Mossley Walk - Moorland Grit Tour
Sat 28th Oct, 2017
Jo Stratford / Andy Stratford
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.
NOTE THIS WALK IS ON A SATURDAY - Route and Info updated 14th Oct 2017 (After the newsletter was published).
Moorland Grit tour with optional Cake
Parking and meeting point SD989009: Take Buckton Vale Road (Mini roundabout opposite from Raja Bros) off Huddersfield Road to park on South View or Castle Road near the older part of Carrbrook village. (Adjaceant to Duck Island). Meet at 9.15am for a prompt 9.30am start. Use Landranger OL1
SE on the Pennine Bridleway (jeep track over the moor) to Higher Swinshaw Resevoir, continuing on the PB past the fords near Arnfield Low Moor then follow the track NE to the shooting cabins then dropping SE to cross Arnfields Clough at about 330m contouring on a beaters track to join the fence and a cairn at SK037991, along the fence then ENE to Millstone Rocks and Lads Leap with good views into Longdendale. 1 km Trackless NE across good moorland to cross a fence and a beaters track SE057005 along the top of Rakes Rocks, then crossing Oaken Clough to join the Pennine way. At Pt 502 Cross the moor on reasonable tracks to Chew reservoir then the obvious route via Wilderness Rocks and the superb views from Indian Head and Wimberry Brow to Alphin then an easy descent SW to the path at the top of Buckton Vale Quarry and the cars. From here we will drive back to the Stratford household (10 minutes) for tea, cake and pie.
Total distance approx 12-13 miles.
If anyone wants to do alternative walks in the area that day of a lesser distance then we would expect to be at Laddow for a ½ hour lunch stop at approximately 1pm. Meet on the top if the weather is fine or in the cave if it is foul. We expect to be back at home by 4.30pm or so, and you are more than welcome to call in.
(Note, this walk was originally planned a linear Marsden to Mossley via Black Hill and Laddow utilising the train but all services from Stalybridge to Huddersfield are rail replacement buses that day due to engineering so plans have been changed)