Mar 15 2014

Walk 77 – Harry Up!

Harry Up!

route: mill hill, harry hut & lantern pike from hayfield
Date: 15th march 2014
distance: 10.1 miles
ascent: 2040 feet
time: 5 hrs 10 mins
walkers: charlie, chris, christopher, dave, graham, karen, martyn, sandra & simon

I was pretty sure that today was going to remind me very much of the good old days of 2010. Back then we walked for hours, climbed thousands of feet and returned tired but in a good way. Since then other circumstances have dictated that walks have been closer to home or shorter in distance, but for the next few months at least, we were going big! (Or at least big for our family walks)

77th Walk 1With the customary team shot taken we walked the ten yards to the edge of the car park then stopped for a map check. Ramblo found this quite funny and I suppose it was a little ridiculous, but although we have a rough outline of a route prior to the day, we improvise when we see things with our own eyes. We turned right then right again before finding ourselves on Kinder Road. I had to have my picture taken in front of the sign seeing as though Kinder has been my nickname since I was 12 due to my head being shaped like a Kinder Egg… apparently. It has never been a name I didn’t like though and one I still get called to this day, especially in the pub where some people don’t even know my real name. After the brief halt to proceedings for me to capture the moment we continued onwards only to spot something else of interest a short distance further on.77th Walk 277th Walk 3I had no idea that Arthur Lowe was from Hayfield, but then why would I?! I do however quite like the whole idea behind the blue plaques and it certainly gave us a few minutes worth of conversation, until we reached another sign. This one caused a little amusement because of the way I read it at first glance.77th Walk 4I read “pay & display toilets, 70 meters across the bridge” which while no doubt appealing to some, didn’t really do it for me. It did raise a chuckle between us though and we headed for Kinder Reservoir feeling excited about the day ahead.77th Walk 5We soon came across another test of our navigating skills and myself and Beaky had a quick look at the map to determine the correct route. Straight ahead was a footpath that was flat and to the right Kinder Road twisted upwards. After a brief glance at the map we realised that whilst straight on was the best option we could always reach our intended route by going right. We instructed the others they could choose which way they wanted to go and before a word could be said Martyn (on his first walk with us) set off up the hill. He will have to learn quick that to stay in Ramblo’s good books he should have gone straight on 🙂 What myself and Beaky already knew became obvious to the others as we gained enough height to be able to see the dam of Kinder Reservoir and they realised we should be on the other side. Beaky glanced at me as I did him and we both flashed a wry smile at each other knowing we could have prevented this.77th Walk 677th Walk 7Not being able to get across the top of the dam we had to descend quite steeply to the path we could/should have taken before. From this point we had a short steep climb up a cobbled path.77th Walk 877th Walk 9If any of us still needed to warm up (which I very much doubt), this section soon took care of that, and I was ready for a little breather by the time the path levelled again. The view was worth the effort as it always is and we had five minutes to soak it all up.77th Walk 1077th Walk 11With the surrounding view taken in and the peaks surrounding us identified (maybe not all correctly) we continued on once again until we came across a couple looking lost. As de facto leader it was left to me to try and assist them which in the end I couldn’t do, although I did hopefully prevent them from getting lost. They were meant to be part of an organises group walk and even though they arrived a few minutes prior to the departure time, the group had already set off. After deciphering their broken English I worked out they were walking to Edale, but I didn’t want them going over Kinder Scout as they didn’t look to be kitted out for that and it was covered in mist. In the end I convinced them to head back to Hayfield rather than out onto the tops. By the time we reached this point ten minutes had passed and myself and G (who had waited with me) set off to catch the others.77th Walk 1277th Walk 1377th Walk 14We followed a little path that skirted Kinder Reservoir and found ourselves in single file due to the path being narrow. I was at the back not really paying too much attention when someone further up the line spotted a frog at the side of the path and stopped forcing me to do so before I fell over those in front on me. It seemed happy enough so after a brief glance we left it alone and continued onwards, leaving the reservoir behind and beginning the climb up William Clough.77th Walk 1577th Walk 1677th Walk 17The initial part of the climb was steady and as such we all stayed together, apart from a couple of people who disappeared for a quick “pit stop”. Eventually the combination of an increased gradient and the continuous climbing meant each of us continued at our own pace. This isn’t anything new for our walks and I settled down to a few minutes of hard graft in the mid division. As the path twisted and turned I soon lost sight of Beaky and Martyn who along with Charlie formed the front rank. G re-joined me after a toilet break and we made our way up the path until we joined the front runners who were waiting for us and those behind us. We took 10 minutes here to take on snacks, fluid and to check the map before continuing on once again up a steep section before finally reaching the exposed plateau above.77th Walk 1877th Walk 19Once we reached the higher ground the wind chill meant those who had removed coats due to overheating in the valley soon replaced them. It wasn’t much further on when we found a post confirming we had now joined the Pennine Way, although we only followed the famous Long Distance Path for a minute or two before the summit of Mill Hill was reached, and the first of three intended goals for the day was ticked off.77th Walk 2077th Walk 21On another day we may have stayed here for a a while longer but with the wind fairly strong and the mist preventing any view we