the background

There were grins all around, what a superb day to spend in the hills. The views were just so good that were moving relatively slowly – we just kept stopping to gawp and take photos.

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Cathy, Chewie, Yavanna and Pete

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Lunch with a view

Glyder Fach presented itself as a good lunch spot: tremendous views and nice dry rocks to sit on. Whilst munching our butties we heard the ‘waffa-waffa’ of a helicopter, a Sea King was lurking around the top of Tryfan. The helicopter flew off after a short time, only to re-appear around 10 minutes later. It was circling the tops – the winch-man (winch-person?) was giving Cathy a cheery wave.

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Cathy, dead chuffed that the pillion passenger of the Sea King gave her a wave …....nobody else got a wave!

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The craggy, rocky outcrops really have to be seen to be believed. My limited photography skills can’t show the area off properly, but I’ll try:

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I’ve done very little walking in Snowdonia. It’s an area that I need to spend more time in, the scenery is really spectacular and it’s not too far from Manchester. I feel a backpacking trip coming on, a few days around here will really hit the spot.

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Anyroadup, after the excitement of the waving helicopter pillion passenger and the scoffing of butties, we trotted off westwards-ish along the ridgy-thing to Glyder Fawr and more spectacular rocky terrain. Our route off Glyder Fawr was by the side of the Devils Kitchen, a dramatic gash in the mountainside:

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Looking t’other way:

image Llyn Idwal with the Carnedds behind

A sometimes slippy descent in failing light slowed us down only a little and we were soon down at the car park by Idwal Cottage.

Back at the climbing hut we were surprised and more than a bit shocked to find that the helicopter we’d seen earlier in the day was on a call out. The group led by Maria had decided to go up Tryfan. Geoff (aka Major Cynic) took a tumble as he lost his grip on a bit of a scramble. A 75ft drop, punctuated by various ledges, rocks and other lumpy things had broken his fall – fortunately nothing else was broken, other than pride perhaps. Ogwen Valley MRT were out on exercise in the area and were very soon on the scene. Read all about it.

Geoff was whisked off to Bangor Hospital for his bits and pieces to be checked, X-rayed, massaged etc – all proved to be fine, if a little battered and bruised. He was kept in overnight for observation and was turfed out the following morning, stiff, sore, hungry and thirsty.

Sunday morning: Cnicht….not

image Not Cnicht….but Moel Siabod from the hut on Sunday morning

By the time we’d collected Geoff from the hospital and returned him to the hut it was getting late – thoughts of a longer walk had been ruled out. Cathy had a plan: drive a few miles down the road and wander up Cnicht – a hill that has the distinction of being a HuMP, Hewitt and a Minto Nuttall.

An expedition party of three: Cathy, Jim and me, set off from Blaen Nanmor, a very minor road to the north-west of Cnicht. Following a not very clear footpath up to a group of lakelet / tarny type ponds at around the 600m contour we headed south-ish, in the general direction of Cnicht. The ground was generally good although there were some tremendously sloppy, boggy bits. My brand new, no expense spared £3.99 Aldi short gaiters did a good job of keeping the crud off the bottom of my trousers,

image Llyn yr Adar

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Jim and Cathy

image Llyn Llagi

A mixture of failing light, yakking too much and not looking at the map properly meant that we were too late to do the ridge over Cnicht.

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it was dark by the time we got back to the cars. Still, we had a nice little walklet:

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5 miles and 1800’ of upness. And some boggy bits.

Apart from Geoff’s little mishap on (off?) Tryfan on the Saturday afternoon, it was a hugely successful weekend. Unfortunately not everyone was able to attend, some dropped out at the last minute, but hey-ho, that’s the way it goes sometimes. Thanks to Little Miss Maria for her efforts in making the weekend happen, and to everyone else for the entertainment  and making the weekend such a success - ‘twas great fun!

