Setting out from Carrbrook (Photo: Dave Shotton)  

Setting out from Carrbrook (Dave Shotton)
At the shooting cabins on Arnfield Moor (Dave Shotton)
Andy knows exactly where we are (Dave Shotton)
Right, that's the club Christmas card sorted out! (Dave Shotton)
Enjoying the lunchtime comforts of Laddow cave (Dave Shotton)
Christine in the rain (Dave Shotton)

Mossley Walk - Moorland Grit Tour

Mossley Walk Saturday 28th October - Moorland Grit tour with optional cake

Members: Andy Stratford, Dave Wylie, Jim Gregson, Sandy Gregson, Christine Beeston, Lorna Marsland, Dave Shotton Guest: Mark Bugryniec  Catering department: Jo Stratford

Others on part of the walk: Jim Symon, Philippa Maye, Richard, Afsheen, Peter Walker, Alan (L) Jones,

The forecast was about as poor as it could be: heavy rain, strong winds and low cloud for most of the day on a route which was already guaranteed to be muddy. I was a little surprised to find a formidable team of eight at the meet point – South View in Carrbrook, just under the Buckden Vale Quarries.

The first hour and a half was in light drizzle with minimal fog and less winds, all of which were behind us, but as soon as we passed onto the Longdendale side we had more of a blow, with the heavy rain starting and very poor visibility. A slithery path to Millstone Rocks was followed then we crossed the moor on a bearing to reach then follow a beaters track along the top of Rakes Rocks and eventually onto the Pennine Way and down to much welcome shelter at the Laddow Cave where we had lunch. Once we turned N across watershed we started to get more of the weather hitting us and as soon as we reached the upper Chew reservoir we had it full on to our fronts. It was extremely taxing, very wet, very windy and difficult underfoot but somehow, even in the teeth of a Gale, I still managed an interesting debate with Jim about the KMC, the BMC, democracy and governance – an excellent distraction from the one of the foulest days’ weather I can remember having been out in.

The previous day, Jim had informed me that he and Philippa were meeting friends at lunchtime but would ‘’pop up to Alphin’’ to meet us.

‘’What time?’’ asked Jim. ‘’Somewhere between 3 and 3.15’’ I replied.

Eventually, we approached the tiny wind shelter on the summit of Alphin at just after 3.15. I turned to Dave Wylie ‘’so, what do you think the chances are of Jim and Philippa having come up to meet us?’’. Dave looked at me incredulously.

‘’No-one in their right minds would do that in these conditions’’.

Seconds later, with the summit stones looming out of the thick cloud and rain, we saw four figures, hunkered down, drinking tea.

Sure enough, it was Jim, Philippa and their two long suffering friends, Richard and Afsheen. As Dave said – no-one in their right minds.....but this was Jim! We were all incredulous. I was very thankful as finding the most direct path from Alphin back to Buckdon Vale confuses me even in good conditions!

Just over an hour later we were tucking in to the various home baked food options at our house including apple and blackberry pie, tea loaf, chocolate cake and rock cakes. A few of the team managed all four options – well deserved on what had been a beast of a walk. The GPS track afterward showed 14 miles, and the going was very rough. Thanks to all who turned out. 

Andy Stratford

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Karabiner Mountaineering Club