didn’t see the point in hanging about. A couple of clicks of the camera button and we were off in search of Harry Hut, the first of two trig points.77th Walk 22We followed the man-made stone path for a short distance until somebody spotted something unusual just off to the right of the path. Within seconds it became apparent that it was the remains of an aircraft that had crashed some years previous. I knew that plenty of planes had crashed all over the Peak District but this was the first time I had ever seen any wreckage. We spent a short while inspecting the pieces of the wing and engine that was in view whilst wondering where the rest of the plane was.77th Walk 2377th Walk 2477th Walk 25As I took the photo of us leaving the wreckage and a couple more pictures I found myself a little detached from the others who had continued along the stone path. I had had a discussion with Beaky earlier about when to turn off that path and I could see that he was some 20 yards behind the rest of the group looking at his map. Each time he looked at the map he stopped and the gap grew bit by bit. I checked my GPS and knew they had gone too far so I began to cut across the moorland whilst shouting to try and attract Beaky’s attention. The wind made it hard for him to hear me but eventually he did but had the same problem trying to get the attention of those in front of him. Fortunately Charlie heard him and alerted everybody else of the situation as I chuckled to myself as I approached the trig. Over to my left I could the remaining Badgers cutting across from the path towards me and the trig point at Harry Hut.77th Walk 2677th Walk 27At this point we sat and enjoyed a sandwich or a snack of choice. The photo’s were taken and we left roughly fifteen minutes after we arrived, feeling refreshed and ready to search for Lantern Pike. As we left the trig we could see some smoke being blown across the moor to our right and for a split second I caught a glimpse of the fire although I continued along with everyone else rather than go over for a closer look. I was happy with life as we headed towards the right hand edge of Chunal Plantaion then followed a path towards the A624.77th Walk 2877th Walk 2977th Walk 30We reached the stile next to the road and planned our next move. We could see from the map that we would have to walk parallel to the round for a short while before we followed a smaller side road and eventually disappeared down a footpath. There was a discussion over which side of the wall we should walk and Karen and Ramblo tried to assess the route ahead from the stile.77th Walk 31When in situations like this we have established a little game we play to avoid any disagreements. I instructed everybody to “choose which side you want to walk”, then once everyone had done so
I said “right let’s go” and everybody crossed the wall and began walking alongside the road. Well, everybody except Karen who felt it would be nicer to stay away from the road and headed off on her own. I had to agree staying in the field was the better than walking beside a busy road but we wouldn’t be next to it for a long time and at least we knew we could reach the side road. I smiled mischievously to myself as I heard a playful shriek of “oh no” followed by “I’m stuck”.77th Walk 32A couple of people helped Karen over the wall before we stopped at the pub as Charlie needed to powder her nose. As we waited outside we spotted a couple of goats and Charlie soon joined us and them before we headed off once again.77th Walk 33For the next half an hour we made good progress as our route rolled and twisted over the undulations of the Peak District, until we found ourselves at a five pronged finger post near Blackshaw Farm.77th Walk 3477th Walk 3577th Walk 36Hayfield was our start point and therefore finish point, but we needed to reach Lantern Pike too so it was Hayfield via the Pennine Bridleway that we chose. It didn’t take us long to cover the distance and a short climb to the summit where we found a disk informing us of all the surrounding peaks.77th Walk 3777th Walk 3877th Walk 39As I arrived at the top I saw Beaky halfway down the bank to my left. He was hunting for the trig which we knew didn’t stand on the summit and had been pulled over some time in the past.77th Walk 4077th Walk 41I had a brief discussion with Martyn where I told him that the pictures I had seen it was laid on some short grass not the long tufty stuff below us. Armed with this information he spotted it on an adjacent hill a short walk away. Most of us set off for the final trig of the day but Chris, Christopher, Karen and Ramblo decided it wasn’t for them, choosing instead to follow the path off the summit and wait for us. Once at the trig I turned to see Ramblo on her way over to us. Apparently she had told the others “I aren’t coming back up here to get it another time so might as well do it now”. It is this kind of enthusiasm the Badgers pride themselves on 🙂77th Walk 42Our pictures at the trig were somewhat different to normal with us laying down to mirror the concrete trig. This caused a few giggles as we tried to get the shot we wanted (which we didn’t), giving up and reverting to type by having some refreshments before heading back to the others. Hayfield was now clearly in sight and my mind flashed forward to a lovely cold lager.77th Walk 4377th Walk 44The route back was now fairly simple as we re-joined the Pennine Bridleway and followed it down the hill towards Birch Vale. We found a couple of signs quite amusing, so much so that all those with cameras decided to take a picture of both signs. It is nice to know people still have a sense of humour and aren’t afraid to express it 🙂77th Walk 4577th Walk 46From Birch Vale we followed the bridleway all the way back to Hayfield. The River Sett was to our left but not really in view, unlike Lantern pike which we got a clear view of on numerous occasions.77th Walk 4877th Walk 47Just over five hours had passed when we finally reached the Royal Hotel again. I had enjoyed every minute and to be honest it didn’t seem anywhere near that long. They say time flies when you are having fun and on this occasion that was proved true. Unfortuantely that would also be the case when we entered the pub too. Oh well, I only have two weeks to wait for my next walk/pub fix 🙂

Sir Edmund


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