Monday, 30 June 2014

Sunday 30th June 2013, Midlands Magic

Anyone who enjoys the great outdoors doesn’t need telling of it’s spirit-enhancing powers. Having had a particularly crappy couple of weeks I felt the need to ‘get out there’.
Ideas for a long trip are now being put together, but in the meantime a shorter, single day walk was needed as a matter of urgency.
Today’s little jaunt was c/o Outdoors Magic, a fine bunch of folks who inhabit t’interweb, hilly bits of countryside….and the odd pub. Or two.
Simon was the main instigator, and being as wot he lives in Leek a wander around The Roaches was deemed appropriate. Since the idea was first mooted, the list of those wishing to attend just growed and growed. Eventually eleven bodies (well it was eleven if you include the three doggies) assembled in the car park of the Three Horseshoes pub at Blackshaw Moor. The sun was shining a bit and my choice of shorts had proved to be a good ‘un – although my white and pimply legs stood out against the muscly, tanned legs of the other OMers.
It was good to catch up with Skip, The Teesdale Viking, and Ella – her doggy. The rest of the group were strangers to me – but there did seem to be a lot of Mikes in attendance.
P1020494First up of the day
The Roaches, Hen Cloud and Ramshaw Rocks are a rocky escarpment formed from gritstone and their appearance is quite spectacular. The area is very popular with rock-climbers, indeed we saw a goodly number out today.
P1020496 First stop of the day, Simon (our glorious leader on the Left)
Up and down we went. Then up and down again. To be honest I’m not at all sure where were went. I spent a good half-hour looking at my map this evening, and apart from picking out a few features that I knew we visited I just can’t be sure of the route. What I can say about the route with absolute certainty is that is was a bit good – not the usual trade-route along the Roaches to Lud’s Church and back.
So, anyway, I’ll just write less about the route – and put up some nice photos.
P1020500Posing on top of the escarpment
There are plenty of wonderfully-shaped tors and other rock formations in the area, imagination can run riot when looking at some of them:
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P1020511 A face?
P1020521 Reptile Head
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He’s got more bottle than me!
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Crag rats
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Even more Crag Rats
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The Queen’s Chair
Although why the Queen’s Chair is so named is a bit of a mystery – especially as the spot was visited by the Prince and Princess of Teck a bit back:
P1020532I tink Teck is German or perhaps has some German connection. I dunno. I shall have to ask 'er indoors – she knows everything.
More views over the surrounding (and some quite distant) countryside:
P1020553 Alderley Edge
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The pimple on the skyline is The Matterhorn Shutlingsloe
After not a lot of time we dropped into Lud’s Church, which isn’t a church – but a cave. and not really a cave because it’s not go a lid on it. It’s really just a deep and rocky gully. Because it’s so deep there are lots of ferns and probably a few rare plants down there, the conditions are moist and quite stable.
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P1020568 The remains of a very rare money tree
Here’s a map with Lud’s Church on – highlighted with a little red flag:
image It’ll give you some idea of the terrain but it won’t show the mud in Lud’s church.
Lud’s Church behind we sort-of turned back, south-eastish through Forest Wood (isn’t that a bit like saying Wood Wood….or Tree Forest?) that followed the valley of Black Brook. A bit of a tug up to Roach End – and an ice-cream van. Well it would have been rude not to. So I wasn’t, and after parting with £2 I was presented with an enormous and delicious ice-cream. And it was none of yer Mr Whipee crap. Oh no, this was REAL ice-cream. Yum!
Some of our party chose to walk along the top of The Roaches, whilst others (me included)followed the very pleasant road back. There was very little difference, timewise – we were all back at the car-park within a few minutes of each other.
‘Twas a good day out, just what the doctor ordered. Thanks to the entire party for letting me come along, for sharing, for putting up with me – especially Meravingian for making it happen.
I think we ended up doing around 13.5 miles and we seemed to visit Hen Cloud, Ramshaw Rocks, Roaches Ridge and Lud’s Church – although we missed out the spectacular Hanging Rock. I’ve been to Hanging Rock loads of times, but it still takes my breath away from the top!  Hopefully some kind soul will tell be where we actually went today so I can put up a route map.
More pics, including some really interesting shots of the rock formations.