Friday, 18 January 2013

#16 Clapham and Twinwoods

#16 Clapham and Twinwoods

Distance - 8.03 Miles
Ascent - 113 Metres

Today was the first day of Snowmageddon so I had planned to get out early, do a walk and get home before the roads descended into anarchy.  As it happens the snow came early so I was stuck at home.  I then remembered it was actually possible (!) to start a walk from home and you didn't have to drive somewhere for a walk.

Heading up the Baulk
I decided to have a wander up past Clapham towards Twinwoods.  This is mostly arable fields, so isn't the most interesting but with the snow should be fun.  From the Baulk onwards the road/track wasn't gritted and even some locals were struggling.  The track leads up to the old Twinwoods airfield camp and the old huts are still used by farmers.

The Twinwoods area itself sits on a plateau and is pretty flat and open.  The wind was bitingly cold and I probably could of done with an extra layer, the base-layer and softshell option was borderline whenever I stopped!  The temp had dropped to about -3C, with fair bit of windchill (about -10C to -15C).  Just after breaking out onto the plateau, I noticed that my GPS was again showing low battery (I had charged it overnight) and failed soon after.  Yet again I was without a map, yes should of learnt that lesson by now!

Brrr snow
With about an inch of snow on the ground it was hard to see paths and I was a little blind without a map.  I wasn't in any great danger as I knew where I was but it was annoying none the less!  I did however remember I had my iPhone which has a Viewranger App.  I had never used it before and had no maps loaded, but with 3G it provided me with a non-topographical map with footpaths shown clearly.  You don't really need contours round here to be honest!

Dashing explorer
The bridleways led down towards Clapham Park wood, this area has been slowly encroached upon by the town but it looked like new trees had been planted to separate the estate from farmland.  The new 'wood' was nicely fenced and planted in nice rows but it will be years before it gets going.  A nice new hedgerow had been planted alongside the bridleway, which is nice, apart from planting it across the right turn that the path should follow!  In its current state it isn't an issue, but it caused me to question the viewrangers accuracy (it was right!).

More snow
After Clapham Wood I dropped back into the edge of Clapham and up the hill towards home.  Despite only an inch of snow it was a bit slippy, but microspikes would of been overkill (perfect for Yaktraks).  It was only after walking through the front door that I realised how cold my thighs were.  Didn't feel cold whilst walking but they were both very cold to the touch.  Craghoppers are not the greatest insulation I suppose!

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