Sunday, 16 September 2012

Life is Good: Miller's Dale and Kinder Scout

I thought this "top of the world" picture was appropriate after the fine weekend I had.  I was able to get some extended Quality Time with each member of the family individually.  It didn't hurt that I took Friday off -- too bad 3-day weekends aren't the norm!

Friday -- Father/Son walk around Miller's Dale

Alex's school had Friday off for "Foundation Day" which a I presume is based on the school's founding day.  As one co-worker commented, "what, the 7 weeks of summer break wasn't enough?".  At any rate, I decided to spend the day with Alex by going on a walk.

The chosen walk was #8 in the Collins Short Walks book:  Miller's Dale and Wormhill.   It's about 50 minutes away.  I took a slightly different route this time and I think I have a new favorite.  It avoids the A6 and A52 while keeping to reasonable backroads (B5023 to A5012 to A515 for the locals).  It probably helped that I didn't have my ASWS* with me this time too, so I could go a little faster around the bends.

*Audible Spousal Warning System

The walk was about 5 miles and described as "Airy upland pastures on the limestone plateau contrast with the silvan beauty of two unspoiled dales".  Hmm.  That's selling it a little high.  We really enjoyed ourselves but it was the company, not the walk, that stood out.

Geek stats:  5.1 miles, 2:41 total time of which 0:31 was resting (lunch and snacks).  1162' total up and down but it was fairly spread out and not too strenuous.

Interesting patriotism on a hillside on the way 

Plenty of farm animals on this one.  Not quite a stink-eye but close.
sheep too

a little lacking on the views -- the woodsy bit is Monk's Dale but we essentially walked around it

a quick attempt at capturing some rolling hills amongst the farm land -- weather started to turn here (windy and a bit of rain)

one of the rest breaks -- Alex likes to have the map so he can track progress

more sheep and hills in a distance

Hmm.  Seems we have a predicament here.  Not sure how he/she got in there or how he/she will get out.  I walked back to the nearest house to let them know.  Glad someone was home but they probably aren't used to people "calling" (stopping by) as they looked at me like I had 3 heads when they answered the door.

The half way mark.  We've walked down to Monk's Dale (shown) and we will walk back up on the other side.

My boy and me.  I'm concentrating too hard on trying to take the photo.

and here's the bit we walked up -- a little scenery but this was mainly farm pastures

Ah, the slug streak continues!

sheep blockade -- they hurried along once we started coming through though

they evidently had a meeting to attend (Alex said it looked like they were lining up for Assembly)

some fields before walking into the woodlands of Chee Dale (amazingly, no photos from "Wormhill", wouldn't you hate to live there?)

down by the river -- this was nice

on the way back to the Monsal Trail and our starting point

So, the walk itself wasn't great.  It was a little too agricultural even for me (I like seeing the animals, not dodging their byproduct).  That said, we had a great time.  Alex said it was one of his favorite hikes.  Why?  because it was with me.  (Awww).

I capped the night off with a dinner with [just] Kuk as we returned to Masa's (the £15 voucher didn't hurt).  We had a great, relaxed meal and a week's (or more) worth of conversation.

Saturday -- Father/Daughter walk to Kinder Scout

Friday went so well, I thought I'd try a walk with Nicole.  Alex had an afternoon engagement so that opened the door.  I set our sights on our most ambitious walk to date (and one that Alex and Kuk might not want to do):  Kinder Scout.  KS is the 2nd highest peak in England and is about 75 minutes away near the village of Edale.  (I used much of the same route there, again without the ASWS :-).

Another short walks book had a shortened version (yellow line and left) but I thought we would try the long version.  Besides, I wasn't sure I could find parking at the other starting point and Edale had better facilities.

Special shout out to Doug and Tara for giving me the idea (link).

The walk was 9.5 miles (!) in total and we did it in 5:03 hours with 1:03 resting (including lunch and a quick pub stop near the end). 

Much more climbing that normal (800 to 2069' with a total ascension of 2172').  Phew!  Love my geeky stats.  The tippy-top point after the 5 mile mark is the highest we reached and is where Nicole took my photo at the top of the page.

