Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018

Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018
Showing posts with label Ramsoc. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ramsoc. Show all posts

Wednesday, 11 March 2020

Saturday/Sunday 7 and 8 March 2020 - A Weekend at Ilam

 Click on any picture to access a slideshow
This was Sue and Phil's 25th wedding anniversary weekend at Ilam Hall, attended by well over 100 of their friends and relatives.
On Saturday morning a sizeable party left the hall, in view of the church that lies within the grounds - pictured above - at around 9.30. Just as Richard and I were finishing our 5 km jog in Derby.
We hastened back to base, and whilst Richard then enjoyed a leisurely day, I shot off to catch up with those who had set out an hour earlier. I was called back by Phil - one of his bellringing fraternity had arrived late and wanted a longish walk.
So bellringer Brian and I set off to cross a tempting bridge from which the next picture, looking back up to the hall, was taken.
We soon realised we'd gone the wrong way. However, our brisk pace brought us to a point near Beeston Tor Farm, where the big group of 27 were sitting around with their flasks open. The drink was most welcome. I'm usually full of coffee by now, after a parkrun!
A rather more sedate pace prevailed for the rest of the day - much to Brian's relief.
The cycle track beside the River Manifold, following the course of an old railway line, led us from Weag's Bridge (below) to the turn to Wetton and Thor's Cave.
There's an information board about Thor's Cave, from where the massive cave is seen high above.

I've written about this spot after previous visits. provides more information, or you could just put '' into the search box on the top left of this blog - always a good way to find things I might have written about.

There were lots of people, in addition to our 27, about today, so most of us didn't bother to go into the steep, slippery, muddy cave. Been there, done that!
There's a fine view down to the Manifold Valley from the cave entrance.
The Royal Oak in Wetton provided another most welcome rehydration opportunity, with the benches in the village centre offering a good spot to scoff some lunch - Thanks to Sue for the smoked salmon and cream cheese with cucumber buns. 
From Wetton, the path down Hall Dale brought us to Dove Dale, the pinnacles of Pickering Tor, and the much photographed Ilam Rock, on which there were no climbers today.
Ilam Rock would have been a very greasy climb today.
Dove Dale has clearly recently seen the River Dove at high levels, but there's no evidence of serious flooding. The duck boards seem to have stayed above the river level.
There's a rocky knoll near Lover's Leap and the Twelve Apostles, on which our motley crew finished off any edible contents of their bags and flasks before resuming the easy walk amongst grockles back to the Hall for tea and (lots of) cake.
Anyone who had stayed mud free so far was to be disappointed as they trudged across a final field beyond Izaak Walton Hotel to Ilam.
Here's our route - 20 km with about 550 metres of ascent.
Later, about 110 guests enjoyed a lavish meal at Ilam Hall. Sue has lots more photos that she may broadcast separately.
As usual on such events, many people went home on Sunday morning, so there were just 15 or so of us on a ramble from the Hall.
The views towards Thorpe Cloud and Dove Dale were illuminated by sunshine today, but after overnight rain everywhere was rather muddy.
We went via Rushley then down a very muddy path to the River Hamps and the Manifold Way, lunching in a churned up field before heading up Soles Hollow.
After crossing a minor road, our path led down a most pleasant valley through Musden Wood to Rushley.
Pleasant, but muddy.
Very muddy!
Then, by mid afternoon, we found ourselves back at the Hall, with just enough time to get to Morrisons in Buxton before its 4 pm closing time to purchase supplies for dinner.
Here's our convoluted route - just 17 km today, with 480 metres ascent. Thanks go to Robin for planning both day's routes.
So, a most enjoyable weekend, away from the relentless news of the spread of Coronavirus, which at the time of writing is starting to threaten many of this year's plans.

Tuesday, 29 October 2019

26/27 October 2019 - Ramsoc goes to Dufton (again)

We were here this time last year (see ), when we had a fine walk up to High Cup Nick.
This time we journeyed through pouring rain on Friday evening and braved the elements again on Saturday morning. Any absentees were blamed on a game of rugby. By the time the 17 of us paused by the gate shown below, we were astonished to discover that England had thrashed the All Blacks in the World Cup semi-final.
Continuing up to Threlkeld Side, we passed a lime kiln. Or was it an iron smelter?
It was a drizzly view down to Dufton Pike.
A long, low dark tunnel provided respite from the rain. Shame about the blind corner and the ankle deep water!
Then the rain turned to snow.
Knock Fell was found to have several summits, all expertly located by the hillbaggers in the party.
The high point of the day was the summit of Great Dun Fell, 848 metres. We lunched in the cool shelter of the radar station.
A tarmac road led down for all of 4 km, during which time we emerged from several hours of being in cloud.
The sun shone on David. It always does.
Eventually, a signed path led us away from the tarmac, down towards Knock Pike, seen here in the middle distance, beyond some rough going. Some of the party climbed Knock Pike.
Dufton Pike was to our left. We went up that last year; today we just went around it in a very wide arc.
Back at Dufton at about 4.30, we enjoyed tea and chocolates and prepared for an evening at the Stag Inn.
The walk was about 22 km with 800 metres ascent, and took us six and a half hours. An excellent day out. Hardly anyone else was seen on the fells.
On Sunday, some went to Nine Standards Rigg, Mike W abandoned his boots in the hostel, and nine of us drove a short way to the village of Hilton, from where we enjoyed a 15 km circuit, starting in the village near what used to be the village's water supply. Can you spot the tap in the picture below?
After a false start where we missed the path, we headed easily along an alternative good track, past some very active sheep pens. (As always, if you click on an image you get a better picture, and a slideshow of all pictures in the posting, but sadly no captions.)
The good track continued all the way to a broad col between Long Fell and Roman Fell. On the way we passed a chap who had retired to a nearby village. He was surprised to find anyone on these hills, which are usually closed to visitors due to being used by the armed forces.
Some rough ground took us to the 594 metre summit of Roman Fell, an excellent viewpoint, where a late elevenses in the shelter of a small enclosure was most welcome. 
A yomp back down to the col, and up easily to the summit of Long Fell, found us at our second summit - about 620 metres - beyond various munitions, including an unexploded bomb in the middle of the path.

Nobody trod on it, so we all safely got to the summit, photographed here from the OS spot height that I went to. Others (hillbaggers) knew better and went to the nearby spot that was apparently 1.5 cm higher...
We all marched off to another 620 ish metre summit - that of Tinside Rigg - for more good views and a consensus that 'this small pile of stones really is the highest point in the area'. 
We descended via Swindale, on a well marked footpath all the way to the junction with Scordale, stopping for lunch in a sheltered spot at Christy Bank.
The path down Swindale sported some curious signs. Luckily, we weren't carrying shovels!
Some very tasty looking mushrooms were passed, but we didn't have good enough containers for them. (And Mike and Sarah were cooking our dinner anyway!)
Here's a last look up Swindale, before we turned into Scordale for a stroll back to Hilton. This time we were confident that we carried neither shovels nor cars.
The walk was about 15 km, with 500 metres ascent, taking rather less than 5 hours.
So, another Ramsoc weekend has been and gone. Thanks again to Sue for organising it, to Robin and others for sorting out the walks, to Dot and Tom for the chocolates, and to everyone for attending.
If you care to browse through earlier reports, from 2008, they are .