The good folk of the East Lancashire LDWA have recently re-started their 'Plodder' walks, shorter walks of around 12 miles.
This particular walk kicked off from outside a pub (obv) in Ringley, to the west of Prestwich / Whitefield.. The pub, The Horseshoe, was a Thwaites house, just in case you were interested....which you probably were.
18 walkers, well it was 20 walkers if you counted the dogs, gathered at the appointed hour and we trundled off at a brisk pace.
It always surprises my how easy it is to follow 'green' routes, even in well populated or industrial areas, and so it was.
We crossed the River Irwell and then walked through Clifton Country Park, heading in a south-easterly direction, through a lovely green corridor, to Clifton Junction and then to Prestwich Forest Park. All really quite nice.
The route passed some interesting features relating to the mining history of the area.
It was good to catch up with East Lancs once again, they're a great bunch. There were a few new faces in attendance, the group doesn't have any problem attracting new members. It's a very friendly and active group. I really should get out with them more often.
The lunch stop was in a park where we had the luxury of park benches to sit on. Nice.
Suitably fed and watered, we were off once again, now on the return leg, heading.through Philips Park and then picking up the Irwell Sculpture Trail which followed the course of a disused railway for some distance.
Then it started to rain. Oh well.
We were soon back on tarmac and within a few minutes the Horseshoe pub hove into view. This suited many, the rain was properly raining now and many dived into the pub for beer and shelter. Not me though, not this time. I needed to get back home.
Thanks to East Lancs for a nice little walk, I'll be back for another one soon.
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.
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!
Descent into Edale
Next morning I headed down by Ringing Roger, back into Edale for my train home.
a) All the kit I took out for testing worked well
b) I had a nice overnighter.
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 call...so I had to drink filter coffee in the cafe by the station....so it wasn't ALL bad!