Dec 29 2013

Walk 71 – We Whit You A Merry Christmas

We Whit You A Merry Christmas

route: whitwell moor from midhopestones
Date: 29th december 2013
distance: 5.2 miles
ascent: 699 feet
time: 2 hrs 30 mins
walkers: abigail, annie, chris, christopher, dave, jacob, james, jane, joseph, karen, leanne, lucy, marc, sandra & simon

I had missed the last walk due to some sort of “man” flu or something so I was raring to go by the time we pulled up in Midhopestones. As I switched off the engine I could see Beaky and Ramblo were already togged up ready to go. A few cars away Marc and Jane looked like they were almost ready with Lucy, Joseph and Jacob. Chris was ready as was his dad…Chris(topher). Karen soon joined us with James and Annie and we had the biggest attendance for any Badgers walk (not including the two sponsored walks).

71st Walk 1
With a couple of team shots in the bag we began our quest for the trig point on Whitwell Moor. It wasn’t expected to be a difficult walk but that wouldn’t really matter, the whole point of today was to blow away some of the Christmas cobwebs and walk off some of the excess food and drink. With that in mind it was inevitable that we started going uphill immediately after leaving the pub car park, but thankfully it wasn’t too strenuous.71st Walk 2The day was a sunny but chilly one and everyone was wrapped up with plenty of layers to keep them nice and warm. Fortunately for me Marc had a spare hat as I had left mine at home as we rushed to get Abigail ready before we set off. I think every walk Abigail has been on has resulted in me or Leanne forgetting something so it wasn’t a great surprise. By the time we turned left to continue our journey I felt a few degrees warmer as the blood began pumping and my muscles warmed up. There was numerous conversations going on and I could tell that today was going to be a success 🙂71st Walk 3We followed a little road for approximately half a mile until it dipped and twisted towards brooks Bank Bridge. There was a footpath sign pointing off to the right and I checked with Beaky where we planned on going from here. We have often found the combination of GPS and OS map works perfectly for us and after consulting both we directed the troops onwards.71st Walk 3a71st Walk 4bIt would only be a matter of minutes before we did leave the road and began another gradual climb up towards Wind Hill Farm. I can’t say I had been paying any attention to the weather in the build up to Christmas but I was quite surprised how good the underfoot conditions were. I had expected more of a mud bath than the nice cushioned ground we found waiting for us. It was almost the perfect day for walking and the surrounding views were lovely.71st Walk 571st Walk 6Even though the ascent wouldn’t have been taxing under normal conditions, I was feeling the over indulgence somewhat and I was glad to take things nice and steady at the back of the group. What I couldn’t quite work out was whether it was my over indulgence or if it was Abigail’s as she seemed heavy today. With hindsight (as I write this a few days later) I think it was the straps of the carrier that may have been a little tight. As mentioned earlier I had missed the previous walk and Leanne and then Beaky had carried Abigail, and both would have shortened the straps. At the farm we had a little re-group and then continued onwards towards the trig.71st Walk 771st Walk 871st Walk 9By this point we had done virtually all the climbing and we were left with a nice gentle approach to the trig. We knew it was on the other side of the wall we were following and it wasn’t long before Chris Snr spotted it between the dishevelled stones. Whitwell Moor became my 12th trig point ticked off our Peak District list of 89.71st Walk 1071st Walk 10aWe didn’t stay too long as the wind was nippy now we were exposed, although we did have time to record our visit before heading off behind the wall for shelter.71st Walk 11Once safely hidden behind the wall everyone took off their ruck sacks and took out various treats and snacks. I thought it would be nice to have some sort of Christmas picnic and we shared pork pie, nuts, crisps, various types of chocolate and mince pies all washed down with a swig of Sherry. By the time I was done I bet this was the only walk I have consumed more calories than I burnt off.71st Walk 1271st Walk 1371st Walk 13aWith lunchtime over we set off for the pub 🙂71st Walk 14Abigail didn’t seem to want to go back in her carrier and was a little grumpy for a couple of minutes before it became apparent what the moaning was about…71st Walk 15As is normally the case we made good progress on the descent and we were strung out in a long line as people found their own comfort zone on a slightly slippery section. Eventually this led us on to Mucky Lane which was far from as exciting as it may sound and ultimately it just brought us out at a little junction of roads. 71st Walk 1671st Walk 16aBehind me the silence had been replaced with a soft snoring noise as Abigail continued to dream as I had to do the work. We took New Hall Lane as we made our way downhill slightly. The walk up to this point had been nice and it was to disappoint from here. As earlier there were little groups all having conversations and I took five minutes to walk alone and gaze around at the surroundings.71st Walk 16b71st Walk 1771st Walk 18A little further on we took a right fork and joined Green Lane which took us down towards the outskirts of Stocksbridge.71st Walk 1971st Walk 2071st Walk 21We weren’t in a built up area for long though as we only had a couple of hundred yards before we reached Underbank Reservoir. There was a little sign board as we entered the reservoir area that said there was a permissive path all the way along the edge which was a nice surprise. We thought we may be able to get half way along and then have to head up to the Brooks Bank Bridge we crossed earlier before heading back in the reverse direction. Now knowing we could get all the way back to Midhopestones we had an extra spring in our step as we walked the final mile or so back to the pub. 71st Walk 2271st Walk 2371st Walk 24We passed the activity centre which is where we thought we may have to turn off, but instead we followed the permissive path. Sure enough it took us all the way back to the pub and as if by magic as soon as I caught sight of it Abigail woke up. Now if that isn’t a sign of a Badger I don’t know what is 🙂71st Walk 25With the walk over and all 15 of us safely next to the log fire we ordered some chunky chips to go with our drinks. Today had been exactly what I was hoping for, and I am sure most if not all of the others felt the same way. The walk wasn’t difficult, but at the same time felt like we had achieved something, and it helped to get some fresh air in to the lungs which was nice. Most of all it was great to spend a few hours with nice people, which is what life is all about. Here is to 2014 being another successful year for the Rambling Badgers!

Sir Edmund

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Whitwell Moor routemap

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