We were about at the 1800' mark on the way up, fairly knackered, breathing heavy and with half my snack on my face when I ran into the RR Global Head of Functional Systems Engineering (i.e. my boss's boss and pretty high up the food chain).  Not sure I looked my best.  Oh well.  Quite a coincidence.

I had some folks at work try to talk me out of this walk.  Glad I didn't listen.  It was great!

Okay, we are off.  Great, sunny day though a touch cool at the start.  We walked from Edale along the Pennine Way.   Quite a bit of the trail was marked with stones which was nice (some notable exceptions to come).  Lots of sheep so it's got to be good.  (Notice Nicole's half-eaten apple!).

don't recall sheep lying like a dog

salt and pepper

A really nice view back in the Edale valley;  that is the Mam Tor ridge to the right.  I'll have to look into that for a future walk.

 how is this guy keeping up with us? (the streak continues)

we've been on a slight grade but Jacob's Ladder lies up ahead

half way (?) up and a look back to the valley

a waterfall amongst the hills and capturing the more rugged Dark Peak landscape

at the top of Jacob's Ladder looking back down the valley

another peak at the valley

cool, Red Grouse -- I was talking to Kuk earlier about how few wild animals we see on these walks (but plenty of domesticated ones)

crossing the "road"

we took this little spur to see the rock climbers and stop for lunch -- you can also see the really dark soil/peat that the area is named for (i.e. Dark Peak)

self shot at lunch

Nicole on our lunch rock

more nice views of the valley as we work our way back along the upper plateau

rock star -- we are above 2000' now

more rocks

rocks and bog -- typical landscape on the plateau (this "bleakness" is why some tried to dissuade us, but I like the contrast and the views to the valley below)

Nicole in front of said landscape

can you tell I like these valley shots?

So, the trail was pretty self-explanatory until it was time to come down.  There were a couple of options but the one I had mapped out was certainly not obvious.  In fact, if it weren't for the GPS and the fact that we finally saw a couple of people coming up I never would have thought to come down this way.  It was basically a scramble down a rock slide.  Challenging and fun (sort of).  We are about half way down here.  I'd probably recommend a more traditional route though.
 Looking back up the "path" we came down
waterfall along the way down

down in the valley near the bottom it looked like Jurassic Park or at least Fernville

We looked forward to sitting for a bit and had a quick drink at The Old Nags Head pub (the "traditional start of the Pennine Way").  Established in 1577!  There's only a few hundred people in Edale now.  What the heck where people doing here in 1577?  

We had a fantastic time and it was really good to push our limits and do this more challenging walk.  I'll have to see if the rest of the family are up for something similar.

I really enjoyed both walks with the kids.  Glad they were each up for it.

Another "you know you are in the UK" when moment.  This is on the A515 which is a decently busy 2-lane highway with a 50 mph speed limit.  I guess when you have to move the herd, you have to move the herd.  Based on the size of the udders, we both thought "I hope they are going to milk them now".


On Sunday, we spent the afternoon down the road at a co-worker's house for his son's 4th birthday party.  Ok, it was actually my boss (and we had a good time).  One of the party games was called "pass the parcel".  They pre-wrapped some party gifts multiple times.  Each one was passed around and when the music stopped the person holding it got to unwrap a layer.  If it was the last layer, you got the gift.  (Surprisingly, the kids in attendance each got a gift -- funny how that worked out :-) .

My boss lives right off Darley Park so we all went down to the park to play.  He's a baseball fan and actually had a ball and gloves.  This is the first time, I think, that I've played [baseball] catch with Nicole (shame on me).  Fun though.

They had a stomp rocket that the kids also enjoyed.  Here's the birthday boy sending it flying (I assume so since I don't see the rocket in the frame).

Ah, all good things must come to an end.  Back to work tomorrow but what a great weekend it was.  Have a good week everyone.

1 comment:

  1. Why don't you try putting the ASWS on mute? Haha. Let me know if you find where the mute button is on those things.

    Good cow and stone wall shot. Not good cow and collar shot.

    A graph? Aren't we the posh blogger.

    Nice pictures and write up, looked like some good rock and valley views.