The Vault Regulars

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Is it that time again!

Well it certainly is. Martin's Christmas walk. An annual event for some reason.

Here's Martins route. On this walk i used both my iphone map and my Satmap active 10, both decided to play up and loose the route. So it just goes to prove that a paper map should always be in your kit.
Sheila and I had a good journey down to Tideswell and were first in the car park where we had the privilege of paying £4.50 to park for the day. I'm sure this car park used to be free, but no more. Maybe its as a result of Brexit, well everything else is so this might as well be too.

23 folk eventually set off north heading for Litton on a breezy day but a dry one. At numerous points, marshals in hi vis gear stood ready to open gates, it turned out that there was at least one fell race taking place on part of our route but it could  well have been two races.
Tansley Dale was slippery in places but i managed to stay on my feet. It is quite a lovely Dale as many of the White Peak Dales are. Crossing over into Cressbrook Dale we stopped for a quick coffee and a chat with Graham Brookes about his TGO Challenge route which will be terrific crossing. I don't think he will meet too many other challengers, but you never know.
Heading up Litton Dale
 The lovely Tansley Dale
Upwards to the meander in Cressbrook Dale
Setting off from our brew stop we had a short but muddy "UP" and at this point met with our first fell runners coming the opposite way. Collisions were somehow, luckily, averted but it was pure luck. Onwards and upwards we went avoiding many more opportunities to trip runners up when Martin realised that we were "meandering". So the good Duke marched his 10,000 men, (well 22) back down the hill to where we should have taken the path to Wardlow.
 Cressbrook Dale

It was a good path to Wardlow, where after a short section of road walk we picked up the excellent path across to Crossdale Head Mine workings which led us down to the village of Great Longstone and the Crispin Inn.
Having never been in this establishment before we didn't know what to expect and i have to say that the place and the menu is very nice. We had a room to ourselves and looked after very well by the staff. The food was excellent and filled ravenous walkers no problem.
The usual quiz turned out to be a surprise as our table of 4 came in second place with a huge 13 1/2 points out of a possible 50! What, how did we manage that i ask.
View south from path at Crossdale Head
The Crispin
We could have stayed in the Crispin all afternoon, in fact we nearly did but we had a 5 mile walk back to the car, which meant we had to get a move on.
Once out of Great Longstone passing Thornbridge Hall, our route was easy and flat and followed the Monsal trail, the old railway line. It was quite busy with runners (not part of the race) and numerous cyclists. The lights were on as we entered the first of three tunnels on our route. These lights are switched off at dusk for some reason which in my mind makes little sense. Dusk was creeping up on us fast.

Across the viaduct at Monsal Head, the second tunnel's lights were off. The third tunnels lights were on until we got half way through then it was pitch black. These tunnels are quite long and the light at the end cannot be seen until you are close to the end. The group had become quite spread out by now so before dropping off the old trackway we had a wait for everyone to catch up.

Monsal Tunnel
By now the light was going quickly, we only had a mile to go, across the River Wye and then into Tideswell Dale and the car park. The last of our coffee was had before saying our farewells.

Thanks Martin and everyone who attended.


Sir Hugh said...

I wonder at doing another five miles after a substantial meal. On the Pennine Way (April 1987) I had lunch and beer at the Green Dragon, Hardraw. The following ascent of Great Shunner Fell in hot sunshine was purgatory, and I have never repeated midday heavy meals since on a walk.

AlanR said...

You were quick off the mark there Conrad. I only had 2 courses but it was more than enough. But it had to be done and when the going gets tough the tough get going. Fortunately there were no steep ups post lunch.

Still not got the imac back yet. Had to do this post on an old windows vista laptop.I struggled to remember how to use it. It took ages to get the steam up to pressure.

Dawn said...

What a cracking walk Alan! Your usual faultless photos too.

AlanR said...

It was fraught with much danger Dawn. Ha. Thanks.

Phreerunner said...

Nice one Alan, and thanks for your comments. It'll be hard to beat that 'meander'.
The car park has been charging for quite a while now, so Brexit isn't to blame. It may be to blame for any increases in a year or two though!
If you are in a smaller group, there's parking in the street in Tideswell, where you might even find yourself outside a cafe.
Have a great Xmas.

AlanR said...

Thanks Martin. I don't mind paying £4.50 for all day for car parking, if it keeps the loos open and clean it's worth paying. Post Brexit we will have an attendant on as well. (Multi lingual of course).
You and Sue have a good one as well.

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