Thursday, 7 November 2013

#32 Watergrove Wander

8.14 Miles
467 Metres ascent 

Back up north for a short visit so it would be rude not to go for a wander.    I had planned to get here in time to do a decent walk (3rs ish), so with sunset at 1630, I needed to get to Whitworth for about 1300.  In the end I set off on the walk at 1530, with only 1hr of daylight to use.  Fear not, I took a torch!
Heading up the Rake it was satisfying to do it with any breaks or stops to catch my breath!  I am getting fitter and am still losing weight, even though I don’t think I look much different.  (The scales, the change in clothes size and general fitness say otherwise).  I decided to head towards Watergrove reservoir and then up the hills, to come back round to the Rake.

 That was the daylight plan, and I wasn’t going to let a bit of darkness stop me!  The paths towards Watergrove were clearly marked and were mainly put in by United Utilities, with the paths marked on the map seemingly ignored.   Whilst the water companies get a lot of stick, places like this show that they do some form of public good, opening up the land and spending money maintaining tracks and paths.

I headed up from Watergrove on the Pennine Bridleway with the plan to take a left up Higher Stone Pits.  It was getting darker, and whilst the bridleway was easy to follow, other tracks had nowhere near the prominence.   It fact it was hard to see them even when the GPS confirmed I was stood on it and I was using a torch!  A quick plan change led me back to Watergrove then up Ramsden Road.  This was an old stone track way, so even with no moon could be followed without the torch.

I wanted to use the torch as little as possible, mainly to keep my night vision.  This could be done until the track began to head back down towards Whitworth.   From here I had to use the head torch as the path was boggy and was also mixed use, so rutted by bikes.  I didn’t fancy turning an ankle in the dark on a cold moor. 

Unsurprisingly I didn’t see anyone else walking or much in wildlife, just the green glow of the eyes of a few sheep and a couple of fell ponies.  The fell ponies seemed ambivalent to night time walkers and they carried on loudly munching on the grass. 

I can’t remember the last time I did a night time walk; I don’t think it will be too long before I do another.

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